Astro photography - Part 1 (Moon cycles)

A big part of our workshops is astro and night photography which for many photographers is a big and hard step to take. This tutorial will be the first in a series of blog posts where we will try to give you the knowledge and tools to start doing astro/night photography.

This blog post will be the first in a series on how to prepare for a "night out". Our next workshop is in April 2017 where will go on a 5-day journey to the Faroe Islands - the time we have chosen is far from a random date!

There is something that is called a moon cycle (also known as moon phases) which is an essential part of getting a good astro photography image in the camera. A moon cycle is actually quite easy - it's the cycle the moon has from a full moon to a new moon and back to a full moon.

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The key thing about astro photography when getting started is to hit the new moon phase where the moon is almost gone. This time of the month is when it is the easiest to capture stunning images of the stars, milky way and northern lights (aurora borealis). 

We have probably all seen amazing images of the captivating northern lights but in real life northern lights are actually incredible hard to spot with the naked eye. Unless the conditions are perfect and it's a big solar storm that is hitting earth then you actually wont be able to see the northern lights until you setup your camera.

Our upcoming workshop to the Faroe Islands from April 23th to April 27th 2017 is specifically scheduled for the time of the months where the moon is going through it's new moon phase on the northern hemisphere. Read more about our workshop to the Faroe Islands by following this link.

There are many tools on the internet for viewing when the different moon phases are occurring in your area - just Google "moon cycle" or "moon phases". If we had to suggest a specific tool we would suggest TimeAndDate.com which lets you search for a specific area/town/place.

We hope that you will find this first guide helpfull in preparing for a "night out" trying to get the grips around astro photography. Our next tutorial within this series will be the next part of preparing for a session outside which is figuring out where there is least light pollution.