The Art Of Capturing Stunning Galaxies

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the art of capturing stunning galaxies. If you’re new to astrophotography, you might feel like there’s a lot to learn about the art of it.

However, it’s not impossible. With the right tools and the right advice, you will have no issues taking beautiful photos of the galaxy with your camera in hand.

The Art Of Capturing Stunning Galaxies

Whether you’re new to astrophotography or looking for a few tips, we have plenty of advice to offer you.

From finding the right equipment to tips for getting a perfect shot, this guide will lead you in the right direction.

Think About The Type Of Astrophotography You Like

There are three different types of astrophotography that require different gear and experience.

However, not everyone is interested in the same type. We’ll take a closer look at the three types of astrophotography that you may be interested in.

Wide-Angle Astrophotography

Wide-angle astrophotography is the easiest type of astrophotography for beginners.

All you need is a DSLR camera, a zoom lens, and a tripod. You rely on the camera settings to pick up light for striking images without using a telescope.

If you want to photograph the Milky Way or even the Andromeda galaxy (see also “The Best Locations For Galaxy Photography“), meteor showers, and star trails .

Another version of wide-angle astrophotography is time-lapse photography, where you put a number of images together to make a moving image.

Planetary Imaging

Otherwise known as solar system, astrophotography is planetary imaging.

Using this type of astrophotography, you can capture images of the sun and the other planets that make our solar system.

The most common object captured in this type of photography is the moon.

Deep Sky Astrophotography

Suppose you want to go further than our planets to take photographs of the nebulae, star clusters, and further away galaxies.

In that case, you will want to explore deep-sky astrophotography. You need to use a telescope to capture these objects with better detail and clarity than if they were without.

Knowing the right type of astrophotography you’re interested in is vital to finding the best equipment available to you.

Get The Right Equipment

Before you begin astrophotography, you’ll need a DSLR or SLR camera, with DSLR being the better option due to the digital components allowing you to see the raw images as you take them.

You should also have a dedicated astrophotography telescope to attach to your camera so you can partake in deep space photography, as it can increase the sharpness of your images.

We also recommend using a camera mount and a steady tripod. A tripod is better for astrophotography as it ensures your camera doesn’t become unsteady.

A camera mount can help you track your shots, allowing you to track the earth as it moves and cut down on the motion and blurriness that occurs when you photograph any objects in the night sky.

Additionally, we also recommend you get an intervalometer to control the frequency of your shots and image processing software to enhance your photographs.

Use A Star Tracker App

A star tracker app is essentially a sky map. Using one of these, you can strategize and plan where you want to shoot your photographs.

If you know where you plan to take your photo ahead of time, you can focus on optimizing your time and effort.

It also allows you to plan for any backup photos you can take in a more suitable location.

Suppose you don’t have a star tracker application. In that case, you can also invest in a star tracker that is specially made for astrophotographers.

However, not everyone has the budget to invest in one straight away.

Consider using a star tracker app first to ensure you are interested in astrophotography, and budget for one when you have more experience.

Keep An Eye On The Sky

After you check your star tracker, you’ll need to scout the area. We recommend taking any photos from a location with less light pollution.

It’s better to travel as high up as you can, or as far from the city, to take the best photos.

One way to do this is by paying attention to the moon, as a full moon will offer a bright light but may also serve as light pollution.

It’s also essential that before you take any photos, you check the weather forecast. If you go when it is dark and overcast, it could signal rain or snow on the way.

The last thing you want is to go out with all of your equipment and find your shot ruined by an unexpected change in the weather.

Use Your Camera’s Manual Mode

When you shoot your photos, you should ensure that you use your camera’s manual mode.

Using manual mode, you can select a wider aperture, ISO setting, and exposure time for your subject.

We recommend you shoot dimmer subjects with a wide aperture, but you can use tiny apertures for brighter subjects.

Using the manual function of your camera, you can play with the shutter speed and even adjust the depth of field to help sharpen your pictures.

The only aspect we don’t recommend is the autofocus setting, as you won’t have access to the light you need to capture celestial objects.

Consider A Remote Shutter Release

When doing astrophotography, it’s essential that you reduce the number of vibrations that go through your camera when taking a shot.

The best way to reduce these vibrations is by using a remote shutter release, which you can plug into the port of your camera.

Instead of pressing a button on your camera, you press the button on the cable instead.

A remote shutter release is relatively inexpensive, with wireless ones costing more than others.

However, if you don’t have a shutter release, don’t feel discouraged. You can use a timer delay instead to ensure your camera doesn’t move while taking a photo.

If you have a DSLR camera, then you should find a mirror lockup that prevents the mirror inside the camera from moving. However, if you have a mirrorless camera, you won’t have to worry about this.

The Rule Of Thirds And RAW Photo Shots

If you’re using a DSLR camera, we recommend shooting your photos in RAW instead of as a JPEG.

RAW photos are better for digital post-processing. You can enhance your photos easier than if you shoot your photographs as JPEGs.

As you shoot your photographs, to make it easier, you should also frame them. The best way to do this is to use the rule of thirds, which is 1/3rd horizon, and there are 2/3rds of sky.

Composition is essential, so you should always ensure you have an interesting foreground. These can enhance your images of space.

Consider Your ISO

When you take your photo and adjust your settings, you should consider your ISO, which is essential to the sensitivity of your image sensor.

If you increase your ISO number, your photo will become more sensitive. While you can snap shots of darker objects, the quality will become much grainier.

Use Extra Light For Long Exposure

When you use longer exposures, it’s better to use an LED headlamp to help illuminate your photo.

However, if you use short exposures, your photos will have a grainy texture, especially when you use more light.

Enhance Your Photos

You can enhance your photos using digital editing software, boosting your exposure.

This can change the feel of your image, and if you change tones and add tints, you will find an overlay of new colors in your stars.

Enhancing your photos will allow you to experiment with the different features.

If you have a high ISO setting, your photo may have more noise, and you can use noise reduction to reduce the amount of extra-colored pixels.

Final Thoughts

There are different types of astrophotography that photographers are interested in. If you’re curious about finding out more, we have plenty of advice to offer you.

Remember, not everyone needs to have professional equipment. Nowadays, you can also take stunning shots using your smartphone.

Depending on the type of astrophotography you want to practice, you may need more specialized equipment.

We hope that this guide will help you in your journey to understanding the art of capturing stunning (see also: The Art Of Capturing Stunning Bird Photos) galaxies.

Feel free to check out the rest of our site for more stunning articles on astrophotography.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Astrophotography?

Astrophotography is another name for celestial photography. It’s a genre of photography where your photos may contain all or part of the night sky and can include a wide variety of celestial objects. You can also incorporate the landscape into your Astro compositions.

How Hard Is It To Get Into Astrophotography?

Astrophotography is easier than it looks. It’s easiest when you have a DSLR or mirrorless camera with a tripod-mounted tracker.

Suppose you have the right equipment and/or the knowledge to learn. In that case, any photographer can capture amazing shots of stars, galaxies, and nebulae.

Laura McNeill
Scroll to Top