Capturing the stars and the Milky Way in all their glory can seem rather intimidating, but it is not all that difficult. There are a few things you are going to need…the first being stars. Not all of us can see the Milky Way overhead because we live in cities where light pollution blocks our view. So if you live in the city, make a plan to get out and into the countryside where you will be able to get a good view of the stars.


Next you have to check the moon cycles, because if you decide to try photographing the stars on a full moon night it will be as bad as being in the city! The last important thing you are going to need is a tripod; this is to ensure that you have a steady base to work off while your shutter is left open for an extended period of time.

Now you need to find an extra subject for the photo. Trees work particularly well, but in this case I chose to use the safari vehicle as my subject and a tree in the background for depth. Once I had sorted out my focus using a flashlight to light the Land Rover, I set the exposure to 30 seconds, raised the ISO to 2000 and set my aperture to f2.8 to allow as much light onto the sensor as possible.

I also raised the flash to allow its light to fill the front of the photo (the vehicle). I wanted to be in the photo pointing out the stars to show our evening stargazing, so I set the camera to 10 second timer release, then hit the shutter button and ran to get into the Land Rover before the flash went off. This was the result. This is something you can literally spend hours on and you will very quickly lose track of time – so enjoy!

Expose your balance

Richard de Gouveia

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