Checklist for Night Sky Photography including Milky Way
by Jeffrey Sward E
 
Equipment
 
  • Fish-eye or 14mm equivalent
  • Optical SLR
  • Angle finder
  • Heavy tripod
  • Tripod bracket to allow camera to point vertical.
    • Center of gravity of camera plus lens directly above tripod midpoint.
    • Three way stitching such as Manfrotto 303SPH Multi Row QTVR Spherical Pan Head work well
  • Torpedo level
  • Small flashlight
  • Remote shutter release cable
  • Air brush. Vertical facing lenses need to be checked regularly for debris
 
Technique
 
  • Adjust camera back to level with lens pointed upward
  • Field of view determined by lens. Unique Canon fish-eye zoom useful. Can cover whole sky as circle or partial sky as full frame
  • Starting exposure 30 sec f5.6 ISO 3200
  • Do not use shutter speed greater than 30 sec. Star trails get too long
  • Adjust exposure with f-stop or ISO, not shutter speed
 
Locale and Timing
 
  • Black sky achieved no sooner than three hours past sunset
  • New moon
  • Avoid light pollution. Check light pollution maps
  • Clear sky no clouds
  • Unobstructed viewpoint. Avoid trees and buildings.
 
 

All written content of this web site is solely the editorial opinion of Jeffrey Sward. All images, graphics, and written content of this web site, including the html files, are creative products covered by copyright law. All content copyright Jeffrey Sward 1975-2017. All rights reserved. No portion of this web site or its constituent elements may be reproduced in any form, by any means, without prior written permission. So there.