Breathtaking Smartphone Photos
The Perseids meteor shower can be seen every year and will be visible in our night skies from the 16th of July to the 23rd of August. The peak of the shower can be viewed on the 12th of August and it’s not something that you want to miss. Luxurious camera equipment isn’t necessary to capture the meteors in all their glory.
In fact, your average smartphone camera will do the trick just fine. All you need to do is follow these simple tips before you can watch the fantastic results come flying in from the comfort of your own phone.
The Perseids meteor shower is one of the most photographed astrology events on the whole of Instagram with the #Perseids being tagged in over 55,000 posts. The second most popular meteor shower, the Geminids, trails behind at only 15,000 posts.
Although smartphones may not be as effective as your more powerful DSLR or mirrorless cameras, they are much more practical and accessible. As well as this, when used correctly they can produce gorgeous, high-quality images.
Download a good long exposure app
Installing a high-quality long exposure app allows for much more control over your camera’s settings, useful applications for Android phones include Long Exposure camera 2 (free) and Night Camera (paid). And for iPhone users, Easy Long Exposure Camera (free) and Slow Shutter Cam (paid) are your best options.
Long exposures are created when the shutter speed of your camera is slowed down, this allows the shutter to stay open for longer, letting it capture more light for the duration that it is open. This is great for optimizing the light in the frame and allowing the setting to become more visible.
Use a Sturdy Tripod
With your smartphone now keeping its camera shutter open for longer, the camera needs to stay extremely still in order to avoid any blur which could be created from holding the camera with your hands. The slightest of movements can ruin the sharpness of an image when shooting this way, so therefore this step is very important. Make sure that your tripod is strong and of good quality, this way you know that your phone is safe and is able to stay as still as possible.
Find the best location to view the Meteor Shower
There are a few factors that come into play when considering the best way to view the meteor shower. A clear sky is always key, therefore you should plan to shoot on a night when you know that the weather will be in your favor. Shooting on a clear night while the moon is in its newest phase is always a good idea.
The best locations to view these events are places with low light pollution, this means you’ll need to get as far away from urban settings and cityscapes as possible and head more towards your open areas of countryside, and national parks.
Make the most of your phone camera’s settings
Changing your smartphone’s camera settings may seem complicated but, if you are using one of the long exposure apps mentioned previously, you will see that you have much more control over the way your camera functions. Different models of phones will offer more control than others, but just make the most of the freedom you have.
Dropping your shutter speed is a must, but other settings that you may have control over could be things like your ISO, using an ISO close 6400 will be useful to digitally generate more light, but going too high can create grain so keeping a good balance is key.
If you can control your white balance, switching to ‘Tungsten’ is recommended, and turning off the flash is definitely recommended as well. This is because flash only works when it bounces off the subject to illuminate it. This is why using flash for night sky photography creates a haze and obscures the view.
Take lots of pictures
In order to perfect your shot, you will have to use trial and error to master your settings. If an image comes out too bright it means your shutter speed is too slow and your ISO is too high, and if an image comes out underexposed it means you need to do the opposite. The key is to find the right balance and eventually, the perfect shot will come.
The Perseid meteor shower is expected to produce up to 50 shooting stars per hour at this year’s peak, so it’s a perfect time to get some experience in astrophotography. Whether you’re an avid photographer already or somebody brand new to the craft, these steps will help you get the most out of your smartphone to create some truly stunning images.
This article was written by Joey Miller from Repair Outlet, mobile phone parts and refurbished phone company in the UK.
Join the discussion 2 Comments
Thank you so much for this article! Can’t wait to (attempt to) shoot the Perseids tonight!
You’re welcome! I’m glad Joey did this guest post for us. Let us know how it goes 🙂 Cheers!