Learn to photograph the stars with your smartphone

Photographing the stars with your smartphone is very simple by following several steps. All that is needed is to have the ‘manual’ option enabled on the mobile phone camera.

Who has not happened? “Oh! How beautiful is the Moon, very big and red. I’m going to take a picture with my mobile. ” Absolute failure. The only thing you get is a white dot on a photo that, without you being able to explain it, does not resemble anything you are seeing.

Night photography is a fairly complex art that requires knowledge, but, as we are here to make your life easier, we will explain with simple steps how you can photograph the stars with your smartphone.

First of all, you have to make sure that on your mobile phone you can enable the manual shooting option. We need your smartphone to have this capability so you can modify some features. You got it? Go for it!

Configure ISO, aperture and shutter speed

Camera sensors need a lot of light to take pictures. At night, when there is almost no light, we have to take full advantage of the options and attributes that a camera gives us. We are talking about ISO, diaphragm and shutter speed:

fotografiar las estrellas con tu smartphone movil camara objetivo parte trasera iphone

ISO: This is the sensitivity of our camera and, in this case, although we want to capture as much light as possible, we need the lowest possible number (50/100). Normally, when there is low light, we raise the ISO so that the camera is more sensitive to light and get more, but here we want the opposite effect. We want a low ISO, since we don’t want noise and, as we will see next, the light contribution will be achieved with the diaphragm and the exposure time.

Diaphragm: This is the amount of light that we let through our objective. The more open the diaphragm, the more light. The more closed, the less light. The perfect analogy to understand the diaphragm is the function that the iris does in the eye. In your case, in order to photograph the stars with your smartphone, you will need to open the diaphragm to the fullest. If you are able to reach an f / 2 it would be great. We want light to enter!

Shutter speed: We find the most important thing to get that long-awaited photograph of the stars. The shutter speed, or exposure time, is the time that our sensor will be capturing light. We need our sensor to be as long as possible to capture the picture. We recommend that you use a shutter speed of 15 seconds minimum. This will make your camera have time to capture the rays of light coming from the stars. Poetic, right?

Focus to infinity and tripod

Once we have our ISO around 100, the diaphragm wide open and a shutter speed of 1/16, you can photograph the stars with your smartphone. Although … how do you focus if you’re not going to see anything on the screen? Are you really going to be able to hold on without moving the phone for 16 seconds?

fotografiar las estrellas con tu smartphone móvil foto trípode

The last step, perhaps one of the most important, is to approach to infinity, and place the smartphone in a place that is still. We need the camera to be completely still so as not to get a blurry picture. You can leave it on the floor, a table or, if you have, a smartphone tripod. It is a great gadget for your mobile phone!

What are you waiting for? We have already given you the keys, now, get away from the light pollution of the big city and go to photograph the stars with your smartphone.

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