During a camping trip with my family and mother-in-law to Lake Motosuko, one of my goals was to try some astrophotography. I’ve shot a lot of nature here on earth, but not much focused on space, so it seemed like a great opportunity to do just that. I headed out very early in the morning to a viewpoint along Lake Motosuko, and remained there all the way through sunrise. I was pretty amazed when I got there to find that I could see the Milky Way with my naked eye, due to how dark it was. That was a pretty neat experience, and definitely not something you can do near Tokyo. I also learned another interesting fact by a fellow photographer out that evening – in Japanese, the Milky Way is called the “amanogawa” (天の川) which literally means “Heaven’s River.” I gotta be honest guys – that’s a way cooler name than Milky Way.
Anyway, for my first time, I’m pretty happy with the results. I definitely have a lot to learn regarding astrophotography, but it was a lot of fun and something I’ll certainly be trying more of in the near future. I do have a few more shots I hope to roll out in the coming weeks, but this was one of my favorites from the evening. It was taken at f/4 (the widest my 16-35mm lens will go) and a shutter speed of 24 seconds. When it comes to shooting the night sky, you really have to keep your speeds fairly low if you want to reduce potential movement. The wider your lens, the more time you have, but ultimately you’re not going to have much more than 20-30 seconds before there’s blur in the stars. That’s why you also have to shoot as wide open as possible. It’s a give and take scenario, but with cameras today, it’s pretty amazing how much you can capture.
Camera: Nikon D610
Lens: Nikon 16-35mm
Shot Info: f/4 | 23sec | ISO4000 | 16mm
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