Ever since we started the full-time travel lifestyle, I've consumed myself into the photographers way of life. No matter where we go, I have my camera (sometimes two), my tripod, and an arsenal of lenses with me. I have this urge, desire, and feeling as though it's my duty to capture and share with the world all the beautiful things that Mother Nature has to offer.
While I love and enjoy everything photography/videography related, there is one specific genre that has dominated my hunger in finding that next perfect shot, Astrophotography! The process is fairly simple and strait forward, grab a decent camera, a solid tripod, and set a long exposure... If only it were that easy. Unlike most photography where you can control lighting or move your subject around to get the composition you're looking for, astrophotography comes with no such adjustable ingredients. Sadly, you can't just say, "I'm going to shoot some astrophotography tonight and get that money shot" unless you're extremely lucky. In fact, there are a multitude of factors that even the most thought out plan can't anticipate or control that could make your plan a bust.
There are three apps that I use when planning a night out with the stars.
- Phases of the Moon app (Free) - In order to capture deep space and lots of stars, the less visible the moon is the better. Otherwise, the moon will blow out your shot and steal the show.
- Light Pollution app (Free) - Light pollution is real and it saddens me that we have to travel to desolate areas of the world in order to see something so spectacular. Take advantage while you can because as our world grows these views will become more obsolete.
- Stellarium Moblie app - An extremely powerful/fun app that allows you to see how the stars and milky way will move throughout the night.
Once these three apps are satisfied you still have to worry about weather, clouds, gear malfunctions the list goes on. However, there is something magical that happens when the stars align and all the needed elements come together. When all the patience, determination, and grit needed to stay up while the worlds asleep, and trek to that ideal location in the dark all join forces to capture that special moment. This is why I love Astrophotography.
Check out my current Astrophotography galleries: