Astro photography - Part 2 (Light pollution)

Today we are continuing our tutorial series about astro photography and how to grasp the technical parts of it.

In the previous part we discussed the different moon cycles and why we have chosen a very specific time for our landscape photography workshop to the Faroe Islands in April 2017. As mentioned in part 1 the next tutorial would be about light pollution in preparation for "a night out".

Light pollution is probably the most important thing after choosing a good spot (upcoming part 3) to do astro photography. Light pollution is quite simple how much artificial light there is at any given spot. This is very important as the more light pollution there is, the less stars and aurora borealis there will be.

A good general rule is to be at least 30 km away from the nearest city to be sure that there wont be any light pollution disturbing your images. How ever this isn't always an easy task unless you live really deserted. Here in Denmark where we are based the cities are really close to each other and as Denmark has a very small area in the first place that only makes it even harder to find a good spot.

Thankfully we live in a digital age where it is quite easy to "cheat" a bit! There are many tools on the internet for finding out how much light pollution there is in a given area and we have found that LightPollutionMap.info as one of the best and simplest. The tool is based on Microsofts Bing map system and it's extremely well updated.

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On the above map is clear to see that the big cities are hot spots for light pollution and that you have to go rather far away from the cities to be absolutely sure that the pollution is gone. 

It is no secret that we love the Faroe Islands for many reasons and one of the reasons is that it is really easy to find spots around the islands where there are no light pollutions at all. 

We hope you will find this tutorial helpful in your preparations for a "night out" doing astro photography. Remember that the actually spot is more important than moon cycles and light pollution - composition over anything else!

Next time we will be going through how to find a nice spot for astro photography from your computer - stay tuned for part 3!

And oh, remember to check up on our 5-day landscape photography workshop to the Faroe Islands in April 2017 - we only have 4 seats left now!