How to Photograph the Stars while RVing

RVers share a passion for the outdoors. Often while camping with friends and family we catch ourselves reveling in the stars. How do you capture a moment like that? Here's our simple guide to photographing stars with a DSLR camera while out on the open road.

Check the Sky

The first thing you want to do is check the weather and the moon phase. If there are clouds or the moon is going to be in the sky you aren't going to get very good star pictures.

Location

Make sure that you are away from city lights and pollution.

Use a Tripod

This is 100% mandatory. A tripod eliminates camera shake during the long shutter speed that is required to allow enough light into the camera to capture the stars. Any shaking or movement will cause a blurred image.

Camera Settings

These will vary depending on circumstances. But can be predicted within a few variations. These are general guidelines that you might need to tweak for optimum results. Make sure your camera is on manual mode.

  • ISO, the goal is to use the lowest ISO possible to keep the photo noise free while getting a well exposed shot. Start with an ISO of 400. If it's not light enough you will have to increase it until you get enough light coming in.
  • Aperture, You want the most amount of light to hit your lens so the wider the aperture the better. Anything f/4 or lower works well.
  • Focus, set the focus to infinity.
  • Shutter Speed, the longer the shutter speed the more light is allowed in to capture the stars. However if you have the shutter open too long you will get a star trail from the movement of the earth. 30 seconds is a good rule of thumb.

Have fun and with any skill PRACTICE!