Photographing Stars at Monument Valley

On our recent Photo Adventure in Monument Valley , Participants woke early every morning, and photographed into the night.  Our mission was to learn how to photograph the night sky at Monument Valley and in other locations in Southeast Utah.

  1. White Balance set for “daylight”
  2. Focus before darkness sets in (very important)
  3. Shut off all auto settings:  Focus, Image Stabilization, Modes
  4. Tape up the focus and zoom rings on your lens.
  5. Set your intervalometer (or plan to use your cable release and a timer)
  6. Images of the stars that are longer than 15 seconds show some of the earth’s movement.
  7. Experiment:  an exposure that is f-wide open, 5-10 seconds works well, ISO high, noise reduction off.
  8. Do not trust the LCD once your eyes adjust to the darkness.  Take a look at your histogram.

At our locations, we set up the scene, focussed in the daylight, set up the f-stop, shutter speed and ISO and then left the camera set up on the tripod, coming back to it after dark.  Headlamps and flashlights helped.

An example of a moonlit landscape, with stars above.  You can see by the moving clouds that the exposure was long, about 10 seconds.

An example of a moonlit landscape, with stars above. You can see by the moving clouds that the exposure was long, about 10 seconds.

 

Here are a few links to information.

Star Circle Academy, Steven Christenson, Harold David, Eric Harness

Matt Kloskowski’s Blog, Matt uses a single shot recipe, he shoots multiple images at the same settings, and then “stacks” those images.  The advantage of stacking is that each exposure adds up to the full image, but without all the noise of a long exposure.

 

Advertisements

One thought on “Photographing Stars at Monument Valley

  1. Hi Kit,

    Love your night time Mittens shot. I am interested in trying Matt Kloskowski’s single shot recipe. It sounds interesting.

    Carol

Please let me know what you think about this post

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s