Tag Archive: techniques

Ever thought about photographing the night sky or the stars? These are a few tips and techniques to improve your shots:

Get Rural

Large towns and cities produce light pollution domes, these are not particularly desirable, moving away will  solve this problem.

Take Sample Shots

Your eyes will not be able to see all of the stars or formations in the night sky, taking sample shots is a great way to find a good subject.

  • Auto Focus – Off
  • Focus – Infinite
  • ISO – Max
  • Apature – Wide
  • Exposure – 10 to 30 seconds

These pictures will not look great, but they should help you navigate around the sky

Know where the big features are

Use a Program like Stellarium to find out where the big, important constellations are. This will enable you to know what you are photographing. Popular features are other planets in our solar system, such as Jupiter or Saturn

Don’t Forget the foreground

Adding a foreground to your pictures can really make a difference; I adds detail and can make the photo more interesting. The kind of thing to add are mountains or water.

Final Setup

Once you have found your subject, and have it squarely in your viewfinder use the following setup to ensure bright stars and a good image to work with

  • Shoot Raw – You may have to do some extra work, but viscous noise cancelling from a camera can really kill the details
  • ISO – Again this should be high 2000 to 4000 is ideal for brightness, turn down if there is too much noise in the image
  • Exposure – Keep this long, however there is a way to determine the optimal exposure time: take 600 and divide it by the focal length. So If my focal length is 20, then I can expose for 30 seconds before the stars start to leave trails.

Attribution: Many thanks to Ben Canales, who supplied information and inspiration for this post. Check out his work at: http://www.thestartrail.com

Do you have any comments or feedback?  Leave them below, or on my Flickr page; Don’t forget to rate this post below!



This is one of my long(ish) exposure pictures. I was aiming to capture multiple fireworks in a way that enhanced the view, rather than just documenting it

To achieve this I did a number of things:

  • I set up my camera on a tripod, then played around with the settings for a while.
  • After much experimentation I settled on 15 seconds as my exposure. To capture a reasonable amount of spread, whilst not over exposing the image
  • I also set my ISO down to 80, this reduced the noise in the image.
  • In terms of timing, I started the exposure before the firework launched, to be able to see the launch trail on the final image

My Personal Critique:

The colours in this photo are great, there is a range of reds and oranges throughout the image

The composition of the image is good, with the foliage framing the main subject in the centre.

In terms of  the image clarity, things could be improved. There appears to be a little vibration during the exposure, perhaps starting on a remote shutter or timer would aleviate this issue

To improve this image I would use a remote shutter and decrease the exposure slightly. However the framing should stay as it is.

Do you have any comments or feedback?  Leave them below, or on my Flickr page; Don’t forget to rate this post below!

Everyone likes to take pictures when they’re on their holidays, but how can you improve your photos? Below are my tips for better travel photography:

Be Unique

Thousands of people will have snapped the same things as you are, make your pictures unique. Different angles are a great way to achieve this.

Get off the Beaten Track

Try taking pictures of locals, or of other local buildings; Photographing other subjects, rather than just the popular landmarks gives a more complete story

Know your Equipment

This one sounds obvious, but the number of people I have met who have bought a new camera and don’t know how to use it, is unbelievable.

Be Creative

Try out a variety of techniques when taking pictures. Examples include long exposure or motion blur.

Be Colourful

Make sure the pictures you take are bright; you can always touch them up afterwards, but photos taken during a late, sunny afternoon will be better than those photoshopped.

Take photos in different Styles

Nature and action shots are a great way to fill out a travel album, pictures of local wildlife are a great example of this.

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