Exiting night photography (04.12.2015)


Night photography is getting more popular each year due to the development of technology and the accessibility of it. I myself have been focusing on night photography for the past years and I have mostly been capturing the starry night and Milky Way but also everything else interesting and exciting that is going on at night above our heads.

For photographing the starry night, it is worth to precisely know a little bit more about what and when is going on in the sky. The Milky Way in our galaxy is what excites the most when photographing the sky because it can also be seen with a bare eye and when photographed with a slow shutter speed, it becomes especially visible. The best time for photographing the Milky Way starts from the second half of August when the summer night has become completely dark. Then, the Milky Way is like a nice pillar in the sky and its brighter part can be seen from behind the horizon. Take a look at the Southern sky to find a place where there's the least light pollution and enjoy the view on our galaxy. Choose the darkest time to photograph, place your camera on the tripod, use as open aperture as possible, choose the shutter speed accordingly to the focal lenght of the lens (the wider the angle of the lens, the longer shutter speed you can use without the stars turning into stripes), raise ISO way higher than usually and focus to the infinity. Then try it out, adjust the shutter speed and ISO sensitivity, adjust sharpness and composition until you get the results that you wished for. Night photography demands a lot of patience and dedication.

During winter months, it is worth to search for the Orion zodiac from the sky. It can easily be found by it three following stars that create the belt of the zodiac. Under the Orion's Belt, the zodiac's Nebula is easily findable and can also be seen with a bare eye. It is one of the most easily capturable Nebula and Nikon D810A makes it especially simple.

During clear winter nights, you should be ready to photograph the Aurorae. To be aware when  Aurorae can be expected in Estonia, you should join the Estonian Aurorae group in Facebook. All the Aurorae enthusiasts are gathered there and you can be sure that they do not miss any Aurorae and they always let you know when to expect them. When photographing Aurorae, you should find a part in the Northen sky that is free of light pollution and be there quite early not to miss the show. Since Aurorae is quite bright, you can use a shorter shutter speed and lower ISO sensitivity than when photographing the starry night and Milky Way.

When the winter comes closer, the most visible part of the Milky Way starts moving lower and during the winter months, it is not visible at all. You then have to find new sky subjects to photograph; for example, the Orion constellation is especially well seen and findable during winter together with its Nebulae or you can also direct the lens into the North and wait for the Aurorae.

Since this autumn, I have been using Nikon D810A camera that surprised me with its detailness. The weakest part of the Milky Way that is above our heads during the autumn time, is not really separable with the human eye but this camera brings it out very well. You can also see the Nebulae which I didn't even know about before. On the photos taken with only 20-second shutter speed, you can identify the North-American Nebulae that is located near the Swan zodiac's brightest star Deneb. As I am already quite a big fan of the astronomy, I would like to get to know the sky even more because now, I can capture even more exciting Nebulae and I would like to know what excatly have I captured.



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