Don’t let an overnight flight go to waste, capture cool Milky Way shots with these great tips


posted Friday, June 24, 2016 at 7:00 AM EDT


If you've got an overnight flight and a bit of luck with regards to conditions, you might as well try your hand at some photography through the window, right? Ian Norman of Lonely Speck has put together a tutorial for photographing the Milky Way from an airplane.

It isn't easy, but it can be done. There are multiple challenges that have to be overcome. Glare is a big problem when shooting through a window, especially an airplane window at night. Motion blur is also troublesome and countering it fully requires a very high ISO, so Norman and his girlfriend opted for a "happy medium" to get a good exposure without too much noisy and as little motion blur as possible.

Ultimately, a single exposure wasn't going to cut it so they decided to use stacking to produce a cleaner final image. You can get all the details and see Ian's post-processing in the video tutorial below.

If you'd like to learn more about stacking exposures to reduce noise and improve the quality of your images, check out Ian's tutorial:

For more great tutorials, check out his YouTube channel and Lonely Speck.

On a related note, CNN recently wrote an article about light pollution and how roughly one third of the world's population can no longer see the Milky Way from the ground. In the United States, the situation is worse with only 20 percent of Americans being able to see our own galaxy. For many of us then, perhaps the best chance we have is actually from an airplane.

(Seen via ISO 1200