In this article, we are going to be taking a look at a number of tips and tricks that you can implement to easily improve your Sony a6000 milky way photography with minimal effort on your part. With both milky way photography and night sky photography becoming more and more popular each year we have seen a direct increase in the number of people asking for tips for these photography niches. Our hope is that this article will help any of our readers who own an a6000 improve their ability to capture some epic photographs of the night sky and the milky way.
Use A Fast Wide Angle Lens
Without a doubt, the easiest and most efficient way to improve your milky way photography capability is to pick up a suitable lens that has a maximum aperture of at least f/2.8 and offers either wide or ultra wide angle capabilities. In our opinion, the Rokinon 12mm (Click here to check for product prices and availability) is perfect for this and we would highly recommend that our readers consider picking it up as it comes with a very budget-friendly price tag.
It is a wide angle lens that offers some excellent low light image quality that comes with a very low price tag. This has made it very popular within the photography community and over the years the lens has earned its fair share of independent reviews from photographers using it to capture photographs of the night sky and milky way.
The time-lapse video below was recorded using the Rokinon 12mm lens over the period of around five hours. We feel it does an excellent job of showcasing the potential of this lens and its low light or night time performance.
We also recently published an article covering what we feel are the best astrophotography lenses for the Sony a6000 cameras that may be helpful to you for picking out a new lens.
Use A Suitable Tripod
A tripod will allow you to set your full camera rig up ready to go while you are able to wait and get the perfect photo. We published our article on the best Manfrotto tripods for Sony a6000 cameras a few months back that may be useful to you but if you already have a tripod that will do and help you improve your Sony a6000 milky way photography.
Get A Suitable Remote Shutter Release
Not only are they so cheap and easy to use but they can help reduce the chance of any accidents during your photography session that may totally ruin your images or time-lapse. The last thing you want it to hike out to somewhere that offers a good chance of being able to capture images of the Milkyway, set up your tripod, mount your camera rig on it, set off your time-lapse only to accidentally knock your tripod or camera totally changing the angle it was capturing at.
Using a remote shutter release or intervalometer will remove this risk as it allows you to control a large amount of your a6000’s functionality without the need to actually touch your camera rig. Although a number of intervalometers will work with the a6000, we would always recommend that you choose one that was specifically designed to support the custom functionality of the camera like the one linked above and below.
Start with ISO 3200
Another quick and easy way to help improve your photographs of the milky way is to use a suitable ISO setting on your a6000. Our advice would be to start with ISO 3200 as it offers the ideal functionality for low light night sky photographs and then adjusts your ISO settings either up or down as required to adjust to the unique conditions of your location.
Know When and Where to Look
As we have mentioned a few times throughout the article when photographing the milky way your location will make a massive difference in the type of image quality you can expect from your Sony a6000. Our advice would be to google the best time and local locations to you to capture milky way photographs as there are some excellent local resources out there. Additionally, an increasing number of photography groups are starting to specifically start events on social media based around doing night time photography sessions to capture the best possible photographs of the night sky in their local areas.
No matter where you are in the world, chances are that you are able to drive an hour or less and be at a location that will offer some excellent photograph or time-lapse opportunities for the milky way. As light pollution can still be a major factor you may be able to use a Red intensifier filter (Click here to check for product prices and availability) to your advantage to help reduce the effects of light pollution on your photos.
Milky Way Photography Tutorial
If you are brand new to either night photography or milky way photography then the video below offers an excellent tutorial to get you up to speed quickly and we would highly recommend that our readers watch it.