With winters around the corner, travellers and tourists will soon be heading to the hills and mountains to experience the best of the few months of this season. Longer nights and shorter days will ensue, making it ideal to indulge in something out of the ordinary – astrophotography. If you love looking up at a sky full of stars and are allured by the universe beyond, we believe astrophotography will interest you heaps. Your winter getaway always involves the usual wandering, exploring and relaxing. Well, why not try something new?
Along with stargazing out in the open, and soaking in the magical feeling, this time carry your camera as well, and capture the awe-inspiring sights, to reminisce on later. New to the world of astrophotography? Don’t worry, we got you. Here are a few tips, tricks and information on astrophotography for beginners and experts alike, before you foray into this wondrous world.
What is astrophotography?
Ever looked up at night and captured the beautiful cluster of stars illuminating the sky? Ever clicked a picture of the full moon? There! You have already been exposed to the fascinating world of astrophotography.
For anyone who is new to this term, or who is interested in knowing more about it, astrophotography, as its name suggests, is capturing objects in space. From capturing the milky ways to the galaxies and planets, all fall under the wide gamut of astrophotography.
Tips and Information You Need to Know
Involving a range of technicalities, astrophotography is nuanced, sophisticated. Here are 2 things you would absolutely need, for the best pictures –
- A good camera – Although astrophotography with the phone is possible, it is not recommended. It is fiercely recommended that you invest in a good camera for the best results.
- A tripod – As already mentioned before, this type of photography involves long exposure, and is a slow and steady process, hence a tripod is a must. Without a tripod, getting a decent shot would be difficult.
- An app that helps you monitor the weather – Astrophotography requires attention to detail. You absolutely need an app that will help you decipher the weather and plan better. There are several apps that will tell you which are the darkest nights of the year, which are ideal for a good photo. Understanding moon phases will help you plan your trip better.
Best Places for Astrophotography
One thing you need to take note of is that astrophotography is time-consuming, and takes practice. And for it, you need the right set-up and lastly, you also need a good location. Clear night skies, where you can spot clusters of stars, galaxies and more, are certainly pre-requisites when it comes to capturing that perfect shot.
Travelling to a high altitude always helps. Here are a few locations in India that make for ideal vantage points for astrophotography.
Coorg, or the Scotland of India as is endearingly referred to, is home to vast expanses of coffee plantations and verdant greenery. However, it also makes for the perfect location to experiment with capturing celestial bodies. The clear night skies are adorned with stars, making it the perfect spot for clicking breathtaking night-landscapes.
A quaint, tiny town not far from Mumbai, Matheran is a gorgeous hill station popular among travellers for a quick getaway. Furthermore, owing to its no-vehicle policy, the unpolluted air, this town is engulfed in clear blankets of the sky, ideal for setting camp for your night spent clicking away.
Here’s where you can set up camp on your astrophotography adventure – Hazel Villa.
Himachal Pradesh is known for its picturesque locations and vacation spots. During winters, it is brimming with tourists. And not many know that it also makes it the ideal location for taking out the camera and shooting the gorgeous night sky or simply spending a soothing night stargazing. Home to hill stations like Kasauli, Manali and more, we are not surprised that Himachal Pradesh is a favourite among tourists.
The clean air, lack of pollution and serenity in abundance, make Ladakh a nature lover’s paradise. The days here are spent immersed in ethereal views of the lakes and mountains and the nights are spent in solace, under the clear black sky. The unparalleled landscapes coupled with the blissful surroundings of Ladakh make it perfect for capturing milky ways and galaxies.
If you are looking to get lost in the under clear, stellar skies, Sikkim is perfect! A rather unpopular destination when it comes to astrophotography and stargazing, Sikkim is ideal for anyone looking for a slightly offbeat destination, away from the throngs of crowds. Enjoy an uninterrupted and unforgettable photography experience, that we guarantee you will cherish forever!
An all-time favourite among travellers, Uttarakhand is a destination that is beloved by all. Slightly off the beaten path, Uttarakhand, though famous, is not known for its starry skies, hence making it an undiscovered gem awaiting your arrival. More specifically, Kauri Pass is recommended, to capture those beautiful night shots.
Astrophotography, though niche, is enchanting and captivating. With the right equipment, location and some research, you will be on your way to capturing that perfect shot!