Skyward Education

I’ve recently become excited about shooting  some star photos. It is a huge learning curve for me as I do not know the first thing about manning a camera in this way. For the past couple nights I’ve been venturing out to try and capture some sky – With warmer days creeping in clear nights have become more abundant.

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I have always been more of a morning person than a night owl. Trying to keep myself up and focused has always been hard for me. I am the first to crawl into the tent on a backcountry trip and the quickest to call-it-a-day when the sun goes down. The fascination with learning to shoot star has been keeping me up and I am learning to focus my full attention even when I am ready to snuggle in.

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I’ve started with simply heading out to the driveway and trying to work with an easy shot – Just the stars and a bit of contrast with catching the edge of a tree or a corner of the house.

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“A star is a huge ball of gas held together by gravity. The central core of a star is extremely hot and produces energy. Some of this energy is released as visible light, which makes the star glow. Stars come in different sizes, colours, and temperatures. Our Sun, the centre of our solar system, is a yellow star of average temperature and size.”

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Playing with light can be really fun but also very frustrating at times for me. I love doing shots like these because I am never sure what magical scene will appear!

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Tips for working with light and stars:

Tripod! – You will be working with exposures in the tens of seconds – Something to stabilize your camera will take away a lot of frustration.
Manual Control on Camera!  – You’ll need to play around with your shutter speed and ISO to get the right settings. Still a tricky area for me!
A Wide Aperture Lens! – For Astrology photos you’ll need a lot of light and f/2.8 is what I found works! Play around with different lens sizes!

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I haven’t gotten that “ultimate” star shot yet – still learning my new camera (Canon G16 Powershot) and trying to understand, in greater detail, what I want to accomplish.

Stay tuned for some backcountry sky glitter shots in the future!

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