Trying to capture those National Geographic style Astrophotography shots can prove to be much more difficult when not equipped with some expertise.  I have fallen into this trap my self thinking that all it takes to get a nice astro shot is to open up the aperture and shoot with a long exposure.  This is definitely not the because you begin to get trailing and the whole photo turns into a bland mess.  That being said here are a few useful tips that will save you some trial and error.


  • Flashlight
  • Tripod


  • Wide open aperture
  • 500/focal length = shutter speed
  • ISO 2000 to 5000
  • Focus:
    • Go to live view
    • Zoom in on star
    • Focus of star


  • Dark night: Sliver of a Moon
  • Minimize light pollution
  • Capture interesting subject in foreground
  • Check Composition
  • Light paint tree at lower ISO
  • Layer photos in post
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