Over the last months I have experimented a bit with night and astrophotography. By astrophotography I mean the classical landscape photography of the night sky with different objects in the foreground, see the photos below. I am not talking about photography of individual astronomical objects using more advanced camera setups and accessories such as star trackers, amateur telescopes, etc. here – I will leave that for later.

The Molonglo radio telescope in front of the Milky Way and the South Celestial pole.
The Molonglo radio telescope in front of the Milky Way and the South Celestial pole.

The lack of light is the main problem with this kind of photography which places high requirements on the equipment used as well as the shooting and post-processing technique. As a rough guideline, a properly exposed photo of the Milky Way requires a 30 seconds exposure at ISO 6400 at an f-stop of 2.8. Unless you use a star tracker, or want to photograph star trails, the focal length of the the lens used determines the maximum exposure time possible before stars become trails. Therefore ultra-wide angle lenses with focal lengths shorter than 24 mm and lenses with large maximum apertures of f/2.8 or below are best.

Here are the photos. Enjoy!

The skyline of the Canadian Rocky Mountains at sunset seen from Banff national park.
The skyline of the Canadian Rocky Mountains at sunset seen from Banff national park.
Sunset as seen through the trees in the Victorian high country in Australia.
Sunset as seen through the trees in the Victorian high country in Australia.
My tent in front of the night sky in the Grampians national park.
My tent in front of the night sky in the Grampians national park.
Orionid meteor shower at Uluru/Ayers Rock in the Northern Territory, Australia.
Orionid meteor shower at Uluru/Ayers Rock in the Northern Territory, Australia.
Melbourne from above at night.
Melbourne from above at night.