Tag Archives: night sky

Shooting the Supermoon

Shoot for the moon!
Shoot for the moon!

Tonight is yet another “supermoon” event, in which the moon is closer to the Earth than usual. Of course, Astrophysicist Neil Tyson has already pointed out that the difference in the moon’s apparent size is in reality, quite small. Nevertheless, the moon is still a fun subject to photograph, if you do it right.

There are two kinds of “moon shots.” Landscapes, and close-ups. Both of these shots have challenges, because the full moon is so bright that it requires a daylight (sunny-16 exposure) to preserve details.  For landscape shots, it’s important to be able to photograph the moon when it rises near sunset or blue-hour. The sheer brightness of the moon will cause it to become blown-out if you are exposing for a dark foreground. For telephoto shots, it’s important to use a fast shutter speed to prevent the moon from blurring out due to its apparent motion in the sky. You’ll want to use a shutter speed of at least 1/250s to keep the moon sharp.

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For my full set of pro tips for shooting the moon, stars and Milky Way, download The Night Sky Photography Guide.

Recap: Utah Night Sky Workshop

I just returned from Utah, where I brought a group of clients to participate in a night sky photography workshop. The dark skies of Utah near Moab are perfect for photographing stars and the Milky Way, and we were fortunate enough not to have any issues with clouds. For each of our three evenings, we went do different locations where we could compose interesting star shots with silhouettes of amazing rock formations.

I thought I’d share some of my images here. You can see more of them at my Facebook and Instagram pages, too. My upcoming workshops and safaris are listed here.

Learn how to photograph stars and more with The Night Sky Photography Handbook, a complete guide for digital photographers. 

Milky Way over Turret Arch
Milky Way over Turret Arch
Castle Valley
Castle Valley
Goblin Valley
Goblin Valley
North Window Arch
North Window Arch


POTD: Wind Farm Stars

Star trails over a wind farm in eastern Colorado.
Star trails over a wind farm in eastern Colorado.

I enjoyed teaching a night sky photography class with a small group of clients last night in Limon, Colorado. Despite some early cloud cover, conditions improved after dark and we ended up with some nice shots. The image above is a 25 minute composite (50 x 30s exposures).

Learn how to create images like this on your own!

Join me in the field or online to explore creative photography techniques.

Colorado Night Sky Photography Class July 31

Join me July 31st to photograph the night sky!

Join me July 31st for a special night sky photography class!

Photograph the stars and Milky Way over the massive wind farm near Limon, Colorado. I will teach you how to set up your camera to capture stunning night sky photos, including time-lapse star trails and more. Visit the link below for complete details and to register.

Limited to 10 photographers; register here.

The Night Sky Photography Handbook is available here

Super Blood Moon (Photo)

super blood moon
The total lunar eclipse on September 27, 2015 as seen from Colorado Springs, Colorado.

After a few low clouds passed through, I got a pretty good view of last night’s “Supermoon” eclipse. I set up my Nikon D810 on a tripod with the 500 mm f/4 AFS G VR Nikkor, and used my intervalometer to capture photos every two minutes. As the eclipse progressed, I tweaked exposure settings to make sure I captured the orange red glow of the eclipse. I then merged the images in Photoshop to create this composite.

Download “Supermoon” as a Desktop Wallpaper (2560 x1440)

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Interested in photographing the night sky? Check out The Night Sky Photography Handbook.