To celebrate the launch of Canon\u2019s EOS 6D Mark II camera designed for adventure photographers, the leading brand partnered with photographer Matthew Vandeputte to create an astrophotography masterpiece to show the 6D Mark II\u2019s full potential. Canon is often asked questions about astrophotography via its Facebook, so they left it up to Vandeputte to share some tips on how to create the perfect astrophotography timelapse.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nWhat are the basics of Astrophotography?\r\n\r\nFirstly, make sure the sky above you is dark enough. You need to remove yourself from areas with light pollution\u2014i.e. cities\u2014and make sure there\u2019s no moon around.\r\n\r\nYou also need a sturdy tripod, a fast lens and a remote shutter release. If you don\u2019t have a remote, you can use a delayed shutter to minimise camera shake instead. If your lens has image stabilisation turn that off before shooting. Use live view to zoom into the stars and manually focus to make sure your output is sharp.\r\n\r\nTo bring some additional interest to your image try adding some visual elements to your foreground. I look for spectacular trees to use as silhouettes. You can also add a human element to the frame, and by using a flashlight, you can add some light painting elements.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nWhat gear do you use for Astrophotography?\r\n\r\nSturdy tripods are a must, a range of fast lenses too, motion control equipment and usually more than one camera. You\u2019re better of shooting two sequences at the same time!\r\n\r\nFor the Astrophotography time-lapse I created for the EOS 6D Mark II launch I opted to use ultra-wide to medium focal lengths. I used new release Canon lenses because I know they perform extremely well \u2018wide open\u2019\u2014the biggest possible aperture opening, to let in the maximum amount of light. I wanted different focal lengths to set up different views of the Milky Way at the same time. A shot at 16mm looks vastly different to one at 35mm.\r\n\r\nI used the new EF 16-35mm f2.8L III and EF 35mm f1.4L II. Both are tack sharp from side to side, with next to no aberration visible in the images. After borrowing both these lenses for this project I\u2019m looking at purchasing them myself. I also used the older EF 24mm f1.4L II, which has slight \u2018coma\u2019 at the edges when shooting wide open, but still performs very well for Astrophotography.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nWhat camera settings do you use for Astrophotography?\r\n\r\nThere\u2019s no one-size-fits-all approach. It depends on the conditions you\u2019re shooting in. I use manual mode, an aperture of f\/2.8\u2014or wider if I can\u2014around 20 seconds exposure, with ISO 6400. This should give you lots of stars in your shot. I usually set my white balance to fluorescent, and then do colour grading later in post processing.\r\n\r\nKeep the '500 rule\u2019 in mind. The longer your focal length, the faster you will get small trails of light, instead of pin sharp stars. This is because of the Earth\u2019s rotation. Your focal length divided by 500 is\u2014in theory\u2014your maximum exposure time. For example on a 24mm lens, the ideal exposure time for sharp stars would be 500\/24, approximately 21 seconds.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nWhat camera settings do you use for Astrophotography time-lapses?\r\n\r\nYou need lots of individual images to make up a time-lapse sequence. And because Astrophotography images are long-exposures, you end up with an extremely long sequence to shoot for Astrophotography time-lapses. I recommend shooting at least 250 photos per sequence, which will result in 10 seconds of video footage at 25 frames per second.\r\n\r\nAlways add a three second buffer between stills to make sure you don\u2019t miss any shots in the sequence, which would result in little jumps in the footage. Adding the three-second buffer gives us 18 seconds per photo. Repeated 250 times gives us 4,500 seconds, or 1 hour and 15 minutes for the single time-lapse sequence.\r\n\r\nFor the individual images, start by using the same image settings I mentioned earlier for Astrophotography and tweak as needed. Keeping the stars sharp is one of the hardest parts of Astrophotography.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nHow do you get the focus right?\r\n\r\nThere\u2019s a couple of ways to do it. One way is to point the camera at a bright star or the moon, and use the autofocus.\r\n\r\nThe other is to turn on your live-view, zoom in 10x using the magnify button, and manually focus the lens until the stars in the shot are at their smallest. You\u2019ll notice that focusing to either side of \u2018totally in focus\u2019 results in blurry or bokeh-looking stars. The flip screen on the EOS 6D Mark II helps quite a bit with this, as often your camera is not at eye level.\r\n\r\nCanon\u2019s EOS 6D Mark II camera is available now and for more photography tips check out Canon Learning and the Canon Collective.\r\nSouce - Canon\r\nImages - Canon, Matthew Vandeputte\r\n\r\nCheck it out\r\nHave you subscribed to Man of Many? You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.