Why do people photograph the space? Doing so can take on several different interpretations and reasons. Chances are, there is a space enthusiast in your life. Whether it is your grandma who loves stargazing or is an aspiring astronaut, capturing images of the night sky can be both a lifelong hobby and a passion. Aside from using a telescope, you can also use other devices that can provide you the means to take photos of space and even the night sky.
All You Need Is A Digital Camera
When NASA launches something into space, it sends out a camera to take pictures. But can an ordinary camera take a picture of the space? Believe it or not, it is possible, and all you need is a digital camera.
- Make sure you have a digital camera that can shoot in RAW format. When you take high-quality pictures, you’ll want to store them in the best possible format. RAW, or “raw,” images are uncompressed, high-resolution images that are stored with unprocessed data from the camera sensor. Most digital single-lens reflex cameras with interchangeable lenses shoot in JPEG format, or “jpeg,” that is, compressed images that store processed data from the camera sensor. RAW images are the preferred format of professional photographers because they retain fine details and natural color.
- You need to pick a lens. OK, so you’ve probably heard by now that photography, specifically taking photos of space, is one of those amazing things anyone can do, even if they don’t have any fancy equipment. And the statement is true—no matter if you have a point-and-shoot camera, a DSLR, a fancier camera with 100 megapixels, or a GoPro—you can take some pretty awesome shots of the Milky Way, Moon, and planets. If you want to step up your game, though, you’re going to need to invest in the right lens: a 35mm lens. This is the lens most people think of when they think of a lens. The standard 35mm lens is the workhorse of photography. It’s capable of capturing everything from landscapes to portraits.
- You need to find the right location. Figure out where it is that the sun sets or use a digital light meter to determine how much light is available. If there is a spot with water or snow, there is not much light at all, so you may need to be very careful not to overexpose your image. As for where to set up a tripod, it’s generally best to use a tripod that will let you level your camera on an uneven surface.
Space exploration is an exciting subject for anyone interested in astronomy. And for those of us in the space business, cameras play a huge role. Cameras capture images that help us understand and explore our home galaxy, Earth, and beyond. In beautiful detail, they allow us to see beyond our own field of view and frame objects of interest, like stars, planets, and galaxies.
Taking Pictures of Night Sky Using Smartphone
Want to take a photo of the cosmos? You don’t need an expensive telescope. All you need is your smartphone. Check out some tips below:
- Find the best location outside the city. Night sky photography—the art of capturing beautiful pictures of the night sky from your city’s outskirts—has gotten much easier in recent years, thanks to smartphones that can shoot in low-light conditions. And it’s hardly necessary to go to the middle of nowhere to take some great shots.
- Try using a tripod. A tripod is a device that is designed to support a camera or camcorder. Tripods generally consist of a stand that supports the camera or camcorder and a plate or platform that through which a mounting screw passes to attach the camera to the stand.
- Use a suitable app. From far away stars to shooting stars, the wonders of the night sky are best seen with a smartphone camera. Most of the best apps allow you to capture the night sky in spectacular high definition. There are apps, such as Google Sky Map, that you will be able to see where you are as you take the picture, and if not, try to spot the closest major city. Look at the directions that the app gives you and point your phone in the general direction of where you think the sun is. Then, take your picture.
- Don’t use flash and HDR. Many people don’t realize that flash and HDR activity is destructive not only to night’s skies but also to our camera sensors. Shooting in dark environments using flash and HDR, especially at night, will quickly damage the sensor in your smartphone.
- Avoid doing zoom-in. When shooting in night mode, digital zoom will degrade your picture by enlarging the flaws and noise in the low-light shots.
The night sky above us is full of brilliant stars, planets, and nebulas—and we’ve all seen the breathtaking pictures people take of the night sky. If you want to take photos of the night sky, you don’t need to buy a camera, an expensive tripod, or an expensive extra set of lenses (but if you have, the better). All you need is your phone camera, the proper settings, and a little knowledge of how to capture these stunning images.