Stars are everywhere, but better to view and photograph some places than others. Where are you on the Bortle Scale? And timing with the moon is essential, as is noting the Milky Way season and direction from where you are located. Then there is weather and dust in the air. Lots of things to consider.

Milky Way, Jupiter, and a meteor. 2000 ISO, f2.8, 20 seconds. 
© 2019 Diane Kelsay

We know this lake well, it’s where we kayak most frequently. We knew the directions to look and moved around the lake until we found just the right place that the light pollution from a city 40 miles away lit up the lake enough to show the reflection.  It’s not a merged image.  We prefer to add light if needed with flash or ambient light.  Sometimes a silhouette is more dramatic.  Play with it all and see what you like.  And use a compass if you don’t know the area.

Namibia. Subtle flash on rock.
© 2018 Bob Harvey

Inca Trail. Headlights inside tents – adjusted in brightness and direction for this shot.
© 2016 Bob Harvey

© 2018 Bob Harvey

Morocco, Sahara Desert. 2 candles lighting the tent.
© 2018 Diane Kelsay

City lights 40 miles away providing color on the horizon. A yard light at a farm lighting the trees. And a frenzy of meteors during the exposure!
© 2019 Diane Kelsay

Peruvian Amazon – no light pollution!
© 2015 Bob Harvey & Diane Kelsay

Our house. A long enough exposure to get a nice tail on a meteor, and a natural starburst with Jupiter.
© 2019 Diane Kelsay

Know your twilight zones (ha, not the show) – Civil, Nautical, Astronomical.  Experiment shooting in all and see how the Milky Way shows up in each compared to total darkness.  Conditions where you are come into play.  Most of the time it doesn’t work, sometimes it does.

Morocco, Sahara Desert. Nautical Twilight. Note the layer of dust above the dunes.
© 2018 Diane Kelsay

© 2018 Diane Kelsay

Learn more and enjoy photographing the night sky with us.  Places on our menu of adventures that are good for stars: Tanzania, Kenya, Patagonia, Turkey, Iceland Aurora.

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