Nightscapes: Landscape Astrophotography

, Photographer / Creator of Lonely Speck

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Danae Hudson

Danae Hudson


Joao Vitor Grilo

Joao Vitor Grilo


Diana Southern

Diana Southern


Class Project

Capture a unique nightscape self-portrait with the Milky Way as your background

About the Class

Gain a new perspective on your universe that most people will never experience firsthand. This class will teach you all the tools necessary to photograph beautiful nighttime landscapes under the Milky Way.

Whether you are a beginner that just got their first Digital SLR or a professional photographer looking to branch out into astrophotography for the first time, NIGHTSCAPES will teach you a unique form of photography that pushes the bounds of what you thought was possible with your camera. 

To begin, we will cover the bare essentials of astronomy needed to plan an astrophoto shoot. You will learn about light pollution and how to find the best dark sky locations near your hometown, the phases of the moon, and how to find important stars, constellations, and the Milky Way galactic plane.

You’ll use your new astronomy knowledge to plan your first astrophoto shoot.

NIGHTSCAPES will provide new insight to exposure settings for beginners and seasoned photographers alike.

You will learn how to use your equipment to its extreme in the context of astrophotography, including how to approach f-stop, ISO sensitivity and shutter speeds. You'll learn about the best equipment choices and how to select gear for astrophotography. 

We'll cover shooting techniques for focusing in the dark, capturing and composing landscapes with the Milky Way, and painting with light. 

For the NIGHTSCAPES class project, you'll create a collection of landscape astrophotographs and a unique self-portrait with the Milky Way as your background.

You'll showcase your photographs in the Student Gallery and provide feedback for your classmates.

Your final project will include making a unique nightscape self-portrait. 

A Note from the Instructor:

The camera is the paint brush for everyone. With it, we can communicate difficult ideas in a way that's faster than written words and quicker than many other art forms. It's the art medium for the masses, and that's what makes the camera so very special to all of us.

NIGHTSCAPES is about gaining a new perspective on your universe and capturing it with your camera. 

I'll see you in class. 


More Information

No prior photography knowledge is needed, but you will need the following equipment:

Digital SLR (DLSR) or equivalent camera with the following features:
-Manual exposure [M] mode
-Large imaging sensor size (4/3", APS-C or Full-Frame)
-High ISO sensitivity (ISO 3200 or higher preferred)
Wide angle lens (focal length of 24mm or shorter preferred.)
Headlamp or flashlight
Computer (running Windows, Mac or Linux)
RAW photo editor (Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, Apple Aperture, Rawstudio, Raw Therapee, Darktable, Canon Digital Photo Professional, Nikon Capture NX, etc.)
I recommend Adobe Lightroom. Free 30-day trials available at

Note: It's also very helpful to have a smartphone with iOS, Android or Windows Phone for downloading a star chart app.

Level: Beginner

School: Photography

Related Subjects: Digital Photography, Night Photography, Astrophotography, Portrait Photography, Astronomy

At a Glance

  • 8 Video Lessons (28m)
  • 529 Students
  • 100% Positive Reviews (11)
  • Self-Paced Online Class

About the Teacher

Ian Norman

Ian Norman

Photographer / Creator of Lonely Speck

I am a professional photographer in Los Angeles, California and creator of, where I share techniques in astrophotography, write about my travels, and host private and g...

100% Positive Reviews

Katie R

Katie R

I'm always on the lookout for new skills to master in photography and Ian gave me great instructions how how to master astrophotography! The class was entertaining and full of helpful ...

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