Travel Photography: How to Take Photos of Stars

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S T A R  P H O T O G R A P H Y

How to Take Photos of Stars

What you’ll need:

  • A Camera (preferably a DSLR)
  • A tripod (or something to rest your camera on for 20-30 seconds)

Camera Settings:

  • First, put your camera in manual mode
  • Second, ensure your aperture is as wide open as it can go
  • Third, consider shooting in RAW as it will make your post production efforts much easier
  • Fourth, opt for manual focus as it is unlikely your camera will be able to focus itself in the dark
  • Fifth, control the amount of light by setting the ISO rating and the shutter speed
How to choose your shutter speed:
  • Follow the rule of 600
  • Experiment with shutter speed and ISO settings to get the best possible shot

By following the rule of 600 you will be able to figure out how long you can expose the image before the stars start to move across the sky. To follow the rule, divide the number 600 by the focal length of your lens (the number of mm). This number will be the maximum number of seconds the shutter can be open for.

Then you need to pick an ISO rating that will allow you to capture the shots you want. This will depend on the speed (maximum aperture) of your lens.

As all cameras are different and unsurprisingly the more expensive the camera, the higher the quality, you will need to play around with these settings until you achieve the shot you want.

Also don’t forget to consider the composition of your photo as often the best star photos have something interesting in the foreground like a lit tent silhouette or a light trail.

S T A R  P H O T O G R A P H Y (1)

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    March 26, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    Thank you very much, this section serves all that we like the photography, and furthermore those lovers of the photography that likes to photograph the sky in the night.
    Thank you very much for this help.

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    October 23, 2015 at 3:25 am

    Also, make sure there is no light contamination and make sure is not full moon!

    August 13, 2015 at 5:36 am

    Thank you for the tips! I will use them again with my next night pics 🙂

    January 16, 2015 at 4:50 am

    […] Saward from World Of Wanderlust once wrote an article about how to shoot a photo of the stars.. something you must know of […]

    December 16, 2014 at 4:32 am

    That’s great! Love to Brooke, for this fantastic tutorial.

    December 14, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    Wow… just wow!

    December 13, 2014 at 6:13 am

    So cool! I’ve always wanted to try taking pictures of them. Didn’t know where to start! 🙂


    Christina -
    December 13, 2014 at 12:13 am

    Thanks for the tip! My star photos always ends up blurry and… well, without any stars actually visible… Can’t wait to try out your tips! Kisses from Rome 🙂

    December 12, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    I’ve always been a bit useless at any sort of night photography so these tips will definitely come in handy!

    December 12, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    Great article Brooke!

    Best holiday destinations
    December 12, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    nice tips. Nice views. thanks for sharing

    Tessa / Bramble & Thorn
    December 12, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    Your photos are so pretty, these are excellent tips!

    Tessa / Bramble & Thorn

    December 12, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Helpful tips – a quality camera is definitely essential. I’ve captured some great photos while playing around with my camera during the night. If you’re aware of how to do so correctly, you can capture some amazing shots, just like the ones above!

    Raza from

    bell santiago
    December 12, 2014 at 10:17 am

    So helpful, ive never managed to take a good shot of the stars so this will help immensely xx

    December 12, 2014 at 9:50 am

    This is so helpful!! I was actually thinking of spending a night at the beach, attempting to figure out how to capture stars. Now I can use your rule of 600.
    Thanks for sharing Brooke!

    Chalsie | The Workshop Co. x

    December 12, 2014 at 8:54 am

    Great tips…that I am never going to use. Just because I love staring at stars! Maybe one day…!

    December 12, 2014 at 8:27 am

    Great tips. I have been wanting to mess around with my camera more. Thanks

    S Lauren@Modern Granola
    December 12, 2014 at 7:31 am

    This is amazing! I was literally wondering about this last night! Great timing! I’m so excited to give this a shot…(sorry for the bad pun!)

    December 12, 2014 at 6:47 am

    Great post! I’m really into night photography lately and have been trying to take good photos. They’re getting better and better the more I practice and read/watch videos about it. What I learned is that a good (and stable!) tripod is essential as you don’t want wind or any other movement ruining your shots. Of course you also want the sky to be clear (no clouds) and no light pollution. Your photo is beautiful!

    December 12, 2014 at 5:19 am

    Great tips, thanks for sharing, I have been struggling to get starry night shots!

    December 12, 2014 at 12:19 am


    Well-written article, easy to understand. However I have a question, if I would be making a photo similar to the one in the article, how would the shutter speed and the wind effect the silhuettes? I’m guessing they would be blurry?


    Charlotte Smart @ A Love Triangle
    December 12, 2014 at 12:19 am

    This is so great! Thanks for the tips 🙂
    Also did you take the photo? It’s beautiful.

    December 11, 2014 at 11:38 pm

    Great tip cuz I never know how to make the picture perfect.

    December 11, 2014 at 11:20 pm

    These tips are super professional…definitely agree with them! I think in this case a good quality camera is essential.

    Des |

    December 11, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    Great post! I like your tips on travel photography 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
    x Val

    December 11, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    Wow, great tips!