5 tips for shooting shooting stars


Until August 17, it will be possible to see shooting stars pass in our sky. The perfect opportunity to spend an evening admiring them and trying to take pictures of them.

If you like everything related to astronomy, you will have to observe the sky in the coming days. Until August 17, you can admire the shooting stars in the Belgian sky (note that the best evening will be from August 12 to 13).

Called “shooting stars”, these stars are in fact meteorites. On entering the atmosphere, this dust is consumed and creates a luminous trail that can be observed from Earth. If you want to experience the 29th edition of “Star Nights” in the best way, you can observe this phenomenon in the company of astronomy clubs attached to the French-speaking federation of amateur astronomers from Belgium.

If you are a photography enthusiast and want to immortalize this evening as well as possible, here are our 5 tips:

1 – Find the darkest place

It may seem obvious, but to get the best shooting star gazing possible, it’s best to get out of cities. Due to light pollution, it will be more difficult to see, and therefore take pictures, shooting stars. The settings (see below) will be very light sensitive, and even a small light source could spoil your photo. Do not forget to take a flashlight anyway to be able to orient yourself in nature in the dark.

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2 – have the right equipment

For photos in total darkness, the essential element is the tripod. Only, to photograph shooting stars, that will not be enough. Cable triggers exist, making it possible not to press the shutter button on the camera and thus have blurred photos. If you don’t have one, you can simply use your camera’s self-timer. Also remember to recharge your camera batteries: the settings recommended below are much more energy-consuming than usual photos.

3 – Select the right settings

To be able to capture these small bright spots in a big dark sky, the right settings are necessary. We therefore advise you to have:

  • The widest possible opening.
  • Great sensitivity. You can start with an ISO 800, and increase according to the result (be careful of noise all the same).
  • Long exposure. 30 seconds is the perfect amount of time: long enough to capture the shooting star, and short enough to avoid the streaks of light caused by the Earth’s rotation.
shooting Stars
Example of striations due to the rotation of the Earth. © Unsplash / Austin Schmid

Also choose a quality in RAW, which will allow you to better retouch your photos later, and more particularly the white balance.

Read also> The six most beautiful photos from NASA

4- Find something to bring to the fore

To avoid having only a dark sky with streaks of light, try putting something else in the frame (even if they are dark elements). You can help yourself from the surrounding nature, with hills or treetops for example.

shooting Stars
Having a foreground will give more depth and highlight your sky. © Unsplash / Wil Stewart

5- Machine gun photos

Don’t be afraid to take “too many” photos. Falling stars are unpredictable, and it will be very difficult to get a good photo at the end of the shoot. To put the odds on your side, it is better to strafe all night so as not to miss anything.

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