Have you ever wondered what shutter speed to use to capture star points, and not star trails? Have you been curious about photographing the night sky, but you're not really sure what settings to use so that your stars actually look like stars, and not lines in your photograph?
Fist of all, you get star trails, meaning lines across your photograph, because the Earth is moving. A good rule of thumb, if you don't want to do any math, is that for a wide angle lens, 30 seconds is about as long as you can go. If you are going to be using a very short exposure like that, to get star points, that's not going to give you a lot of light. Just enter your name and email below and click "Sign me up!" to receive our friendly and helpful newsletter.

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Hi, I'm Julie from Ultimate Photo Tips, and today's Two Minute Photo Tip is all about answering that question: what settings should you use on your camera so that you stars look like star points and not star trails?
If you leave your shutter open for a long period of time, the stars will move through your frame, and leave behind a trail of light. To avoid that, you need a short enough shutter speed that you stars come out just as points.
So with an 18mm lens, 30 seconds is the longest exposure you can use and still have your stars rendered as star points.
That means setting an aperture that's quite wide, and boosting you ISO as high as your camera can comfortably go without getting too much noise, so at least 1600, and possibly as high as 6400.

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