For Rafael Anta, it was the first time shooting the stars. For us, a tremendous pleasure having a PhotoPiller living in Washington DC enjoying a night escape in Menorca.
The summary of Rafael's learnings for Milky Way photography:
- Widest aperture possible: f/2.8, f/3.5
- Shortest focal length possible: 14mm, 18mm
- Shutter speed: Rule 500 (500/focal length) to avoid Star Trails
- ISO: the highest with good noise performance (1600, 3200)
- White balance: 3400K - 3900K (depending on the colors of the night and light pollution)
- Focus at the hyperfocal distance to maximize depth of field and get stars in sharp focus.
Since you're not going to measure the distance with a ruler, when focusing at the hyperfocal distance, make sure you don't fall short, because you won't get the stars in focus, even if you only fall short by an inch (2.5cm)!!
It's much better to focus at a slightly longer distance, let's say 2 feet (50cm) longer or even more. This way, you'll make sure the stars will be in focus.
Want more? Learn everything you need to shoot Milky Way pictures that will surprise the world with these step by step tutorials:
- Milky Way Photography Planning | Step by Step Tutorial
- Learn Milky Way Photography | From Idea to Photo
- How to Calculate the Milky Way Photography Exposure Time
- Milky Way Photography Masterclass with Alyn Wallace
- Milky Way Photography Post Processing Masterclass with Nick Page
- Plan 3. Milky Way arching above the Vingerklip, Damaraland (Namibia)
- Milky Way Photography Tribute to the Feast of Sant Joan | PhotoPilling in Menorca
- Photographing the Milky Way with a Natural Arch | PhotoPilling in Menorca
PS: Rafael Anta's t-shirt: Here Comes The Sun