Basic Astronomy Makes For Better Nighttime Photos

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You've seen some of those amazing shots people can get with long exposure times and a beautiful starry sky.  They're absolutely breathtaking, and they don't happen by accident.  Knowing a bit of basic astronomy can make your nighttime photos pop.

Peter West Carey over at Digital Photography School explains that simple things like finding the North Star can be essential because "it will tell you how light trails from the Earth's rotation will show up in your picture."

In other words, if you're looking for big circular sweeps, you'll want to be pointed right at the North Star.  If you're looking for something a little streakier, or a bit wilder, you can turn the camera away from north, where the movement will look very different.

Finding the star is simple enough, all you need to do is locate the Little Dipper. The North Star, Polaris, makes up the top of the Little Dipper's handle, and it's one of the most noticeable stars in the night sky.