How-To: Astrophotography 101

How to take Astronomy?

Astronomy / August 7, 2018

If you’ve been inspired by the images from the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition and would like to try your own hand at astrophotography, then you’re on the right page. View the following videos and step-by-step guides to learn about how to get started – from what equipment you need, to how to tackle specific astronomical subjects, to processing your photos. Those who are already taking pictures of the night sky will find expert tips and advice on improving your skills, as well as explanations from our competition winners to help you understand how they achieved their shot. Read on to find out more.

The world-class judges from our Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition give their advice on how to take up the hobby.

Step by step guides

Our step-by-step guides show you the best ways to approach specific astronomical subjects to get satisfying results – from achieving colour views of objects outside our solar system, to using long exposures to capture star trails.

Long-exposure photography is the best way to see and capture colour views of our distant neighbourhood.

The Moon is a wonderful object to photograph, with constant changes of view throughout the lunar cycle.

Aurora photography provides a great opportunity to escape to a world with just you, your camera and the Universe.

Photographing a comet is a once-in-a-lifetime experience which can be achieved with relatively modest equipment.

The easiest way to capture star trails is to take one long exposure, of at least 30 minutes.

Video guides

Watch the following videos guides from the Royal Observatory to get additional tips and advice.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition

The Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition is an annual global search for the most beautiful and spectacular visions of the cosmos by amateur and professional astrophotographers. The winning images are showcased in a stunning exhibition at the Royal Observatory Greenwich.