Night & astro pho­tog­ra­phy

Dis­cover how to cap­ture stunning star trails, frame-fill­ing moon­rises, amaz­ing auro­ras and the Milky Way. Chris Rut­ter is your guide…

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Pho­tog­ra­phy may be all about cap­tur­ing light through your cam­era lens, but that doesn’t mean you can only take pic­tures dur­ing the day. There’s a whole new world of im­ages to be shot long af­ter the sun has dis­ap­peared be­neath the horizon and the sky has be­come dark. Night-time skies re­veal some of the most amaz­ing and pho­to­genic sub­jects you will ever find, such as the stars, the moon, the Milky Way and even gal­ax­ies far, far away.

It’s al­ways been pos­si­ble to get shots af­ter dark, but im­prove­ments to the qual­ity of im­ages taken at high ISO set­tings and longer ex­po­sures over the last few years mean that cap­tur­ing the drama and beauty of low light and night-time sub­jects is now eas­ier than ever.

To give night pho­tog­ra­phy a go you’ll need to know where to look and what set­tings to use, so we’ve put to­gether a handy guide to the sub­jects you can shoot at night, and the tech­niques you’ll need to master to get the best pos­si­ble re­sults. From shooting sim­ple sub­jects such as the moon, to cap­tur­ing the most amaz­ing auro­ras, there’s some­thing for every­one, no mat­ter what ex­pe­ri­ence or gear you have. You’ll learn ev­ery­thing from the ba­sic set­tings to use, to when and where to find the best sub­jects.

With its shorter days, win­ter re­ally is the best time to start ex­plor­ing the hid­den world of the night sky through your Nikon lens. There’s no need to be afraid of the dark, but be warned – cap­tur­ing these im­ages can be se­ri­ously ad­dic­tive. You have to be pre­pared to lose a bit of sleep if you do catch the night-sky bug...

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