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.
- White Balance set for “daylight”
- Focus before darkness sets in (very important)
- Shut off all auto settings: Focus, Image Stabilization, Modes
- Tape up the focus and zoom rings on your lens.
- Set your intervalometer (or plan to use your cable release and a timer)
- Images of the stars that are longer than 15 seconds show some of the earth’s movement.
- Experiment: an exposure that is f-wide open, 5-10 seconds works well, ISO high, noise reduction off.
- 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.
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.
- How To Photograph Star Trails (digital-photography-school.com)
- Long Exposure Landscape Photography – These Photographs by Samuel Burns Take Hours to Capture (TrendHunter.com) (trendhunter.com)