DPR Forum

Welcome to the Friendly Aisles!
Register now and use your old dpreview username.
Enjoy this modern, easy to use software. Look also at our Reviews & Gallery!

Night Sky: the Milky Way


Well-Known Member
I know there are experts at astrophotography here, so I hesitate to post my humble first attempts. I just wanted to see if I could capture a piece of the Milky Way in a single wide-open shot. A beautiful fall evening, a hundred miles from city lights, the galactic cloud was clearly visible overhead. I set my SD14 on a short-legged tripod and pointed straight up and tried a number of things. Instead of layering multiple shots, I simply set time to bulb and held my finger on the wired remote for about 45 seconds (18-50mm EX Macro lens set at 18). Of multiple shots with different settings, this one came out best.

View attachment 2148

And here is a 100% detail:

View attachment 2149

As you can see there's plenty of noise at ISO 800, but I am pleased to get so many clear stars and a bit of the cloud. I'll try again some time when the MW is closer to the horizon. It would be nice to have a silhouetted hill, or a tree or farmhouse for a sense of orientation and proportion.

The most important adjustments in SPP are Exposure at 1.9 and Fill light at 0.6 (plus noise reduction, which helped a little bit).

Any other tips for a complete beginner?



  • JDH-MilkyWay.jpg
    38 KB · Views: 12
  • JDH-MilkyWayDetail.jpg
    42.8 KB · Views: 10
Jesse...I would get a stacking program...you can take anywhere from 3 to 100 pictures of the same sky...and let the software stack them together to get a more detailed and cleaner image...down side...you will have to shoot in JPG...or convert every RAW image before stacking it...

I usually shoot about 10 images in RAW then stack them for good results...plus you get details that a single shot does not show...

Both Mac and PC versions of the software are out there...and everyone has there favorite...I would play with a freeware first...there is a bunch of good freeware out there for this...

Good luck...and not bad... :z04_bier01:

Tony C.