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Starlit landscapes and how to capture them!

In an age where city lights drown out the brilliance of the night sky, landscape astrophotography offers us a gateway to reconnect with the awe-inspiring wonders of the cosmos. Combining the art of landscape photography with the science of astrophotography, this captivating genre allows us to capture the beauty of celestial objects against stunning terrestrial landscapes. In this article, we delve into the world of landscape astrophotography, exploring its techniques, equipment requirements, and tips for capturing breathtaking images that showcase the majesty of the night sky.

Getting started:

To capture stunning landscapes of the night sky, all you need is a DSLR camera and a sturdy tripod. Venture outside during the blue hour to shoot your foreground and wait for the darkness as more and more stars start to appear. With a little luck, you may even witness and capture other celestial phenomena like airglow, auroras, lunar halos, or even a bright bolide flying through the sky!

Track the stars:

For those seeking to delve deeper into this art form, a star tracker is recommended. Also you can significantly enhance your image quality by capturing multiple exposures and stacking them together. Once you have captured the beauty of the night sky, turn off your star tracker and repeat the same process for your foreground. By combining these two sets of images during post-processing, you can effectively reduce noise and grain in your photos, unveiling more intricate details in the darker areas.
Renowned Swiss landscape astrophotographer Ralf Rohner shares with us his captivating images captured around the world, and we have sought the wisdom of this master of his craft to bring you some invaluable tips!

It is a huge joy to see the Milky Way pop up on your LCD for the first time! My main advice is to keep it simple. I shoot very technically, but a beginner can get great looking results with just a regular DSLR or mirrorless camera, a reasonably fast lens and a tripod. The easiest target is the bright Milky Way core section.

Finding interesting foreground and reasonably dark skies can be challenging. This can be done physically, but mostly I do it online. There are free dark sky maps online which help locating suitable areas. However the most important thing is to have fun! Enjoy the beauty of nature and take your time to do some stargazing while your camera is clicking away.

Standing on the barren cinders of an almost 400 year old volcanic eruption, I was shooting the sky full of stars, formed from the cinders of their own ancestors, says Ralf Rohner. I clearly saw our Milky Way's Great Rift, formed by dust from those long dead stars; the same dust that was the building material of our Sun, our Planet Earth, and even myself!

Landscape astrophotography invites us to gaze upward, embracing the beauty and mysteries of the night sky. Through careful planning, technical finesse, and an unwavering passion for the cosmos, photographers can capture breathtaking images that unveil the hidden wonders of the universe. So, grab your camera, venture into the darkness, and embark on your own celestial odyssey as you create awe-inspiring landscapes under the shimmering starlight!

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