5 Canon 1100D Astrophotography Tricks For Better Photographs!

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Astrophotography is one of the most humbling and rewarding genres of photography. It takes years of patience, experimentation, image techniques, and traveling to create masterpiece photographs of the starry night sky. It’s astonishing how astrophotography allows you to capture the sky’s naked beauty and share it with others, but it’s no easy task. 

The Canon 1100d allows you to capture magical and mystical mages of the mighty milky way, California Nebula, Triangulum Galaxy, and infinite clusters of stars. If you’re interested in finding out more about using the Canon 1100d for astrophotography, read along.

The Canon 1100d has simplified the concept of astronomical imaging with its 12MP CMOS chip and 63-area iFPC (Focus, color, and luminance sensitive) metering system. These features are coupled with Digit 4 processor to amplify the camera’s low-light performance to capture pre-dawn and post-sunset photographers. Canon has equipped this budget-friendly DSLR with a supportive Bulb mode to capture shooting stars and their trails with an exposure of 15-minute intervals combined with an IS0 of 200 and an aperture of F4.

Astrophotography is quite a challenging and nerve-wracking category of photography. It demands an artistic viewpoint to capture the stars and the sky over a spectacular landscape, such as a lake or mountain range. The Canon 110d empowers you to capture the essence of astrophotography, such as sporadic skylights, Zodiac lights, and twilights.

Below we’ve given 5 excellent tips that will help you polish your astrophotography skills with the Canon 1100d.

Be Patient

The key to capturing the calmness and serenity of the deep blue sky is to adopt a patient approach while using the Canon 1100d. Patience is a pivotal aspect of astrophotography because star trails or the milky way’s movement can only be captured using long shutter intervals. You can capture long-exposure photos of deep sky nebulas by configuring the Canon 1100d at an exposure length ranging from 15 to 30 seconds. Decreasing the aperture to F2.8 or F4 will also allow the camera to perform better in low-lights by slowly closing the shutter to increase the amount of incoming light. The resultant image will display clear and sharp stars with reduced chromatic aberration.

Having the patience to capture astronomical photographs doesn’t necessarily mean you select a random lengthy shutter speed and then wait for the camera to shoot a sharp starry sky photo. You need to perform a meticulous calculation to measure the maximum exposure time the Canon 1100d needs so that you can capture the sky but avoid a blurry photo.

You can’t randomly select a slower shutter speed to capture sharp images as the earth is continuously rotating. Luckily, the Canon 1100d allows you to opt for a suitable focal length (crop-sensor or full-frame) to optimize exposure time before the stars begin to appear blurry. Optimizing the shutter speed is the real test of patience when it comes to capturing a sharp and distinct photo of the starry sky.

Due to the lengthy shutter speeds, you also need to maintain your composure so that any hand movements do not occur. Otherwise, you’ll end up with blurry photographs.

Plan It Out

It requires months of planning to capture a nebula or a galaxy trail that appears on the sky during a limited time window. Proper planning allows you to capture open skies under different weather conditions and remote rural areas. The earth is continuously revolving, and other star formations appear at different times of the year. External factors and circumstances aren’t in your control, but you can plan your astrophotography session by keeping track of additional updates.

You can leave the job of capturing precise and vibrant astronomical images to the Canon 1100d. With its creative auto mode, you can select your desired depth-of-field and focus on multiple objects. You can decide the overall outlook of the photograph by selecting a depth-of-field of your choice too.

The Canon 1100d calculates a shutter speed-aperture combination by estimating the distance between the nearest and farthest subjects in focus. This way, you can capture photos of the sky with the auto depth-of-field mode.  

Another thing to keep in mind during the whole astrophotography planning process is the size of the Canon 1100d viewfinder. The screen is a bit small in size and covers only 95% of the total captured scene. But the viewfinder allows you to focus on the stars with its nine AF points scattered across the screen. You don’t need to manually check different ISO, shutter speed, aperture, and metering options on the camera body, as these settings are displayed at the bottom of the Canon 110d viewfinder.

Get Ready To Travel

It’s impossible to capture a clean and bright starry sky in the middle of a heavily-polluted metropolitan city. One of the first things you need to do in astrophotography is travel to the deserted wilderness or treacherous mountainous treks. You must be in an unpolluted area to capture the natural beauty of the skies. The air pollution of populated cities makes it impossible for you to practice astrophotography.

Hence, you must find a peaceful location with an unobstructed view of the sky. To do so, you may have to drive for hours to find an area where the sky is visible, and there is close to zero pollution.

Luckily, traveling is easy and hassle-free with the Canon 1100d due it its compact size. You can transport the camera in a hand-carry or backpack since it weighs only 495g without a battery. The Canon 1100d comes with a lithium-ion LP-E10 rechargeable battery, which allows you to capture long-exposure shots without worrying about battery drainage.

You can use the drive mode option of the Canon 1100d to capture photos of the sky without touching the camera to avoid distortion caused by any external shake. The drive mode also allows you to create a lag of 2 to 10 seconds before releasing the shutter button.

Frame Pictures

Astrophotography is all about capturing the perfect frame. What’s better than capturing a star trail? The reflection of one on a lake. One of the best tips for picture composition is focusing on the northern hemisphere’s brightest stars such as Vega, Arcturus, Cappella, Sirius, and Altair. This allows you to create a perfect frame of the star’s formation.

There are two different types of astral pictures. The first is all about capturing the colors and details of the stars, nebulas, and galaxies. Such images don’t require an elaborate background, either. The other type is a combination of sky frames with illustrious backdrops such as mountain ranges to create a photo story. The second type requires the coupling of skylights with earthly elements in one frame. You can master both astrophotography genres by using the manual focus of the Canon 1100d.

An unfocused frame is unrecoverable, so you need to master using manual focus to reduce camera blurriness. Sometimes, you can’t see the stars with the naked eye. So, it’s better to turn on the live video display to focus on the sky’s brightest stars. It allows you to see nearby stars and capture a full vertical frame too. You can further change the settings of the ISO, shutter speed, and aperture to visualize a perfect frame before shooting a photo in a long-exposure mode.

The Canon 1100d allows you to change the white balance of the photograph too. You can choose between daylight, auto, fluorescent, and other modes. For astrophotography, it is recommended to either use daylight or auto white balance modes.  

Practice As Much As You Can

Do you want to know a secret to master astrophotography skills? Practice from sunset to dawn and observe the sky to understand the star trailing. All you need to do is travel to a relatively clean area with the Canon 1100d to explore different skylights and galaxy trails. You can practice with different combinations of shutter speeds, apertures, and ISOs to see what works best.

Astrophotography is a wide domain, which includes deep-sky galaxies and nebulae, the wide-angled Milky way, long exposure narrowband, and high-magnification star trailing. You can practice capturing all these with the Canon 1100d continuous mode, which captures 3 frames per second. It provides a consistent metering system to help you focus on the most favorable light source. You can select a suitable temperature of the photograph with its automatic white balance setting too.

You can practice at higher ISO levels of 3200 and 6400 to enhance this camera’s low-light performance. However, a low ISO sensitivity value of ISO 100 or 200 with manual focus on the bright stars reduces any noise and maintains the image’s sharpness. The dynamic range empowers you to shoot photographs with a calibrated Stouffer step wedge that has a total of 13 stops. The camera also provides a highlight tone priority option to capture details of the brightest stars in the frame.

The Canon 1100d is an all-rounder camera designed to help astrophotography enthusiasts utilize its features by practicing under different lighting conditions.