Astro Photography in the California desert

Astrophotography is emerging as a new experience for many photographers. The Milky Way is now open territory for all. Imagery with good stories is now being produced using it, pushing night photography to new heights!

Camera sensors have become so sensitive to light, and there are great strides in noise reduction software that help create interesting and compelling images with your digital SLR.

As amazing as this is, as, with any successful daylight landscape photograph, strong foregrounds and compositions are as critical as ever! The novelty and mystery of the Milky Way images alone are a common place online, just as much as static shots of our closest star, the sun, have been for years.

As amazing as this is, as, with any successful daylight landscape photograph, strong foregrounds and compositions are as critical as ever! The novelty and mystery of the Milky Way images alone are common place online, just as much as static shots of our closest star, the sun, have been for years.

Additionally, finding clear and interesting dark locations on our light washed night sky planet can be a challenge, but highly rewarding when found. Many of my own captures were carefully considered options in optimal conditions as far away from city lights as possible.

Working behind the camera in a dark environment is a challenge for anyone. The internet is awash in a simple to highly detailed technical methods on how to capture the stars. Seek one that works for you and try it in your backyard or nearby open field. Polish your technique before heading out for your first attempt.  I suggest keeping your image capture method as simple to manage as possible.

The adventure of seeking that right combination of foreground subject matter with the Milky Way is an exciting and highly rewarding experience!

If you’d like to join us on an astrophotography adventure, consider our Alabama Hills Night Photography Workshop in the Eastern Sierra this summer. We spend time in this remote area capturing the milky way and images similar to the one above.

All the best,

Mark Jansen