Shoot Stunning Photos of Starlit Skies with 3 Simple Tips (VIDEO)

by John Stapel

Nighttime photography is really fun, and offers an opportunity to capture eye-popping photos. You don’t really need any special gear, as long as you know a few tricks.

We’ve posted tutorials in the past, explaining the technical aspects of shooting after dark, but this tutorial from BH Photo Video addresses a common and specific challenge; namely, dealing with light pollution that can spoil your images—even if you do everything else right.

Jess Santos is an Arizona-based landscape photographer, with a portfolio full of mind-blowing nightscape imagery and an equally impressive Instagram page. In the video below she uses use her knowledge to explains how to combat night pollution when photographing starlit skies.

Santos discuses the importance of the “Bortle Scale,” and provides a helpful overview of lens filters that can really improve your results. She also has some advice on choosing the best locations from which to shoot.

We won’t reiterate the necessity of a using sturdy tripod, because you already know that, right? So let’s move on to Santos’s three important tips that may be less familiar. As she says, light pollution is a common problem wherever you live in today’s modern world.

After a quick explanation of this phenomenon, Santos explains the Bortle Scale, which provides a graphic depiction of the brightness and quality of nighttime skies. The highest value of Bortle 10 is common to the world’s brightest cities. A Bortle 0, on the other hand, is an “astrophotographer’s dream,” and is only found in the most remote locations on the globe.

Stantos discusses how to find the best locations in your area by consulting a helpful website and a using a popular app. She also explains how to use night-pollution and night-sky filters that work by targeting specific wavelengths of light.

You’ll also see how to use natural light sources to illuminate the foreground of a scene. By following her advice, you’ll be able to make nighttime the right time for landscape photography.

There beautiiful images on Santos’ Instagram page, so take a look after watching this video. And check out the money-saving tutorial we posted earlier, explaining how to stretch your budget when purchasing outdoor photography gear.