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Finding the perfect conditions for astrophotography

Updated: Nov 26, 2023

Astrophotography is an artform that involves photographing stars and other objects in space and uses long exposure to capture as many points of light as possible. There are a number of conditions that are not only desirable but vital in capturing these sorts of images.

Photo by Dan Colombo

Perhaps the most important of these conditions is a dark sky. As these shots aim to capture thousands of tiny points of light that may be barely visible by the human eye, any light pollution can completely wash out many of the stars so it is important to find a location where this problem is minimized. Another important factor to consider with light pollution is the moon cycle and position. To ensure the brightness of the moon doesn't outshine the stars, ideally, photos should be taken on a new moon or when the moon is below the horizon.

Photo by Rohan Mott

Other conditions that can improve your astrophotography include: stable temperatures, minimal wind and arid conditions with little cloud cover and water vapour.

There are a number of places throughout Victoria where you can produce stunning night shots. Lake Tyrrell is one such place. Despite being fairly close to Sea Lake, there is very little light pollution and it is becoming a very popular spot for stargazing and astrophotography. It is in the semi-arid Mallee region and hence has little water vapour in the air particularly during the summer months. To find the best stargazing location for you, you can seek out areas of dark skies by using a website such as this one or check out these lists from RACV and Visit Victoria.

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