I got up on the mountain at Squaw Valley last night during the Thievery Corporation concert to take some photos of the glorious night sky

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I shot my second photo last night in a light polluted area and it came out fantastic!
Here are some tips from what I have learnt:

Make sure it is a clear dark night (around midnight is good) and you can see a few stars with the naked eye. Try to avoid shooting if there is a full moon as this will cause light pollution.
Either use a tripod if you have one, or just find a flat stable surface to lay your camera on (facing up).
Set camera to use a 2 sec timer (so camera doesn’t shake when it opens the shutter)
Set image format to RAW (if you can for the most detail).

Zoom in and point towards the brightest star you can see, manually focus the camera on this star.
Start with a low ISO (100-400) and try a shutter speed of 10-15 seconds. You can get away with higher exposures without a tracking mount but it depends on your focal length. I usually stick to 10-20 seconds or you start to see star trails. You normally want your aperture as high as you can get it so your lens takes in the most light (my lens only goes to f3.5).
Point the camera at the sky and take a test photo.
Check your results, can you see any more stars? Are they sharp? Is the sky still dark enough? (not too important but you don’t want a really pale blue or you won’t see anything either.

Now just play with your shutter speed, ISO and focus until you get a decent shot with sharp stars. This is do-able in light polluted areas.

I took this last night (it was stacked in deep sky stacker to make it more detailed though!).

http://postimg.org/image/tzjed0bdh/
10 x 13 sec exposures, 800 ISO, f3.5.

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