It doesn’t matter what you can see, it’s about what you can capture.

Today, we’re diving into the nitty-gritty of our camera settings. Remember – your camera is a mini time machine, so understanding ISO, aperture, and shutter speed is key to capturing stunning astrophotography shots

Photo by PhotoMIX Company:

Let’s start with ISO. This controls your camera’s sensitivity to light. For astrophotography, you’ll usually want a high ISO, around 1600 to 3200, to capture the faint light from stars. All those photons can get pretty faint after traveling for millions of years.

Next is aperture. This is the opening in your lens that lets light in. For night shots, you want a wide aperture, like f/2.8 or lower, to allow as much light as possible. Don’t worry if your lens isn’t that fast; just use the fastest – or widest – aperture you have.

Finally, shutter speed. This is how long your camera’s sensor is exposed to light. For stars, a shutter speed of 15 to 30 seconds is ideal. Too long, and you’ll get star trails unless that’s your goal.

Combine these settings to get the right exposure. It might take some experimenting, but that’s part of the fun! Most time machines—I mean, cameras—have a setting called bracketing where the camera will automatically take a series of images with different exposure settings. Go ahead and try this if your camera has it, and see which exposure setting gives the best results.

In our next episode, we’ll talk about focusing in the dark and some tips for getting sharp images. Until then, clear skies, happy shooting, and I’ll see you…in the dark!