First Attempt at Night Sky Photography

The moon was so insanely bright last night that I had to bust out the DSLR and tripod. This was my first real attempt at shooting the sky, and I realized:

  1. My camera basically sucks for this(very noisy)
  2. It is freaking hard to focus on the night sky
  3. I need more practice.

But I think this turned out to be a pretty decent photo.

So here is how the shot went…

On the tripod, obviously, I set my camera to Av mode, f11, 100ISO which equals a 30 second exposure. It was actually flashing so it actually required a longer exposure. I am realizing now that I should have set the ISO higher so the exposure would have been shorter, which would have most likely reduced the noise. Will have to experiment with this…

Anyway back to the shot. If you are going to do some night sky photography turn off your LCD display. For some reason it took me several times of blinding my eye upon approaching the view finder for me to realize that I need to turn off the display… After I did this I could see through the view finder, but had to manually focus due to there basically being no light. If you have not yet tried, focusing on the sky is hard work. So if anyone has any tips on night sky photography I am all ears. I wanted a lens flare so I shot right up at the moon and offset it a bit. The lens flare turned out to be pretty interesting in this shot and I think works.

This is not an HDR photo, just a RAW file edited with camera raw. Shot in Av mode, f11, 30 second exposure 100ISO.

I have also included the original and the post camera raw so you can:

  1. See how great RAW images are at preserving information to pull out color/detail
  2. See the level of noise I had to deal with during editing.

Enjoy the photos!

Original Photo

Bright Moon Clear Sky Pre Camera Raw

Bright Moon Clear Sky Pre Camera Raw

Before Noise Reduction

Bright Moon Clear Sky Post Camera Raw

Bright Moon Clear Sky Post Camera Raw

Final Photo

Bright Moon Clear Sky

Bright Moon Clear Sky

What I learned

So what I learned is I should have lowered the ISO to in fact lower the exposure time to reduce the noise. I will give it a go on the next clear night.

Here is another photo I took that was totally out of focus in every regard but I think works well regarding the composition and hue. And it has the Big Dipper!

Palm in the Sky

Palm in the Sky

And another with the palm plant leaves in focus no Big Dipper though…

Palm In Front of the Sky

Palm In Front of the Sky

This entry was posted in Canon Rebel XTi, landscaping, Night Shots, RAW, Sky Shots. Bookmark the permalink.

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