Use a basic DSLR to experiment with night-sky photography.
Play with long exposures to capture light from the stars. Set your shutter speed between 15 and 20 seconds – anything longer will create the star-trail effect – and a wide aperture (f2.8 to f5.6). Take a test shot and adjust the ISO to balance the exposure.
Prevent camera shake
Use a tripod for sharp images and further prevent blurring by using a shutter release cable. If you don’t own one, you can use the self-timer.
Use manual focus to set up your shot as most DSLRs will struggle to autofocus without light. Otherwise, use a torch to light up a subject such as a tree or building, which will also create a more interesting image and give the camera something on which to auto-focus.
Then switch to manual focus to take the snap. It’s trial and error until you get it right, but the eventual result of a striking baobab in front of the Milky Way is worth it.
The Milky Way often looks too warm in photographs (stars look yellow instead of white). Set your white balance to tungsten instead of daylight for better results.
All photographs were submitted to Getaway Gallery – see more magnificent night sky photography here
Interested in the night sky? Click here for all the gear you need to start star gazing.