The Orion Nebula is just one of the objects you can capture with a simple DSLR. Credit: Will Gater
Switch your camera to M mode. This will give you full control over your camera’s settings.
Find a dark spot open to the stars and away from streetlights. Use a wall to shield your camera from them if required.
A slow shutter speed of around 20 seconds allows plenty of starlight to be collected.
For speeds slower than 30 seconds switch to the B (Bulb) function and use a cable release.
The ISO controls the sensitivity.
Higher ISOs are more sensitive, revealing more stars but at the expense of picture quality – giving you a more grainy image.
Switch on noise reduction, which can be found in the menu, to improve image quality.
Use a wide-angle lens to start with and you’ll capture a surprising array of objects like planets, star clusters, dust lanes and nebulae.
The iris controls the amount of light that passes through the camera lens.
The lower the f-number, the more dilated the iris is, meaning more light enters your camera. Aim for f/4 or lower if your lens allows it.
Because it’s dark focusing is often a case of trial and error.
Switch to manual focus and set it to infinity.
Take a test shot and slowly adjust the focus ring till you’re image is sharp.
The slightest movement has a significant effect on a photo.
A steady tripod and cable release help alleviate movement caused by wind or your finger clicking off a shot.
Use the rule of thirds to compose your image.
Add something in the foreground to provide impact and perspective.