Astrophotography for beginners: How to shoot the night sky

Astrophotography for beginners: Image of night sky with rocky beach in foreground


This astrophotography for beginners guide is designed to help you get started photographing the night sky. The subject of astrophotography — taking photographs of the night sky — is such a broad one with so many subcategories that it’s hard to know where to begin. In this guide, we’ve concentrated our knowledge into a beginner’s guide to astrophotography that will equip you with both basic techniques and creative ways to capture the night sky.

As a hobby, astrophotography requires two types of investment. The first is financial: you’ll need a camera, at least one lens, and a few accessories, as well as a warm coat for cold nights spent under the stars. Take a look at our guide to the best cameras for astrophotography and best lenses for astro to help get you started with this aspect of astrophotography.

Night sky image over circle of stones

Capturing the milky way can be a great place for beginners to start. (Image credit: Stuart Cornell)

The second investment is time and patience — though these are things you sadly cannot purchase. Astrophotography is a photographic style that’s tricky to get right the first time and will take many attempts, iterating on the same ideas until you can finally provide an image that’s got some real ‘wow’ factor.