How to setup for a Night sky shot?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by SchneiderMan, Jul 25, 2008.

  1. SchneiderMan macrumors G3


    May 25, 2008
    Hey i have a Nikon D40 with a 55-200mm (non VR) nikkor and also the stock ones.

    I do have a tripod and i want to take a photo of the night sky and stars, i dont really know what would be the perfect setup for it.. someone help please?
    also if you can tell me how to take Hdr photos in the d40 :confused:

    Edit: i also have a remote
  2. heppy macrumors member

    Mar 23, 2008
    The best way to take night shots is with long exposures. Most cameras will expose up to 30 seconds.

    For the best quality, set up your shot, set the ISO to it's highest rating (3200) with the aperture wide open (lowest number) and on shutter priority and see what the incamera exposure recommends for a decent exposure. Then set the ISO back to 100, keep the aperture the same and multiply the shutter speed by a factor of 16 (i think!); ie if the shutter speed was 1 second at ISO 3200 then it would be 16 seconds at ISO100.

    For HDR. Lock the camera on the tripod and starting at the smallest aperture, take a shot at each Fstop

    Alternatively, you could have spent 2 seconds on google and got this.
  3. Lovesong macrumors 65816


    Sep 15, 2006
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
    ...and if you did that you'd get some awkward looking HDR. When you're shooting for HDR, you would never want to change the aperture, as it would change your depth of field. You really only need 3 or so shots, at different shutter speeds.
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    One more thing. Don't trip the shutter by hand. You the self timmer or an IR remote so you don't bump the camera. Wait for the wind to die down for a few seconds so the air is still. You can hang a weight (water jug) from the triod to make it more stable. All this will minimize blur do to camera motion
  5. heppy macrumors member

    Mar 23, 2008
    you're quite, I'm a muppet & wasn't thinking properly! Apologies for stupidity! :)
  6. santa macrumors member

    Sep 2, 2003
    night hdr?

    I'm not sure how hdr would work with night exposures of the sky. doesn't make much sense. stars will move and it's pretty much black with white streaks unless you are talking about evening shots before real night. I shoot a lot of aurora at night and a typical exposure for me is 16mm lens, f2.8 for 15 seconds at ISO400. 30 seconds is OK but it does begin to show star movement when viewed closely. If you have a lens that is not as wide as 16mm then you can't have that long a shutter speed unless you want stars to start to smudge. Once you go past that 15-30 sec. mark (with a wide angle) then you want to go a full 5 minutes or more to get some decent streaks. You can also shoot multiple exposures and combine them in Photoshop. A shutter release cord is a huge help. Fast lenses are important because viewing the horizon is hard without a fast lens.

Share This Page