Moonset at Sunset with a few short star trails.

Moonset at Sunset with a few short star trails.

Williams Family - Another great session with a another great family. Even though the balloon popped while making adjustments to the “hot air balloon”, we still got some great photos. 

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Memorial Day | Thanks to everyone still making sacrifices in the military. I’ve known people who have died, committed suicide, gotten severely hurt or have been in a few close call situations while in a combat zone. It takes a lot to be in the military. Take some time to think about someone who has made the “ultimate sacrifice” or even has to sacrifice seeing their family because they are on a 7-9 month deployment. Enjoy the photos, share them, tag someone if you want, but say thanks to someone who is still serving and remember those who have died.

I had a great time with Miss Helena and her family yesterday at Roozengarde. It was her first birthday! Lots of mud, flowers, smiles and sunshine! If you like my work follow this blog or the links below.

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I had a great time chasing these two around! Talyn didn’t feel like having her photos taken today, but she ended up cooperating near the end.

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Partly cloudy skies are the best. It’s a challenge of trying to find the right balance of light being reflected from the city and and shining from the stars. 

Partly cloudy skies are the best. It’s a challenge of trying to find the right balance of light being reflected from the city and and shining from the stars. 

I’m going to show you how to take photos of the stars. These are the techniques that work for me and my set up. You may have to tweak them a little and experiment :)

You don’t need fancy or expensive gear, just a little know how and a nice location away from city lights.

Here is a list of what I usually have with me: Camera (Canon 60D), widest angle lens possible (for me I use my canon 28-135mm), tripod, and maybe wired remote. Photographers learn and are trained to use the lowest ISO possible when taking photos, but it is the complete opposite when photographing stars.

Before I go into details, I should tell you that the wider your lens is, the longer the exposure you can have without trails. For my 28-135mm, I can usually have a shutter speed of up to 30 seconds without any trails showing up. The wider the angle the longer the exposure you can have. Just a little food for thought.

The Setup

I will use the setting for the shot above.

First I set my camera’s focus point for the center mark and focus on the brightest thing in the sky, then switched the lens from auto focus (AF) to manual focus (MF). If you have a Canon lens that has a little focus window on it, you can manually set the focus to the start of the infinity mark. If you lens has IS (image stabilization, vibration compensation…) be sure to turn it off!

Plug in your wired remote. If you don’t have a remote I usually set the built in timer to 2 seconds. This just helps reduce/prevent the camera from shaking when you press the shutter button. 

Now for the important part. ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. For stars only, you want to start with the ISO high, usually at least ISO 1600, widest (lowest number) aperture you lens can do, and 15-20 seconds. The shot above was ISO 2500, F/3.5, and a 15 second shutter speed, with the built in time set to 2 seconds. I hope this helps, if you have any questions, or if I missed anything let me know :)