I’ll use an entry-level DSLR and standard kit lens (18-55mm f/3.5 – 5.6) as an example.
- Strap your camera to a tripod.
- Set the focal length to 18mm.(Zoom out as far as possible)
- Switch your camera to manual mode
- Set the aperture as low as it can go, in this case, it will be f/3.5
- Set the ISO to 3200.
- Set the shutter speed to 30 seconds.
- Find the farthest light in the distance – allow your camera to focus on it – set your lens to manual (This will lock the focus – be careful not touch the aperture ring as this will adjust your focus again.)
- Place your camera and tripod on the ground and point it in the direction you want to capture the stars.
- Take your picture
- Wait 30 seconds
- And there you have your picture.
Editing will play a significant role to enhance your image. Using a free app like VSCO, Snapseed or Lightroom Mobile will get the job done.
I’ll use Snapseed for this tutorial. (Keep in mind our settings will differ)
I started by adjusting the color curves and creating the standard S-curve for all of the colors. (Including the RGB circle)
Then I adjusted the basics;
- Brightness +55
- Contrast +25
- Saturation +50
- Ambiance +16
- Highlights +40
- Shadows -10
- I added a vignette with the outer brightness set to -25 and the inner brightness set to +50.
- I adjusted the white balance just slightly setting the temperature(it will give your photo either a cold or warm feel) to +7 and the tint(green or purple) to +16.
There you have it. Good luck and have fun!
Let me know how it goes. Feel free to tag me on Instagram!
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