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Night Sky Photography

Derbyshire, United...
Level Contributor
75 posts
70 reviews
Night Sky Photography

I shall be in Namibia during October and plan to take a number of night sky photos. In particular I want to capture the milky way, possible due to the new moon phase being on the 9th October. What I would like to know is 1. what direction in the night sky is the milky way? 2. Is there a website that gives good information on the stars/milky way in Namibia at this time? Any help or experiences would be appreciated. Hopefully I can pass on my photos/ tips to others on my return.

22 replies to this topic
Slovenia
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
Level Contributor
19,976 posts
62 reviews
1. Re: Night Sky Photography

Milky Way is easy to find on the sky. There are several apps that will help you with precise directions. But honestly, for photographing Milky Way, all you will need is a sturdy tripod and strong coffee.

Derbyshire, United...
Level Contributor
75 posts
70 reviews
2. Re: Night Sky Photography

Thanks. I assumed that the milky way itself would not be visible to the naked eye. In order to get the classic sky photo you would need to know the direction in advance? Is the sky so dark that I can see the mw? If so this is going to be an amazing experience!!

tvj
Jerusalem, Israel
Level Contributor
550 posts
39 reviews
3. Re: Night Sky Photography

yes, it is visible to the naked eye. don't stay in Etosha, Windhoek, swak or any other place with lots of people and just look up. you'll see it, easy...

you can use an app like 'star walk' to look and identify specific stars.

Pune, India
Level Contributor
132 posts
29 reviews
4. Re: Night Sky Photography

You might want to use some astrophotography apps to plan your compositions during the day. At night you're already fumbling around with camera settings, headlamps etc. If you're making panoramic images then a high milky way is really good. On the other hand for single images low milky ways are productive. Plan ahead and you'll have a really fascinating experience.

I use sun surveyor to plan my night sky photos. Dark sky finder will help you identify areas with low light pollution.

Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
45 posts
66 reviews
5. Re: Night Sky Photography

Yes you can totally see the Milky Way with the naked eye in Namibia around the new moon, it’s so incredible! As long as you’re away from city lights then you should be good. The night sky is particularly amazing in the NamibRand Nature Reserve. We also saw incredible skies in Damaraland. Enjoy!

The Adventurous Flashpacker

Gold Coast...
Level Contributor
5,593 posts
35 reviews
6. Re: Night Sky Photography

I have been wondering the same thing, currently learning to do night photography.

Great replies above, can't wait to give it a try next month when we arrive but maybe I will wait until we leave Etosha for Damaraland and so on. This is our first trip taking the tripod, and I already have starwalk app downloaded from past visits.

We will have some rest time in Swakop, and I was hoping to try there, but knowing me I will probably give it a try at every stop anyway

Thanks everyone for the advise, any more tips appreciated, like Phil I dont know which direction to look either!

Slovenia
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
Level Contributor
19,976 posts
62 reviews
7. Re: Night Sky Photography

It is easy: just look up :-))! For operating the camera use red-light head lamp. Don't forget to switch it off when taking the shot. The next level is to "paint with light" whatever interesting is in the foreground, like quiver tree or a rock formation. For this you will need a strong flashlight.

Use the widest (like 20 mm) and the fastest (like f/1.8) lens you have. Uisng a full frame sensor is 50% - 60% better then using a crop sensor.

Gold Coast...
Level Contributor
5,593 posts
35 reviews
8. Re: Night Sky Photography

haha Zelas.

Good tip about the red headlamp, would never have thought about that.

Appreciate the tips, no choice about the camera, I have 2 good crop sensor bodies and that wont be changing any time soon. Will do my best, thank you

Derbyshire, United...
Level Contributor
75 posts
70 reviews
9. Re: Night Sky Photography

Thanks for all the comments and help. I can't believe we are only 2 weeks away from our trip after having planned for over a year. A special thanks to Xelas for all his advice and Gemma Dry for her information and reservations.

Derbyshire, United...
Level Contributor
75 posts
70 reviews
10. Re: Night Sky Photography

I have the Sony A7 Mk3 full frame so I reckon I am set? Thanks.

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