Astrophotography: How To Photograph The Stars | Jay (Trxlation) | Skillshare

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Astrophotography: How To Photograph The Stars

teacher avatar Jay (Trxlation), Photographer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

11 Lessons (43m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Gear

    • 3. Light Pollution And Moon Phase

    • 4. The Night Sky

    • 5. Shooting: Focusing

    • 6. Shooting: Shutter Speed

    • 7. Shooting: Aperture And ISO

    • 8. Shooting: Composition

    • 9. Shooting: Adding Light

    • 10. Reviewing Edits

    • 11. Project

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About This Class

Many photographers often limit themselves to photographing only the things they can see. In this class I'm focusing on photographing things invisible to the naked eye. In this class you'll learn the basics of astrophotography.

This class will cover how to find good locations for astrophotography, what gear to use, what settings to use, techniques to get the most out of your gear, and how to edit the images you capture.

This class is geared toward all types of photographers that at least have a basic understanding of how their cameras work.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Jay (Trxlation)



Going by the artist name Trxlation, I'm a published, award winning photographer living in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I specialize in portraits, landscape, and product photography. I've worked with brands like Google, Spotify, Coca-Cola, and more. My first taste of art was in 2012 when I started drawing- from there I progressed into photography. My goal with photography is to show people how I see the world. My vision is like a foreign language to others and my photography is the translation.

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1. Intro: as photographers were often chasing light, sometimes literally running to catch that perfect light. But in this class, we're going to slow down and we're gonna let that light run away from us. We're gonna be working in darkness. Hey, guys, Jake here, often known as tribulation and welcome to my class on Astro photography. In this class, I'm going to show you how you can find the best locations for Astro photography. I'm gonna tell you what here you can use to get the best results. But most importantly, I'm gonna give you the knowledge you need to use your year to its fullest potential. Most photographers use their cameras to capture things that they can see. But with Astro photography, we're gonna be photographing things that we can't even see with our eyes alone. That's why I love Astro photography. I remember the first time I took photos of the stars. I looked at the photos on the back of my camera for the first time, and what I saw was amazing. It was so crazy to see all these stars up in the sky that I had never even seen before. And this was all just in my backyard. Are you ready to capture amazing photos of the stars? Let's turn right into this class 2. Gear: before we head out into the field and start shooting, we need to make sure we have the right gear packed so quickly. I just want to go over some of the stuff that I keep in my camera bag. When I'm going out to shoot, ask her photography now in photography. A lot of people will say that gear doesn't matter, and it's really just about the photographer. I totally agree with that statement. But with Astro, photography here starts to become a little more important. Even if you are working with a consumer grade camera and Caitlin's, I think you can still go out and create some usable stuff. But it really starts to help when you have these upgraded lenses in gear when shooting Astro photography. So I just want to go over some of the stuff that I'm using and give you recommendations on gear to be using wind shooting Astro photography. So let's take a look at this one's right here in my bag and talk about some of its pros and cons. This is a one of five millimeter 2.8, and the fact that it's a 2.8 is great for Astro photography. That's a fairly wide aperture, and that's going to let in a lot of light, which will be really helpful when you're shooting Astro photography because is at night, which is a very low white situation. There's one disadvantage should this one so and that is its one of five millimeters. One of five millimeters is a great focal length, and with after a photography, you think that it, you know, could be cool. It produced an interesting result with that longer focal length, but the issue with it being the longer focal length is that it's going to be very limited in the shutter speed you can use when shooting. If you want to get a sharp photo of the stars, you can't use a shutter speed. But this lens that's longer than five seconds. If you were to go past five seconds, there's a chance you might start seeing some trailing and movement in the stars in your photo. Now, the length of shutter speed that you're able to use with lenses varies from one insulin's and with the one of five millimeter, the length of shutter speed you can use is about five seconds, and We know that because of the 500 rule, I'll be talking about that later in this class. So stay tuned, but let's move on and look at the lens that's in ways kind of somewhere to the one of five . This right here is my 14 millimeter 2.8, and, just like the one of five has that great 2.8 after. That's fairly wide and we got in a lot of light into your camera. It's also 14 millimeters, which, unlike the one of five millimeter, is extremely wide. And this is great when you're shooting Astro photography, because it will allow you to use longer shutter speeds and still get a sharp photo of the stars without any movement showing. Another great thing about this lens is it's affordable. This one's I think I paid around $350 for which, considering that it's a wide angle, 2.8 is very, very cheap. This specific brand is rockin on. If you're interested in picking up winds like this, I would highly recommend it. They also make a 10 millimeter version, which is specific for crop sensor cameras. If you're looking to get a new winds for after photography, I'd recommend checking this one out as they are affordable and great value. Now we've looked at ultra hide England's and a telephoto lens, But let's look at something that kind of falls in the middle. On the front of my camera here is my 24 millimeter 1.4. Like the 14 millimeter. This is a great length drafter photography because it's still wide angle. It is a bit tighter than the 14 but you're still going to be able to use some nice long shutter speeds with this lens. Another great advantage of it is it's 1.4, and that is an extremely large aperture, especially when compared to the 2.8, a 1.4 aperture is actually going to let in two extra stops of light than a 2.8 lens would. And if you're shooting on the lower in entry level DSLR, that could be the difference between you shooting at 1600 eso or 6400 eyes. So how you might not always want to be shooting at 1.4 with a 1.4 wins, but having that extra room with the aperture is gonna be great, because it will allow you to use faster shutter speeds or bring your eyes so down, which is gonna help your images out a lot. Now moving away from Windows here, Let's look at this flashlight that I have. You should always bring a flashlight when you're shooting Astro photography because it start and you're going to need some extra light. But if you have something powerful, like this light, which I think is maybe about 900 women's, this is great because you can add some fill light to your picture. Let's say you have a good exposure of the sky, but then you have some trees in the foreground. Maybe, and you want to bring some more detail into them by using this light and long exposure of your camera, your ableto add some light picture and really just bring those trees back into the photo. Besides my flashlight, another small thing to carry with me in my bag is my remote shutter release. Now this is just a cheap, small one. It's wireless and it doesn't have a lot of features, but it is nice because I can release the shutter on my camera without even touching it. And this is something that comes in handy because when you're shooting Astro photography, you're gonna be on a tripod. You'll be shooting long exposures, and if you touch your camera during a long exposure, you might bump it. It will shake around, and then your picture won't be sharp anymore. Now, if you don't have one of these, don't worry. You can use the self timer on your camera. You can set it to about five seconds and just let it sit there. What all the vibrations get out, and that's what I actually do most of the time. I don't really like using this as much. But keep in mind if you have a remote shutter release, that's something you're probably going to want to consider using. Now. Speaking of tripods, let's take a look at the tripod I'm using. This is the man photo. Be free, be free is a great travel try bond and notice that I said, Great travel, Tripod. That's because it's not a great tripod. There are better options for tripods. I could get something that would be a lot more stable, but as a result of that it would get bigger and heavier if I was to have a tripod that was bigger and heavier. I know I wouldn't be using it as much with something the size and weight of be free. It's so easy to just strap on my bag and take it out into the field. When it comes to Astro photography, really any tribe odd is going to do the job. You just need something that's going to hold your camera. Still, if you don't currently own a tripod and you're looking to get one, be sure you keep in mind the size and weight of the tripod you're looking at. If you get something that big and heavy, although it will be stable, are you actually going to be carrying it out in the field? Although the smaller compact travel tripods might not be the most stable option, I feel that in the long run, they're actually the best option, at least for me, because I know up a lot more use into them. So if you don't already have a tripod, just keep that in mind 3. Light Pollution And Moon Phase: So you've got your gear, you've got your bags packed and you think you're ready to go out And you astro photography . Now behold on. If you live in the city and you look about the sky, you'll notice that there's not really any stars to look at now. If you live out in the country away from the city, you're probably going to be good. You could just go out into your backyard at night, and you could probably get some great star photos. But if you live in the city or close to the city, you're probably gonna have to deal with light pollution during the day. If you look up at the sky, you'll see that there's no stars to be seen. And this is because the sun is so bright that you just can't see the stars stars air. Still there they don't go away. It's just that the sun is overpowering. The brightness of the star's light pollution in the city works just like this son goes away so it gets dark. But then you have so much light coming from the city that it overpowers the brightness of the stars, and you can't really see anything. So to be successful with Astro photography, you're going to need to go somewhere where there is a lot less light pollution now. Generally, this is pretty simple. You really just drive out to the middle of nowhere, and that's about it. Once you go out there, you shouldn't have really any issues with light pollution. But if you're not sure about your area or you're looking to find an area with less light pollution, there's an easy way you can do that. You can go online, and there's plenty of websites that will show a map of light pollution. You can just search light pollution map, and I'm sure you'll find some stuff that will be helpful. But there's also app so you can use if you prefer to have something on your phone on my iPhone, I use an app called dark Sky. Do you open this up? And it just shows you your normal map. But it also has an over way in the colors, like red, orange, yellow green stuff like that that shows levels of light pollution green, black, grey blue. Stuff like that is very low levels of light pollution and orange red, yellow, those air, the higher levels of light pollution. I'm actually filming this class in the yellow zone, and you would be surprised that the results you can get I'm still able to photograph the Milky Way and there plenty of stars to be seen. But if you're willing to drive a bit farther out, you could go to Green Zone or somewhere even better, and you're gonna have really, really good results out there. But I'm coming this class and a yellow zone just to show you that you can still get really good results. And yellow zones should be pretty accessible to nearly everyone. While we're speaking of light pollution, there's also another factor we need to keep in mind. And this is the moon phase. As you know, throughout the month, the moon will change its phase and it will go from being a full moon to 1/2 moon to there being really no moon to be seen at all. And, of course, the light coming from the moon shouldn't affect you as much as like coming from a city. But it is still best to be out shooting without that extra light. You can easily find out what the moon phases by going online and searching moon phase. Often the information is laid out in form of a calendar, which is great because then you can look ahead and find a good time to go out and play in your shoot. But of course, you could just look out the window one night at the moon and decide if it's a good time to go out and shoot or not. 4. The Night Sky: now, at this point, you're pretty much ready to go out and shoot. But what if you want your subject to be just more than random stars? Maybe you want to shoot the Milky Way. Or maybe there's some constellations you want to try capturing. It's up to you. But there are some tools you can use to make your job easier When you're trying to locate things such as the Milky Way or constellations, I use an app called Skyview, and this app is really awesome. When you open it up, you're presented with almost a virtual reality type layout. You can move your phone around just a ziff. You're walking around in the sky, and it will show you where everything is positioned. It will show you where all the consolations are. You can hover over them and they will outline them for you. It will also give you more information about them, and you can also figure out where the Milky Way is. Depending on what level of light pollution you're shooting in. It can be hard to locate the Milky Way, so this is an appetite often used to help me locate the Milky Way and it makes my job a lot easier. I'd recommend giving the APA try, and even if you don't end up using it that much, it's still pretty cool. It's really nice to be able to look up in the sky and figure out where everything is positioned. 5. Shooting: Focusing: Okay, guys. So we've come out here in the field, and before we start shooting, the first thing we need to do is focus. Now it's very dark. And if you look at the stars, your camera really isn't going to be able to see anything up there. So auto focus is not an option here. We're gonna have to manual focus entirely now, up in the sky, we do have the moon, which is going to be the brightest thing in the sky right now, and that's what I intend to focus on. So all I'm going to do is put my camera and wide view going to find the moon, which on my screen just looks like a tiny little white speck. But what I'm able to dio is just zoom in like I would if I was previewing a picture on the back of my camera in wide view. I can also zoom in that way and I can make the moon. I can magnify it a lot more so I can get a better view of it. Once I zoom in there, I switched my camera to manual focus. The reason I'm going to do this is because I don't want to be pressing the shutter button and have my camera try to auto focus. If that was to happen, then the focus would just get thrown off completely and I'd have to start over. So I zoomed in on the moon here, and it's really just a white speck on my screen. I can't see any detail of them, but what I can do is slide my focus, ring back and forth until the moon the little white spots becomes a small as possible. Once it becomes a smallest possible. I know that I'm in focus, so I'm just gonna twist this right here while looking at the moon. So after twisting the focus ring back and forth, I can see that the moon, the little white speck, is now at its smallest point, and I can look on my lens and I can see that it's set to infinity now. It would be a lot simpler to just come out here and set my winds to infinity. But the reason I can't do that is because you can't always trust the markings on your lens . A lot of wins is will show you where infinity is set on your focus ring and also other distances, Um, written out in feet and meters, but sometimes with budget lenses and third party ones is those aren't known to have the most accurate markings when it comes to their focus. So it's always great to just be sure and double check in live you to make sure that my focus is set. Right now, a lot of people will say All you have to do is set your Flynn's to infinity and back a little bit. Now this statement holds some truth, but for the most part it's wrong when people say set your lens to infinity and back a little bit. What they're typically meaning is just rack your linds until the focus ring won't turn anymore, and then just turn it back a little bit now with most lenses. If you did that, that would actually end up setting your focus right at infinity. The reason for this is most lenses will actually focused past infinity, and if you're winds happens to go past infinity, it will be out of focus. You will not get a sharp picture that way. However, there are some lenses that hard stop at infinity now. None of the lenses I own do that, but there are someone's is that do that, and you need to be aware of that. So let's say you had a lens that hard stops at infinity. You would find if you were to follow the advice of setting your winds to infinity and back a little bit. Your lens would actually be set a little in front of infinity, and this would depending on your aperture and wins Focal Inc Result in your picture being out of focus, so just keep in mind when you are focusing your lens. It's really just best to zoom in on the moon or a really bright star, if possible, and just set your focus there, however, generally setting your limbs to infinity. True infinity not setting it to the end or setting it to infinity and going back a little bit. Just setting your lens to true infinity, for the most part, is going to be the proper place Toe. Have your focus set when shooting Astro photography 6. Shooting: Shutter Speed: Alright, guys. So now our focus is set. What we need to do now is find the proper exposure. So the first thing we're gonna start with is shutter speed. We're gonna go ahead and find our baseline shutter speed, and from there we will continue to find the proper exposure. Now, when you look up at the night sky and you see the stars, it looks like they're still It doesn't look like they're moving, But actually earth is moving and the stars are moving. There's a lot of movement going on. The stars are very far away, so this movement isn't really visible to the human eye. But over a long period of time, the movement can be noticed. And since it's so dark and our cameras have their limits, we're gonna have to use a really long shutter speed or the longest one possible to make sure we can let in lots of light to our camera. Now, over these multiple second exposures that we're gonna be taking the movement of the stars might become apparent depending on our focal ing's. Now, Currently, I have my 14 millimeter 2.8 on, and I know that with this one's the longest shutter speed I can use is about 30 seconds. I know this. Because of the 500 rule, The 500 rule is just kind of a simple formula that you can plug your lens focal length into to figure out what shutter speed you can use to take a picture and still maintain a sharp photo of the stars. All you do is take your calculator out into 500 divide it by your focal length. So since this is the 14 millimeter lens, I can divide 500 by 14 and it actually comes out to 35 seconds, I believe. But my camera will go down to 30 seconds, and for me, that's gonna be long enough. I typically like to make my shutter speed a little bit shorter than the 500 rule will allow , and this just gives me some extra room to make sure that I am getting a sharp photo. Now, keep in mind. The 500 rule is meant to be used with lenses on a full frame camera. If you are shooting with a crop sensor camera, the focal length listed on your lens isn't going to be the 35 millimeter or full frame equivalent of that focal length to find the true 35 millimeter focal length of your lens if it's on a crop sensor camera, if you're shooting on Nikon or Sony, you're gonna have to multiply that number by 1.5. If you're shooting on Canon, you're gonna have to multiply your number by 1.6. If you're shooting on a different make of camera, make sure you know what the actual crop factor is. That way you can get your math right and figure out the proper shutter speed. So I'm gonna go ahead and set my camera shutter speed to 30 seconds. Now, once I set my camera to 30 seconds, I am about ready to go ahead and take my first test shot. But before I do that, I need to make sure I put my camera in self timer vote. The reason I want to do this is I'm not using a remote shutter release. This means to take my picture. I'm actually going to have to touch my camera. If I was to release the shutter on my camera, normally I would be touching the camera while I released it. And that might introduce some vibration and shake into the camera, which would ruin the sharpness of my photo. So I'm going to go ahead and put this in self timer mode. Now I'm going to go in my camera settings, and I'm going to set the self timer to five seconds. This should give me plenty of time to get my hands off the camera and make sure everything is held still. All right, now I have myself. Time are turned on and I have it set to five seconds. I have my shutter speed set to 30 seconds, which, according to the 500 rule, should be the correct shutter speed to be using. And I also have my focus set, which we focused on the moon. So at this point, I am ready to go ahead and take my first test shot for my exposure. Now, I'd like to note that my settings right now are also 2000 I s O at F 2.8. These settings were just already set. When I turn my camera on, I haven't changed anything. We're gonna go ahead and just figure out the exposure here on our own. But just for starters, this is where things happen to be. I always like to set my shutter speed first. And once I find that, that's kind of just my baseline. And it's the setting that I know I won't change for the rest of the night. Once I find the longest shutter speed I can use while still getting a sharp photo of the stars, I'm just gonna keep it there from they're all just my eyes so and exposure to make sure I confined team that exposure and get it right now we're done taking her picture. So let's go ahead and look at what we got. So right now, with their composition, we still are pretty much walked in on the moon in the center of our frame. And for now, that's fine. Composition is the thing we're gonna hit last right now. We're just looking to find our exposure. Now I consume in on the stars and I can see that they're pretty sharp. This is because of 500 rule are shutter speed was at 30 seconds. So things are looking nice and sharp right now, so I just zoomed in on the photo, looked at the stars and they're nice and sharp now. They should be sharp because we followed the 500 rule. We divided 500 by 14 which is the focal length of the lens currently on my camera. Now, the exposure is looking pretty good right now. So what I'm going to go ahead and do is just change lenses and go ahead and take a photo with the exact same settings. And then I'm going to show you the difference in sharpness of the stars. So just to make things really extreme, I'm gonna go ahead and switch from my 14 to my 105 There's gonna be a very big difference in Foca links between these lenses. Alright, guys. So I went ahead and put my 105 on here. The settings are still the same. I went ahead and set focus on the moon. So let's go ahead and take another picture and see what it looks like. Now, while this picture is taking, I'd like to mention that when I'm doing stuff like this, I don't like to be moving around on the ground and the reason for this is there could be, you know, some roots may be going across the ground that could go underneath my feet as well as my tripod. I really don't think there's anything like that right now, but there is a chance that something like that could be there. And if I was to move around, I might end up moving my tripod around as well. Now this picture went ahead and finished exposing. So let's go ahead and see what things are looking like. No zooming in here. I can already see the stars, and I can see trails in them. They are not sharp, like with the 14 millimeter you can now see that they are kind of dragged out a bit. And you can tell that there's movement, the stars air drawn out and showing trails now because we were shooting at 30 seconds with a 105 millimeter. If we were to fall of the 500 rule, we would be using about a five second shutter speed. So I'm going to go ahead and change this to four seconds, which would the 500 rule and so leaving a bit more room to be safe four seconds is going to be the right shutter speed. So I'm going to go ahead and change that, and I'm also going to bring my i s so up just a little bit to compensate for that. But let's go ahead and take a picture with those settings and compare results. Now, would this picture I kept my aperture at 2.8. I adjusted to shutter speed up to four seconds and my i s so I had to bring it up so high to compensate that it's now out of my cameras native eso range. I'm now in the high or extended mode. And you know you're not gonna be getting good performance in those modes if they're not your cameras native, I s O. So this just goes to show that really, these longer lenses are not ideal when shooting astro photography. Now, let's go ahead and look at the picture that we just took and zooming in here. I can now see that the stars are much sharper than in the previous photo. There is no longer trailing. They are still about the same exposure, but they're sharp. They look why expects they look how they should, Assuming that we're going for a photo where the stars are sharp. Now that we found our baseline shutter speed here, let's go ahead and move on and fine tune this exposure. 7. Shooting: Aperture And ISO: Okay, guys. So we've gone ahead. We found our baseline shutter speed, and we've already locked in our focus. So at this point, it's time to go ahead and fine tune our exposure. Now for my current settings. My aperture is at 2.8 my eyes. So is at 2000 and my shutter speed is at 20 seconds. I'm currently shooting on my 24 millimeter 1.4, and because of the 500 rule, I already know that 20 seconds is going to be my baseline shutter speed. That's gonna be the longest shutter speed I can use while still getting a sharp photo of the stars. So what, I'm going to go ahead and do is just take a test shot to see what everything is looking like. And from there we're gonna see what kind of adjustments need to be made to our exposure. Okay, so this is done taking the picture. So let's go ahead and look at it Now, looking at the stars in this photo, we can see that they're sharp. So we know our shutter speed is good for sure, and it is looking a little bit bright now that is kind of because we're shooting directly at the moon right now. We were trying to walk in our focus, and the moon is what we were focusing on. So we still have that composition at the moment. But things are looking pretty good. We probably could go a little bit darker now. I'm currently shooting at 2.8 and this is a 1.4 lens, so I still have two more stops of light where I could open up my aperture and just make that even larger, which would allow me to bring my i s o down even more Now I'm at 2000 eyes. So which my camera handles that fine. But because I still have extra room with my aperture, I think I'm going to go ahead and open it up just a little bit more so I can bring my i s o down even more and get a much cleaner image. Now opening my aperture up to F two is going to make this picture a stop brighter And it was already over exposed. So since we change one setting going to go ahead and drop down my I s o by one stop just so we know that our exposure should still be the same from our previous image. So I've dropped my eyes. So down to 1000. So the picture we were just looking at, I know that if I was to take a picture right now, it would look exactly like the previous image. So the picture that we just took it was a pretty good exposure, but I feel like it could be darkened just a little bit. It is still a little bit right for my taste. So what I'm going to go ahead and do is just drop my eye so down by 1/3 and we're gonna go ahead and take one more test shot and see what this looks like now. Now, while I'm waiting for this picture to finish taking, I can go ahead and say that you can see aperture and I so they were normally just like they would if you're shooting any other type of photos with your camera. Shutter speed is really the only aspect of Astro photography where things are a little bit different. So this picture finished taking Let's go ahead and look at it and see what we have now. Looking at this picture, I can tell it is a little bit darker than our previous image, which I like. I think that looks good. It's kind of bringing out a bit more color in the sky because it's darker. So that's nice. And overall, I think this is probably gonna be the right exposure for tonight. And the nice thing is, since it's at night, the light really isn't changing. So this means, you know, I'm shooting in manual mode. I don't have to worry about changing my exposure for the rest of the night. Now, if I wanted to get creative and start playing around with differences in my shutter speed, you know, I might change some stuff there. But it is nice to know that I could just leave these settings locked, and now I can just focus on shooting. So with that being said, let's go ahead and move on and start composing or next photo 8. Shooting: Composition: Alright, guys. So we've got our focus set. We've got our exposure, walked in and now what's great is we can just go ahead and focus on composing our foe. So it's dark out here and we can't really see anything looking through, live you on my camera or even through the viewfinder. There's really not a whole lot that I can see. So really, all we have to do here when it's dark is just point our camera in the general direction, take a picture and see what things look like. Now I want to be shooting the Milky Way tonight and using my Skyview app, I was able to see that the Milky Way is positioned right up there in the sky. So I currently have my camera pointed in that general direction. But really, I don't know if it's where I want it to be. So let's go ahead and just take a picture here and see what things are looking like. All right, we're done taking the picture. Let's go ahead and have a look. Okay? And right there I can see the Milky Way. It's almost in the center of my friend and I can also see that an airplane flew through my photo and that was pretty cool. You kind of have a nice light trail coming through here Now. Some people might not like the way that looks, but I think it's an interesting addition to the photo, so that's really cool. Now, as far as composition goes, I would prefer the Milky Way to be in the center of my frame, and I can also see we do have some trees here at the bottom of my friend. I would prefer them to be going fully across the bottom of my friend. You can see here in the bottom right hand corner. There's no trees down there. I'd prefer for that to be even all across the bottom. So really, as faras, the height of my image goes. It should be good here, but I do need to rotate my camera to the left a little bit more, and that should fix my composition issues. So I'm going to go ahead and just loosen this a little bit, move it over to the left and when I move it over to the left, what I do is I look at the picture I just took and I kind of pretend that that's my live you and I'm looking through here. And as I move my camera, I kind of imagine the picture on the back of my camera moving as well. That's kind of a weird way to do it, but I find that it usually works better than just doing this all in complete darkness. So you might want to try that if you're looking for a better way to fine tune your composition. So I moved my camera going to go ahead and make sure my tripod is tight and let's go ahead and take our next photo. Okay, this picture is done. Let's go ahead and look at it. All right. So now you can see the trees are positioned a little more evenly in the frame. However, at the bottom left hand corner, I can see that there's kind of an empty space, but then we can see just the tips of tree branches starting to come in, and I can tell that if I was to move my camera just to the right just slightly, then I could have all these trees right here positioned evenly centered at the bottom of a frame. And right now, I feel like that's gonna be the best composition for this shot. So I'm gonna go ahead and just loosen my tripod again. I'm looking at the picture on the back of my camera, kind of pretending that's live you and I'm just gonna move this slightly and right there, I kind of feel like I moved it enough. So we're going to go ahead and make sure this is tight again. Looking at this picture, just see if there's any more changes I want to make. I feel like right now we do have the main area of the Milky Way in the center of the frame . So that's great. So we're gonna go ahead and take this picture and see what things look like. Okay, This picture has finished processing. Let's go ahead and look at it. All right. So I can see that the tree branches I was talking about on the far left bottom corner, Those air now gone, we pretty much have the trees in the middle of my frame with even spacing on the left and right sides of them. The Milky Way is pretty much in the center of the image. So that's great. And really, this is where I'm gonna leave my composition for tonight. I'm pretty happy with the shot. So what you can take away from this right here is that when it's dark, there's really just not a whole lot you can dio. All you have to do is just take a picture, look at it. And if you want to adjust your composition after that, you just have to base it off The previous picture you took, it's kind of hard, but really, that's the only thing you can do in a situation like this. 9. Shooting: Adding Light: So we found a composition we've got that walked in, and at this point, I couldn't go ahead and just call it a night. But looking at the picture that I've taken, I'm seeing that we have a silhouette of trees at the bottom of my friend. Now, I think that looks kind of cool, and I would be all right leaving that there, but wow, out here. I just want to continue playing around and show you some of the other things you can do when you're shooting like this at night. So what I'm gonna do is I'm going to take this flashlight that I have right here, and I'm going to just shine it up on the trees and kind of paint across them pretending that the flashlight is a paintbrush. While I'm taking my picture now because we're shooting with long exposures, specifically 20 seconds right now with this exposure, that's going to give me plenty of time to add light to this photo. And since it's a long exposure, I'm not just limited to the one area that my life is able to hit while I take that picture . This way, in fact, is a bit too tight of a beam to actually cover all of the trees. Now, if I would shooting a normal photo with a very fast shutter speed If I wanted to light the trees, I would be limited to just holding this right here and taking the picture with what the light is able to hit of the trees. But since we have this one exposure, I'm able to do what's called light painting. And I can utilise the long exposure to be moving my flashlight across the frame, covering all of the trees. And over the 20 seconds that my shudder is going to be open, it's going to gather all that light and bring it all together in the final image. So let me go ahead and demonstrate that here. Now, when I'm going to do this, I'm gonna be careful to kind of step back and make sure that my light doesn't get too close to my limbs. If it was to shine right across my lens or be shining kind of close to my lends, there is a chance I could introduce some flair or even in the picture. It could pick up some bugs flying around which you've probably seen in the video. You're watching right now. So when you do this, you just want to kind of stay away from the camera little bit, give it some room, but really, that's all we have to keep in mind when you're doing this. Now, before I take this, I want to just double check real quick and make sure I have the right power setting on my light. Okay? I feel like right here is probably going to be good. It might be a little too bright, but we're gonna go ahead, just take a picture and see what it looks like. So self timers on right now, this is getting ready to shoot, and it's taking the picture now. So I'm going to do is hold my flashlight up kind of high. So it's, you know, nice and away from the lens on my camera. And I'm quickly just going to move it across just like that over the trees. And that's all I need to dio. I don't need to hold it there any longer. I can just quickly go over like that and once those pictures done taking, we should see the trees lit up, Okay. And looking at the picture now, you can now see detail and more color in the trees. Now, I probably could make it a little bit brighter. Now you can see from our previous picture compared to the one we just took. Would that added White? It brings more detail into the picture and kind of enhances it. But I'm going to go ahead and up the power on my flashlight. One setting and let's go ahead and take another picture here. I'm gonna do the same thing, and we're going to see what that change in brightness looks like. So again, I'm just stepping back from my camera a little bit, holding the flashlight high. And I'm just going to quickly go over these trees right here, and we're gonna leave it at that. Okay? This picture is done taking. Let's go ahead and look at it. All right. So you can see that's a bit too bright right there. The trees air now kind of overpowering the stars. And I don't really like that. So I feel that the previous picture with the lower level of light, that's probably going to be the real winner here because this one is just too bright, this one. We probably could enhance it a little bit more in light room as long as you have some added light. And there where the cameras now picking up detail. It's going to make your job a lot easier in light room. Now, with light painting stuff like this, there's so much room to get creative and really take this into consideration. When you're shooting your project, take your flashlight. Get in front of your camera and play around. Shine your flashlight away from your camera. Shine your flashlight towards your camera, keep it moving around. Maybe hold it still. Turn it on, then off. Change different positions there so, so much stuff you can do here. You can do some really interesting layers of light, depending on what subjects you have in your foreground. And you could also draw some designs with light painting, just shining the flashlight towards the camera. There's so many techniques when it comes to light painting, you can get really creative here. So when you are putting together your projects for this class, put a lot of thought into what you want to do for a white painting. If that's something you are going to do and get really creative with it, 10. Reviewing Edits: now we're done shooting. I already went out and shot the project that I'm going to be submitting for this class. I've gone ahead and applied my edits to it in light room. And I just want to go over these two pictures right here and kind of show you what I did to them. So let's go ahead and take a look at these. So this picture was taken now on the side of a mountain and right here there was like a tunnel of trees. And I ran up there, did some light painting just to add to that the moon was up here, which was illuminating all of this stuff. I did use theater, just mint brush. You could see in some areas, add a bit of more detail here and bring up more detail in the sky. I also ended up using spot removal. Teoh, take myself out of the picture right here. This is the before edit. This is the after just gonna go down here and just kind of show you what I did. Not a whole lot to see. I didn't do a ton of stuff this, but overall, I'm pretty happy with this picture like the way it came out. There was a lot of clouds that night, which usually isn't a good thing, But it was kind of interesting to see. You know what kind of photos we could get with the clouds. It just adds more detail and stuff to look at in the sky. So that's kind of cool. This is the other picture I took and you can see there's a lot more clouds. This picture was taken before this one was taken later. This one right here So you can see just between that amount of time, how much the clouds moved. It's quite crazy to see that, um, with this one, I got my flashlight out and I shown it up into the sky. And because there were bugs and like, dust flying around in front of it, the light from the flash light reflected off of that. And that's why it looks like the flashlight shining out an actual being right here you can see the Milky Way. Some of it is kind of behind the clouds. And up here. I was kind of having some issues getting photos of it tonight just because of the lighting situation. There's really just not a whole lot I could do in that situation. But you can still kind of see it. This one. It's like pretty much covered by the clouds. They were moving in pretty fast, but I think this picture right here is the real winner for the night. This one is pretty cool with the light, but I think there's just too many clouds in this one. I mean, it's still a very musical picture, I guess. But this one I would consider more usable just because you can actually see the Milky Way kind of and there's less clouds. You can see more of the stars, but, yeah, these two pictures are what I'm going to be submitting from my project for this class, pretty happy with how they came out. Overall, I think this is the stronger image, but I'm still going to be including this one, just to show this other technique that you could do with a light painting. If you do want to Seymour on how I edit my pictures in White Room, you can check out my class on developing your editing style in Adobe White Room in that class. I break down the entire develop module in light room. I go through every one of these tools over here on the right and show you what they all do to your photo. So if you need help with editing, go check out that class. Sure, you'll learn a lot. 11. Project: now that you've learned how to shoot? Asked her photography, It's time to go. Apply those skills on your own. Your project for this class is to submit a few pictures that you've taken from the skills you learned in this class. When you submit your photos, mentioned what settings you're using and also share what the level of light pollution was like for your area. With people submitting projects from lots of different places, I think it will be interesting to see what kind of results people are getting, depending on their area. Remember in this class, I just showed you the general guidelines of Astro photography. There's still so much room for you to get creative, whether that be by adding something true light painting or playing around with exposure times. Try to get creative with your pictures. I'm really looking forward to seeing what you guys can create