Shoot Stunning Photos of Starlit Skies with This Easy 5-Step Guide (VIDEO)

Sparkling nighttime skies offer a great opportunity for capturing eye-popping images, but many photographers shy away from astrophotography because they think special gear and complicated techniques are required to do it right. If that sounds like you, the straightforward tutorial below will likely change your mind.

Whether you’re interested in shooting simple nighttime landscape photos, capturing the next super moon, or you want to get serious about Milky Way photography, this five-step guide has you covered, with a handful of easy-to-follow tips from photographer Pye Jirsa of SLR Lounge.

Jirsa teams up with astrophotography guru Mathew Saville to walk you through the process from beginning to end. The episode begins with a discussion of gear, which requires nothing more than a solid tripod and a fast wide-angle lens.

Jirsa recommends a prime lens that’s 24mm or wider, with a maximum aperture of at least f/2.8. As he says, “the faster, the better.” Jirsa discusses a few lenses with ideal specs for you to consider. He’s adamant that this is a task you don’t want to try shooting hand-held. And since you’ll likely be trudging into the field, the tripods he recommends are both sturdy and compact.

Another tip many photographers neglect, is arriving at a destination early—with enough time for location scouting, choosing a compelling composition, and setting up your gear before dark. Once the sun drops below the horizon, these chores become far more difficult.

The tutorial concludes with perhaps the most important considerations; namely key camera settings, determining a correct exposure, and proper focusing techniques. After watching the 11-minute video, we bet you’ll agree that astrophotography is far less complicated than you previously thought.

You can find a wide variety of photo tips on Jirsa’s YouTube channel, so be sure and take a look. We also recommend you watch yesterday’s nature photography tutorial, explaining how to shoot unique summer landscape images with a telephoto lens.