How To Do Startrail Photography On Sony A6300

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LESSON fourteenPhotographing the Dark Sky

Focal length: sixteen mm (35 mm equivalent), f-end: 2.8, Shutter speed: 30 seconds.

Accept you ever wanted to shoot a star-studded night sky? With the right technique, your camera can capture a myriad of lite sources above. Here, nosotros innovate some techniques for beginners to create spectacular photos of stars.

Preparing to Take Photos of the Stars

The key to taking beautiful photos of the dark sky is selecting the right environment.
In big urban areas, artificial nighttime lights (light pollution) illuminate the dark sky, making it difficult to see the stars. For stunning photos of the stars, it’s all-time to go to a high elevation or mountain with petty calorie-free pollution and a articulate sky, but y’all can also endeavor shooting at a nearby park with no visible urban center lights.
Even moonlight is light pollution when information technology comes to photographing the stars. Nosotros recommend shooting during a new moon or after the moon has set.

The shutter must exist kept open for a long time to photo stars, then secure the photographic camera to a tripod equally if you were shooting nighttime scenes. Although a remote commander is useful when shooting with a tripod, you lot can also set the self-timer to two seconds if a tripod is not bachelor. This can prevent blurring due to vibration when pressing the shutter push. Likewise, when using a tripod, exist certain to disable the image stabilization office to prevent malfunction.

Configuring the Camera Settings

Afterward the camera is secured to a tripod, configure the camera settings.
In that location are several ways to photograph the night sky, including capturing the stars every bit you run across them, capturing a time-lapse paradigm with the stars in motion, and capturing a nebula with a telephoto setting.
First, we volition explain the easiest approach: how to capture a still image of the stars.
If you are using a zoom lens, use the broad-angle setting (shortest focal length). This enables you to capture more stars and scenery at the aforementioned fourth dimension.

Wide angle image of night sky and scenery.

Image of star trails.

Side by side, set up the capture style to
Thou-fashion, and conform the aperture, shutter speed, and sensitivity.


Open the aperture as much equally possible when shooting to capture more light and make it easier to photograph the stars.

2.Shutter speed

Although shutter speed will depend on the lens being used, try setting it to around viii seconds. Unlike a fixed scene shot using a tripod, stars are constantly moving at a slow rate. So if the shutter speed is too long, you will end up with the stars looking like lines in the prototype, and it will be difficult to capture them more clearly.


The proper sensitivity cannot easily be determined because it differs profoundly according to the amount of light pollution and moonlight, the lens existence used, the shooting location and 24-hour interval. First endeavor shooting with ISO 400, so find the proper value past checking the shooting results.

After the above three settings are configured, you’re ready to start shooting, just start y’all must suit focus on the stars. Autofocus (AF) does non work in dim settings such equally a night sky, so conform manual focus (MF). Adjusting the focus on a minor star while viewing the LCD screen can be very difficult, so utilize the Focus Magnifier and MF Aid functions to assist you lot focus on bright stars as they appear magnified on the monitor. You can use the operation buttons to movement the area being magnified, and so you tin can search for bright stars to focus on.

Monitor view without Focus Magnifier (example).

Monitor view with Focus Magnifier (example).

When yous detect a bright star, turn the focus ring until the outline of the star is clear. The star may not necessarily be in focus with the focus band turned to the farthest side (infinity), so we recommend magnifying the display to check the focus. If the display is completely black and the stars and scenery are difficult to run into, increase the sensitivity to ISO 3200 or 6400 to make the paradigm on the brandish easier to see, and try once again.
Once the stars are in focus, be careful not to accommodate the focus until shooting is done. The focus position may change if the zoom position of the lens is changed or [AF] is selected.

If focus is not correct, stars appear blurry.

Check Results While Shooting

When the star is in focus, press the shutter button to shoot an image. Noise reduction operates for a few seconds afterwards you lot take the shot, then it may take some time earlier the image is displayed on the monitor.

Magnify the image and check the results. Did you capture the stars?
Shooting with the above settings can capture stars as shown below.

Focal length: nineteen mm, f-stop: 3.5, Shutter speed: 5 seconds.

Office of Orion constellation magnified on playback screen. Stars are captured as points of low-cal.

If the unabridged image is besides brilliant or too dark, shoot several photos with unlike sensitivity and shutter speed settings. The higher the sensitivity, the brighter the prototype, and you can shoot at faster shutter speeds, merely if the sensitivity is as well high, the epitome may have noise and its resolution may be degraded. Also, if the monitor is too bright, you may not be able to correctly determine the brightness of the image. When shooting in a dim location, we recommend setting the effulgence of the monitor lower than when used during the 24-hour interval.

If the stars are not captured every bit you meet them, you can cheque the images on the playback screen to see if they are out of focus, too vivid or also nighttime, and shoot again.
Information technology is as well possible that the sky turned cloudier from the time y’all saw it to the fourth dimension yous shot it.

Adjust the Limerick and Colour

Afterwards confirming that you are able to capture the stars, endeavor adjusting the limerick and colour. Photographing the stars surrounded past the landscape tin make for impressive images. Look around you, and try including trees or a distant view in your composition. When changing the composition, exist conscientious not to move the focus ring that you take already adjusted.
You tin suit color with the white balance function co-ordinate to your preference, although yous tin can select [Incandescent] or [Fluor: Warm White], for example, to create a clear image of a bluish starry sky. Yous can also select [AWB] (Auto WB) for more than natural colors that are like to those you meet with your naked eyes.

[Car] white rest
[Incandescent] white balance

Commercially bachelor soft filters are effective for accentuating the stars by gently blurring the star light. This enables you to capture larger images of stars, even with a wide-angle lens.

Photo taken with a soft filter on the lens.

Using the [Star Trail]*1
function in the PlayMemories Camera Apps

If you accept a camera model that supports PlayMemories Camera Apps, you lot can utilize the Star Trail function to easily create movies of star trails.
With Star Trail, you can select [Vivid Nighttime], [Night Nighttime], or [Custom] according to the shooting scene to automatically create a movie after shooting.
Instead of having to download many images to a estimator, so compose and edit them, you can now use this app to easily create movies of star trails in camera.

  • *one Depending upon the country or region the PlayMemories Photographic camera Apps “Star Trail” may not exist bachelor.

Image from a moving picture created with Star Trail

Lens focal length: 24 mm / F-number: i.four / Shutter speed: eight sec.


Unsparing awarding of cutting-edge technology achieves refined M Master performance with consistently loftier resolution and soft, natural bokeh even at the widest F1.four aperture setting. The lens is both compact and the lightest in its class2, maximizing portability. It also offers fast, precise AF bulldoze, top-level control and reliability.


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