The Stars from Our House

The Stars from Our House

One of the things that I have been longing to do since learning how to use my DSLR is to take photos of the night sky and the stars that fill it.

Ever since moving to Somerset, I have been stunned by the amount of stars I see in the night sky compared to those I used to see in Surrey. I know that it is recommended that photographers find somewhere away from light pollution but I decided to set myself a challenge and take the picture from our drive. Not only did I have to contend with the street lights and the light on the house opposite, but the big, bright ball of light in the middle of the two houses in the photo is the moon! I wanted to focus more on the stars this time though.

When I saw how bright the stars where at almost midnight last week, I had to go outside and try out what I had learned. The following were the stages I followed in order to capture this photo:

  1. Mount the camera on a tripod
  2. On manual mode, dial in a shutter speed of 30 seconds and an ISO of 1600. Set the aperture to the lowest F stop number and the zoom to it’s widest setting. For example, I was using a 18-55mm lens and I set this at 18m and the aperture was set at F3.5
  3. Make sure you are photographing in RAW
  4. Set the self-timer on 2 seconds to help prevent any shake
  5. Use a manual focus and look through the viewfinder to focus on the stars

Once the photo was taken, this is what used in Adobe to process the image:

  1. Open the photo in Adobe Bridge and then in Camera Raw
  2. Adjust the exposure slider to get a fairly good result
  3. Set the contrast to it’s maximum setting to get the best contrast between sky and stars
  4. Move the temperature slider around to get the most natural image – around 3000
  5. If you have light pollution in your image then reduce the vibrance
  6. Push up the clarity to help the definition
  7. Take the shadows and blacks all the way to the left to darken the sky and make the stars stand out
Super Busy Mum
Digiprove sealCopyright protected by Digiprove © 2016 Victoria Welton

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  1. February 28, 2016 / 9:06 am

    This photo is BEYOND breathtaking. It’s just stunning. Thanks so much for linking with #DevelopingLife

  2. February 26, 2016 / 2:43 pm

    That looks amazing!
    Thanks for sharing your tips. Sexy Hubby just bought me a viewfinder for my camera for my birthday, I cannot wait to start using it. xx

  3. February 22, 2016 / 10:16 pm

    Beautiful photo. I think you definitely succeeded at the challenge you set for yourself. X

  4. February 22, 2016 / 7:18 pm

    Great shot and thanks for the tips. I have tried some of these images but they have not come out at well as yours so i will follow your tips and give it another go


  5. February 22, 2016 / 4:22 pm

    I absolutely love this – wonderful stuff. it looks like something from a film.

  6. February 22, 2016 / 11:31 am

    Such a stunning shot Victoria!! Great picture..

  7. February 22, 2016 / 10:52 am

    This is an amazing shot and has reminded me it’s n my bucket list Victoria and in all honesty we don’t have to drive that far for less light pollution (definitely this summer!).

  8. February 22, 2016 / 7:03 am

    That is amazing! What camera do you use?

  9. February 21, 2016 / 10:12 pm

    Wow your photo looks amazing. I’d love to be able to take one like that one day. I hope you put it up on your wall x

  10. February 21, 2016 / 9:01 pm

    Fantastic photo! Something I’ve always wanted to try too, so I’m really grateful you’ve explained how to do it! Bookmarking for another day πŸ™‚

  11. February 21, 2016 / 8:00 pm

    Wow, well done on achieving a great photo. I’ve never photographed the stars but am always meaning to. I have done some photography of both fireworks and the Northern Lights and both were a challenge I tell you. Great pic, thanks for sharing!

  12. February 21, 2016 / 7:16 pm

    That’s a great photo. I’ve only recently bought my first DSLR so still need to learn how to use it properly!

  13. February 21, 2016 / 7:15 pm

    What a beautiful photo. I don’t have any hope of getting a good night photo in London but will try out these tricks the next time we’re away.

  14. February 21, 2016 / 6:35 pm

    This is a great picture. We have virtually no light pollution here so it should work well.

  15. February 21, 2016 / 6:13 pm

    That’s come out really well considering all that light pollution! Well done on those smashing stars πŸ™‚ xox

  16. February 21, 2016 / 4:29 pm

    What a gorgeous view! I, too, would have longed to take a photo. I could sit under and wonder at stars all the time.

  17. February 21, 2016 / 4:01 pm

    It’s a great photo. I can’t believe it was done on such a small zoom – I always imagined needing a longer lens. I’ll have to get out my tripod and try similar here. We have black skies because we’re in the middle of nowhere, so makes the foreground a bit boring

  18. February 21, 2016 / 3:42 pm

    Wow that really is an absolutely beautiful photo. So striking. Thanks for sharing too how you did it! I’ve just purchased my very first DSLR and I’m so looking forward to learning how to use it properly x #mysundayphoto

  19. February 21, 2016 / 3:20 pm

    Gorgeous view, brilliant photo. I love stars so much – especially as our youngest has a keen interest in them 😌✨🌌 will see if I can follow your great tips sometime!
    Stephs Two Girls recently posted..House Renovation 2016 – Part 2My Profile

  20. February 21, 2016 / 3:08 pm

    That’s an amazing shot, I love how clear everything is. We get excellent views of the stars around here, and I keep on meaning to try some night photography. Might just give it a go soon!

  21. February 21, 2016 / 1:57 pm

    That is absolutely beautiful – looks really magical!

  22. February 21, 2016 / 12:21 pm

    Wow this is such a beautiful photo x

  23. February 21, 2016 / 11:47 am

    that is an extraordinary photo. so clever and so amazing. the stars are so magical aren’t they? great job.

  24. February 21, 2016 / 10:34 am

    Oh wow what a stunning photo – I love looking at the stars and this captures them so perfectly! Thanks for sharing how you did it!

  25. February 21, 2016 / 10:03 am

    Lovely shot and very useful information – thanks x

  26. February 21, 2016 / 9:01 am

    That’s an amazing photo and thank you for sharing how you did it too. There’s no chance of getting a shot like that where we live – far too much light pollution and I hardly ever notice the stars which is a shame but I might have to take a tripod down to my mum’s some time and have a go at this myself – there are more stars visible from there!

  27. February 21, 2016 / 8:44 am

    Oh wow that’s absolutely beautiful. Who needs the northern lights when uou have views like this!

  28. February 21, 2016 / 8:40 am

    Put simply, this is a stunning photo. I’ve always wanted to try it, but never have had the opportunity as we live in a built up are in Hampshire. I will definiitely have to try this #MySundayPhoto

  29. February 21, 2016 / 8:01 am

    Awesome photo, I keep meaning to try this but we never seem to get a clear sky here. I’ll make sure I use your tips.

    Thank you for linking up

  30. February 21, 2016 / 7:48 am

    Wow, you’ve done a fantastic job! You must be so pleased with it.
    I must admit all those technical details were just words – I have no idea what it all means! One day I might find out.

  31. February 21, 2016 / 7:31 am

    Wow this is amazing! So much detail and the colour of the sky is fantastic. Fabulous shot!

  32. February 21, 2016 / 6:55 am

    HI Victoria, a fab photo. The night sky here is full of stars especially in the summer (probably because we sit out at night and notice them more!). This summer I plan to take more night sky pictures and will be using your instructions to do it. Your tips for taking good photographs are fantastic, keep them coming.

    Debbie recently posted..Gerakas Bay, ZakynthosMy Profile

  33. February 21, 2016 / 6:03 am

    Awesome photo and loving the way you are presetting how you took the image. Will try this myself…..although being in Surrey it may not be so starightforward!

  34. February 21, 2016 / 5:41 am

    I’m with you, I’ve always wanted to take photos of the stars. Perhaps I’ll have a go with your brilliant tips. Wonderful shot, too. So inspiring.
    Tara recently posted..My Sunday Photo – week 8.My Profile

  35. February 21, 2016 / 5:21 am

    Good first effort. Thanks for adding your process for shooting and editing.

  36. February 21, 2016 / 12:29 am

    This is just Brilliant. I’ve never been able to take a proper photo of our night sky with the stars so I know how technically challenging this is. I will try and follow your instructions
    In the country you realise just how beautiful the sky can be at night, away from the street lights and city hue. I think you’ve captured the night Sky beautifully & I’ve rather jealous!

    • February 21, 2016 / 1:29 am

      Thank you so much Tracey, I am really chuffed you like it. I hope my instructions make sense! You are really kind xx
      Victoria recently posted..The Stars from Our HouseMy Profile

  37. February 21, 2016 / 12:28 am

    I really need to get up to date with my photography lingo… after I invest in a ‘grown up’ camera!

    This is such an amazing photo lovely! You have a lot of talent!

    Looking forward to seeing more of your photos

    Laura x x x

  38. February 21, 2016 / 12:24 am

    Congratulations on a stunning starlit sky. I’m trying to get to know my new camera so will have to go back over your instructions a few more times.
    The detail is spectacular. Thank you for the inspiration

  39. February 21, 2016 / 12:22 am

    That is a stunning photo, i must invest in a good camera.

  40. February 21, 2016 / 12:19 am

    Not sure I understand it all but I’ve just taken a few minutes to take it all in, we have stunning night skies here so I really must give this a go. Pinning it to my photo tech page to come back to, thanks for the tips and a wonderful effect.

    • February 21, 2016 / 1:35 am

      Thank you so much Fiona, I hope it all makes sense! It took me a couple of evenings of trial and error until I got it right! x
      Victoria recently posted..The Stars from Our HouseMy Profile

  41. February 21, 2016 / 12:06 am

    Wow, absolutely gorgeous! Learning how to take photos would be next on my list! Thanks for sharing your tips!

  42. February 21, 2016 / 12:06 am

    That’s a spectacular photo, both visually and technically. Love how crisp both the sky and the stars are.
    Tim recently posted..My Sunday Photo: Mirror imageMy Profile

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