Techniques For Capturing Stunning Planet Photos

Our universe is stunning, filled with natural and incredible beauty. When it comes to capturing stunning photos of our amazing planets, there are lots of great techniques to help you get the best possible photos.

Techniques For Capturing Stunning Planet Photos

So, are you wondering how you can best capture these stunning photos? If so, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, you’ll have the chance to discover what telescope you’ll need, how to take great photos, and some extra tips and tricks that will help you to capture stunning planet photos(see also: How To Use Software To Enhance Your Planet Photos). Let’s dive in!

1. Select The Right Telescope 

There is a huge range of different telescopes out there, all of which will help you to capture stunning photographs of the planets (see also: How To Photograph Planets With A Telescope). Some telescopes will work better in this case than others.

It is best to choose an aperture of 8 inches or more when it comes to taking planetary images, as this will help you to capture a high-resolution image. 

You will want to look for a telescope that has a large aperture, a long focal length, and a color-corrected refractor scope. This type of telescope will ensure that you will get high-resolution images of the different planets that are unobstructed.

When you are photographing planets, reflecting telescopes are also a great choice. However, for these telescopes to work, you will need to ensure that you have a separate focal-length instrument, too.

Alongside your telescope, you will also need to ensure that you have a solid mount or tripod for these telescopes. This will keep your telescope still and stable when you are seeking out your planets.

A telescope that has an aperture of 8 inches or more is the best type of telescope for this task, however, smaller telescopes are capable of capturing some details of the planets if the conditions allow it.

2. Choose A Good Camera

The camera that you choose is very important when it comes to capturing stunning planet photos. 

DSLR Cameras 

Choosing a DSLR camera is a great choice if you are hoping to capture a good, clear image of the planets. 

Not only are DSLR cameras the best choice, but having a new camera will give you a much better chance of capturing the image in space. This is because these cameras have a large amount of light sensitivity.

These camera shutters stay open for a long time, which means that more light can enter the lens. More light means that you will get much clearer images of the night sky. 

Smartphone 

Using your smartphone is a great option when it comes to capturing an image of a planet. Smartphone cameras have a very good ability to capture stunning planet photos (see also: Tips For Capturing Stunning Nature Photos). To capture these images, simply place your phone on the eyepiece of the telescope. 

To use your smartphone to capture images in this way, you need to try out a smartphone adapter on your telescope.

3. Use Filters 

When you are taking images of your planets, it is a good idea to use filters. They have many different benefits. They can be used to enhance certain wavelengths or to stop certain wavelengths from getting to the camera. 

For instance, an infrared blocking filter is often used when photographing planets. This can block out infrared light which can sometimes oversaturate the image, causing it to be very unclear. Using this filter will result in a much clearer image.

Certain cameras have this filter installed in the camera, but in some cases, you will need to purchase this as an addition.

If you have opted for a mono camera, to take full-color images, you will need to use blue, green, and red imaging filters. To use these, you should place them in front of the camera sensor one at a time and snap an image. The color image will then be formed.

Using filters to capture stunning planet photos (see also: The Art Of Capturing Stunning Bird Photos) will result in very sharp images. Using filters will also enhance the details of the planets, picking out details that you wouldn’t be able to see without the filter. A methane band is a great filter to use for this purpose.

Extra Tips And Tricks For Capturing Stunning Planet Photos

Planetary imaging can be simple if you know what to do. It is all about gaining experience in this field. 

Allow Your Telescope To Cool

You must place your telescope outside for around two to four hours. This is so that your telescope can cool down to match the surroundings, allowing it to work more effectively.

You should ensure that you time this so that your telescope is ready when your target is in a good position in the sky. 

Line Up Your Telescope 

When you get started, the first step will be to line up your finderscope with the eyepiece view. The RA scope should then be turned on and the planet will be centered in the eyepiece. At this stage, you will want to bring the camera into action. 

Find The Planet With Your Camera 

Locating your planet should be fairly simple, and you don’t need to worry about focus at this point. Simply apply gentle pressure to the tube of the scope to find the planet if it is just outside of the frame edge.

Once you have found the planet, you should realign the finderscope so that you will be able to find it much easier next time. Then, rotate the camera so that the planet can move parallel to the bottom of the frame. 

Set Your Camera Settings 

A great technique is to focus the camera and ensure that the settings are right. You should focus on the camera to the best of your ability before you adjust the camera’s frame rate.

If your camera has contrast, brightness, or gamma, you should leave these at unadjusted levels. 

Techniques For Photographing Mercury 

Mercury is very close to the sun, so capturing an image of this planet can be very difficult. This makes it very difficult to separate the planet from the bright light.

Mercury is one of the easiest planets to spot through binoculars if you know where to look. At certain times of the day and year, you will be able to see Mercury through the naked eye.

To get the most impressive photos of this planet, you will want to take these pictures at sunrise and sunset.

Techniques For Photographing Venus 

To capture a stunning photo (see also: Tips For Capturing Stunning Landscape Photos) of Venus, you will need to ensure that you use a shorter exposure image. This is because, when you capture Venus, the sun is likely to have just set.  Venus is a very easy planet to identify because it is a bright planet. You will usually find it at dusk and it will look like the brightest star in the sky. Venus makes for great photos.

Venus will occasionally pass in front of the sun, and when this happens, it is worth a photograph! 

Techniques For Photographing Jupiter

Jupiter can be captured at any time of the day or night. It can be seen in lots of different places as it has a very long orbit.

As Jupiter is quite a big planet, you will need to ensure that you use the right lens to capture an image of it. With the right lens, you will have the chance to see some fantastic surface details.

You may be able to see some of Jupiter’s moons when you are photographing the planet. They orbit the planet, so they will always be in different positions. 

You will need a wide-angle lens to capture this planet, and it is also useful to capture it using a long exposure image. If you use a Dobsonian telescope, you will be able to easily catch a glimpse of the planet.

Techniques For Capturing Mars 

Mars has an elliptical orbit which means that the size of Mars seems to change over time. It is very close to Earth, so you will be able to see lots of different surface details in your image. 

To capture Mars, you will need simple equipment. If you are using a color camera, Mars is best when it is captured at a high altitude.

Techniques For Capturing Saturn 

Saturn is a stunning planet and one that everyone strives to capture in a photo. To capture the rings of Saturn, you will need a camera with a large magnification and focal length. You will also need a high aperture. 

Final Thoughts 

So, there you have it! After reading this article, you should understand all of the important techniques when it comes to capturing stunning planet photos (see also: Composition Techniques For Stunning Nature Photos). If you follow these techniques, you will not be disappointed with the results!

Laura McNeill
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