How To Photograph Shooting Stars

When we think of nighttime photography, capturing these types of images can seem tricky initially. They are, however, also some of the most beautiful and spectacular images you could have stored on your camera.

How To Photograph Shooting Stars

One of the most popular nighttime images that photographers covet is shooting star photos. These can make up some of the most breathtaking images in your portfolio. 

But, how exactly do you take an amazing photograph of shooting stars? Well, there are a few tips and tricks that you need to follow to get your images just right.

Thankfully, we’ve compiled this handy guide that will help you out on your journey to photographing the perfect shooting star. 

To find out more, simply keep reading below, as we take a closer look. 

Find The Right Camera Settings

The first step to getting your perfect shooting star images is to simply choose the right camera settings. Although this may sound straightforward, there are a few things that you need to consider before selecting the right ones for nighttime photography. 

First of all, you’ll need to grab a digital camera, any DSLR will work well for the job.

After you’ve got your camera, the first thing that you’re going to need to do is to turn off the automatic focus function. You want to be able to control the focus yourself, so go ahead and change this setting to manual. 

After you’ve done this, you’re going to want to go ahead and increase the ISO. In general, the higher the ISO number, the more sensitive your camera lens will be to moving objects.

You may notice that the images themselves are more grainy in terms of appearance, but this can’t really be helped, as you require that high ISO in order to conduct nighttime photography. 

Another thing that you’re going to want to play around with is the exposure time. You want to choose a setting that has an exposure time of about 25 seconds.

If you choose a shorter one, you won’t be able to get the best image of the shooting star, as the lens won’t be able to capture the trail behind it. 

Finally, another thing that you’re going to want to play around with a little bit is the aperture. The aperture dictates how bright the stars in your images are going to be.

You want to choose a setting that’s on the higher end of the spectrum, as this will help to let in as much light as possible. We don’t recommend that you go overboard, however, as choosing an aperture that’s too high can cause the images to appear blurred. 

Where Do You Want To Capture Your Photograph? 

How To Photograph Shooting Stars

The next question that you’re going to need to ask yourself is, where do you want to capture your photographs? There are obviously a number of different settings that you could choose from to photograph your shooting star, even in your own backyard. 

We would, however, recommend going that extra mile, and try choosing a background that’s a little more interesting to look at. We would choose somewhere that’s steeped in nature, and has lots of natural objects such as trees to frame the image. 

Forests work really well, as the trees act as silhouettes against the backdrop of the sky. We would recommend that if you are planning on capturing an entire scene with your photography, that you choose a fish eye lens to get as much in as possible. 

In addition to all of this, we would recommend that you take your image facing away from the surface of the moon. Having the moon in your images will lighten the whole photograph, and drive away from the beauty of the stars you’ve captured. 

Finding The Right Timing 

Anybody who’s been capturing night time scenes for a while will tell you that the most important part of this type of photography is finding the right timing.

Some of you may be tempted to take your photographs during the nighttime, when the light is just beginning to lower. We would, however, recommend that you actually take your photographs during early morning instead. 

But, why? We hear you ask. Well, the reason why it’s a good idea to take your photographs during the earliest point of the morning, rather than the nighttime is purely because there is less light pollution. This will allow you to take the clearest photograph possible. 

We would also recommend, as we mentioned above, that you take your photograph in a non-urban area. This way, you’ll be able to capture the full beauty of your shooting star in a completely natural surrounding. 

Final Thoughts 

To sum up, one of the most important aspects of photographing a shooting star is making sure that you’ve timed things properly. Take your photos during early morning, when there is less light pollution. 

In order to take the perfect shooting star image, you also need to make sure that the aperture is high and wide enough, so that you can get as much light coming through as possible.

In addition to this, make sure that the ISO is as high as possible, as this will allow you to capture the clearest image of the night’s sky. Finally, choose an exposure time of around 25 seconds, to capture the trail following the shooting star. 

Laura McNeill
Scroll to Top