Camera Settings For Night Sky Pictures

By | 21/10/2022

Night photography is a fascinating genre of mural photography. Y’all’re standing outside in full darkness merely the camera display shows something else: a starry sky and the beauty surrounding y’all.

Photographing the night sky isn’t quite as straightforward as i might want, though. In fact, it is in many cases quite opposite of ‘regular’ landscape photography. Using the ‘incorrect’ settings might lead to complete black images, and from experience, a lot of frustrations.

To capture beautiful images of the nighttime heaven, you need to choose the right aperture, ISO and shutter speed. These are the settings y’all want to use:

Use an Open Aperture

While we tend to shoot with a narrow aperture for regular mural photography (in order to achieve forepart-to-back sharpness), dark photography requires a faster aperture.

Best Settings for Night Photography
Nikon D810 + Nikon 14-24mm @ f/2.viii – ISO 3200 – thirty sec

Wide-angle lenses with a fast aperture such as f/ii.8 are preferred for nighttime photography only, unfortunately, they are often double the price of lenses with a maximum aperture of f/4.

That doesn’t mean that you tin’t go practiced pictures with an f/four lens, though. It but means that you need a higher ISO or slower shutter speed to get a similar result.

Read More:Introduction to Aperture in Landscape Photography

You Need a Loftier ISO

Nighttime photography is in many ways the opposite of regular landscape photography. During the daytime, a low ISO is preferred due to less noise and grain. During the nighttime, however, it’due south frequently pitch black and using the same settings as in the daytime will event in, you lot guessed it, pitch-black images.

That’s why nosotros need to make some compromises.

Using a higher ISO ways that the camera sensor is more sensitive to light and allows for a shorter shutter speed in order to get the same exposure. A high ISO also means introduces a pregnant amount of noise and grain to the image; which is why we tend to keep information technology as depression as possible.

Read More than:Introduction to ISO in Landscape Photography

Depending on the moon stage and artificial light, I typically apply an ISO

betwixt 1600 and 3200

In certain scenarios, I might go away with using a lower ISO such as 800 or 1000.

The Shutter Speed Shouldn’t Exist Besides Slow

Right now yous might exist request:why can’t I just go along a low ISO and narrow discontinuity, merely a very slow shutter speed instead?

The answer is quite unproblematic.

A too tedious shutter speed will result in blurry stars. Shutter speeds of several minutes, or even hours, are oftentimes used to create star trails.

Best Settings for Night Photography
Nikon D810 + Nikon 14-24mm @ f/2.viii – ISO g – six sec

To keep the stars precipitous you need to calculate themaximum shutter speedfor your lens. Luckily, at that place’s a formula! Have the number 500 (for full-frame sensors) or 300 (for ingather sensors) and divide information technology by the focal length:

14mm: 500/14 = 35 seconds (300/14 = 21 seconds)
16mm: 500/16 = 31 seconds (300/16 = xviii seconds)
20mm: 500/20 = 25 seconds (300/20 = fifteen seconds)
24mm: 500/24 = 20 seconds (300/24 = 12 seconds)

Utilise the formula above to calculate the maximum shutter speed for your lens to proceed stars precipitous. The employ of a slower shutter speed will result in the stars appearing as blurry oblong trails.

Read More than:Introduction to Shutter Speed in Landscape Photography

Personally, I avoid using an exposure time longer than 30 seconds even at 14mm.

The Best Settings for Nighttime Photography

By at present you should take a fair idea of what settings to utilise the next time you’re out photographing the night sky, but allow’southward summarize:

While the exact settings will modify from pic to picture, the ideal settings for nighttime photography is a high ISO (typically starting at 1600), an open aperture (such as f/two.8 or f/4) and the longest possible shutter speed as calculated with the 500 or 300 rule.


More than Night Photography

Are you interested in learning more about night photography? So exist sure to have a look at these in-depth courses that will teach you lot everything y’all need to know almost mastering photography in the dark:

  • Northern Lights Photography Course

    Northern Lights Photography Fabricated Piece of cake

    $ 49.90

  • Milky Way Photography Course

    A Guide to Meliorate Milky Way Photography

    $ 49.99

  • Star Photography Masterclass

    Star Photography Masterclass

    $ 41.00

Best settings for night photography