Making Your Own Astrophotography Images
Astrophotography is the art of taking photos of the heavenly objects in the sky. The difference between the types of photos you can take is literally night and day. Shooting the sun during an eclipse involves pointing the camera at the brightest light known to man. To do this, you need special solar filters to make sure you don't damage your eye sight and equipment. Then, on the opposite end is shooting the moon and stars, where you don't have that much light at your disposal. But, if you know how to do it right, you can make your own astrophotography images.
Step 1: Use a Tripod
Tripods make for steady shots, and if you're shooting the stars and moon at night, then you're most likely not working with the fastest shutter speed. That means that the slightest movement during exposure will cause a blur and ruin your hard work. Eliminate that contingency with a tripod.
Step 2: Use a Low ISO Setting
When shooting images with low to no light, you're going to find yourself fighting noise. Noise can make a clear image become very grainy. Turn on your camera's noise reduction and set the ISO to a low setting. A high ISO setting requires less light for exposure, but these images tend to have a lot of noise in them. Prevent noise by using a lower ISO.
Step 3: Use a Wide Aperture and Slow Shutter Speed
The best way to shoot clear images of the stars is to use to open the aperture up and use a slow shutter speed. This will allow you to capture a crisp and clear image. You may want to consider investing in a remote shutter system so that you can release the shutter without touching the camera. Sometimes the simple act of hitting the shutter button can create a slight blur. The fact that you're using long lenses to shoot objects that are very far away only amplifies the chances of the possible problem occurring.
Step 4: Stay Away from Ambient Light
Light pollution is going to make it impossible to see the heavenly objects. If you're in a city, then you need to get out of it to shoot the best astrophotography images possible.
Step 5: Have A Fully Charged Battery with Spares
Astrophotography requires you to go out doors and often travel to the middle of no where. That means that there aren't any real opportunities to charge your camera batteries in the field. Slow shutter speeds and long exposures can quickly drain the life away from the battery in your camera. Make sure to fully charge it and take spares with you so you're shooting adventure doesn't end before you want it to.
Step 6: Use Solar Filters
If you're shooting the sun, then make sure that you use specially made solar filters to avoid damaging your equipment and eyes. Neutral density filters reduce light, but they're no match for the sun. You need real solar filters for this job.