Shooting Stars And Milky Ways And Alcohol

Photographing the night sky was always something I thought required a professional-grade camera, an $8,000 f/1.8 lens, and otherworldly editing skills. It was something I rarely attempted because my photos were shit compared to other shots I’ve seen. Everything was always either blurry or over-exposed or under-exposed or just bad. Sometimes all three, against all odds.

Then I was drunk at a bachelor party the other night with my camera and the Perseid meteor shower in the sky above. Most poor judgement at bachelor parties involve other mediums. Mine was photography. I mean, other vices were involved, but the end product was a few pictures. That’s not bad, right?

So I started shooting with the aperture wide open, the ISO as high as it automatically goes, and the shutter set for 30 seconds. Photos were showing the stars, but nothing beyond white specks on a black canvas. The ISO on my camera climbs to 6,400 when it’s dark. It also has a manual setting that allows me to amp ‘er up to 51,200, which is way, way too high. It seemed like a good place to start.

An end result that I’m kind of happy with is below. Yes it has too much noise. Yes it isn’t as clear as it should be. Yes the composition could be better. But damnit, I’m happy of taking a photo of a shooting star alongside the milky way. My skills will get better with this camera. And they better. But this is a good place to start.