If you want to take mind-blowing photographs of the stars and the night sky, you can’t go past the amazing work of astrophotographer Michael Goh. Whether you are taking time lapse shots or panoramic night-time landscapes, this award-winning photographer is generous with this tips on how to get the ideal photo.
We chat to Michael so that we can bring his incredible techniques to you.
Gina and Valerie love bringing this podcast to you.
Hope you enjoy the podcast.
Sign up to the newsletter for great tips and free Lightroom presets.
Join the dynamic Gold Membership in our Community which delivers monthly tutorials, live mastermind and lots of behind the scenes videos into the creative process.
Michael purchased his first DSLR in November 2010 and has been self-taught by reading, websites, youtube and a lot of experimentation. He shoots fauna, flora, liquid macros, off camera flash, macros, and some portraiture. And, of course, astrophotography.
- Astronomy Photo of the Day 17th February 2016
- Photonightscape awards – nightscape category winner PNA 2015 winners
- Best Astrophoto for Astrofest 2014
- Honourable mention for Wide-field Astrophoto for 2014 CWAS Astrophotography The David Malin Awards
- Category winner Ice-In-Space calendar 2015 for Nightscape-Widefield
- Camera house Photo Friday Landscape winner
- Numerous publications in magazines, books and newspapers.
Social Media links
Tell us about yourself:
I’m located in Perth, Western Australia. I’m married (21 years) to my fantastic and very understanding better half and wife – Catherine. I have 2 great daughters – Jessica (17) and Charlotte (14) – who I believe will exceed me artistically. I’m a finance professional – having been in the industry now for more than 22 years. I have worked within banks and also self-employed as a finance and mortgage broker – primarily with commercial clients, but I also look after personal clients as well.
I purchased my first DSLR in November 2010 after driving across Australia in 2009. Coincidentally – it was a podcast that helped tip me into thinking about taking better photos and ultimately get a DSLR (7 photography questions).
I’m a self-taught photographer – mainly by reading books, youtube and a lot of experimenting.
I do photograph more than just landscapes and astrophotography images. I generally don’t publish those due to privacy, however, I’ve had some consents recently, so will probably put some of those up soon.
What is astrophotography?
Astrophotography is really any photographing of astronomical objects. These include stars, nebula, planets in the night sky.
I specialise in landscape astrophotography – where the foreground landscape is a major feature. While I love seeing images of distant galaxies – I like keeping it “simple” and “accessible” and being able to compose based on the foreground elements (which you can’t really do with a telescope).
How did you get into shooting the night sky?
I’ve always been a bit of a science fiction fan. Maybe around early/mid-2011 – I saw the amazing liquid art of Corrie White. This catapulted my direction into photographing things that you can’t readily see with the naked eye – hence a lot of flash work, long exposure etc.
What gear are you using now?
My primary camera is a canon 6d
Tamron 15-30 f2.8
Tamron 70-200 f2.8
Tamron 24-70 f2.8
Tamron 90mm macro f2.8
Canon 17-40 f4
Filters – combination of Nisi, Lee and Hi-tech
Wireless and cable remotes
Tripods and light stands
Canon 550d (first dslr)
Nikon AW1 (used for wave photography)
Nikon d5100 (won at competition)
1 godox 360ii portable strobe
Various light modifiers –
Gary fong lightsphere
Smdv s70 softbox
What gear do you recommend for someone starting out on a tight budget?
Almost any manual camera – preferably a DSLR and preferably – with manual focus and controls.
Preferably a tripod, but I’m okay with using anything – like a rock for example
I’m comfortable shooting the milky way with an entry level DSLR with 18-55mm lens
What apps do you like to use?
My preferred apps are:
Skysafari – on IOS and android
Photopills – on IOS and android
An example of solar imaging on site – photographingspace.com.
An example of light pollution maps
What are some luxury items that you think would help take better astro images?
Full frame cameras tend to have better low light performance.
Wide fast lens – with low coma. Not necessarily more expensive
Light pollution filters – maybe
Wide angle lens
Avoid shooting wide open
Pick a spot away from light pollution ( use this map http://darksitefinder.com/maps/world.html
-or focus on bright star in the distance
-remember to turn off image stabilization (if your lens has it)
Iso 3200 crop sensor
ISO 6400 full frame
25 secs ( sharp stars)
Michael has kindly offered a link to a dng file for a milky way test image that people can play around with in post processing.