How do I remove the starry sky from my phone?

How do I shoot starry skies with my cell phone?

Bewitching pictures of deep night skies and starry tracks are in demand down the drain, often placed on screensavers, and second owners of smartphones have tried to capture a similar image at least once. Those who have stopped on the street to capture the starry sky know that this has failed. The results do not correspond to expectations.

In this article you will find out how to prepare correctly to remove the starry sky beautifully.

Blajnikova, Anna.

Editor Contentography


  • What should I do beforehand?
  • How to remove the starry sky?
  • What devices are required for successful personnel?
  • Use Advanced Mode
  • Unrealistic Photo Application

What should I do beforehand?

Before you shoot the night sky with your phone, you need to be prepared. Before we shoot, we need to think about

The right location

Seeing stars in the bright light of a large city is a difficult task. It is almost impossible to photograph them under such conditions. You need to choose a dark place without artificial lighting.

To do this you need to go as far as possible from the village. Forests, fields, and the shores of small ponds are best.

If it is difficult to select a suitable location yourself, use a light pollution map service. On his maps you can see the distribution of nighttime lighting in settlements and on roads anywhere in the world.

Night Light Map

Stuffy weather

Follow the weather forecasts. In cloud weather, stars are not visible. Stuffy nights are the best option for shooting stars.

If you want to give your frames a special charm, try shooting with a slight cloud cover. But there are nuances. The speed of the wind must be taken into account. In calm weather for photos, clouds are not so lubricated because of long shutter speeds.

However, it is better to take off the stars when the sky is clear.

If you are shooting in a new area, come at dawn to determine your angle.

There is a useful night sky application for the iPhone. Developers have positioned it as a powerful personal planetarium. In the night sky, by pointing the phone camera at the sky, you can not only see the names of the constellations, but also track the degree of cloudiness of the astronomers. Thus, with the help of one application, you can solve two problems at once. Choose a suitable night to shoot and capture the area of the sky that interests you.

Lunar Calendar

Fairly bright light can give the moon and block the brightness of the stars. Therefore, when planning a shoot, roll with the lunar calendar – the new moon phase suits you.

How to remove the starry sky?

Once all conditions are met, you can start shooting starry skies with your smartphone.

How do I shoot the night sky on my iPhone or Android? Start by selecting a shooting mode. On the iPhone and many Android phones, you can turn on night mode. If you have an Android but do not have a night mode, choose Manual setting mode. You can call it Pro, Pro, Professional, or Manual.

You can use the build-in star to take beautiful pictures of the night sky on your Huawei phone. With this function you can create pictures with met stone rain (star tracks) effect. Just open the camera and still go to the tab -> Lights -> Stars. Then fix the phone on a tripod and just press the shoot button, after a while you have to stop with the same button. The longer the shooting lasts, the longer the star line will be.

Star Track Photos

To photograph a stellar track, it is important to choose a viewpoint. If you need to get a noticeable rotating circle in the picture, you should point the lens at the polar star (in the northern hemisphere) or Sigmu octante (in the southern hemisphere).

If you install a long exposure, the standard feature of your smart phone provides a 15-second excerpt. If your smartphone offers longer (up to 1 minute), use it – choose it. It is almost impossible to remove such frames from your hand, as it is very difficult to remain completely motionless for 15 seconds. Therefore, it is better to use a tripod.

Shooting the starry sky with your phone

When the shutter button is pressed, the smartphone and the camera will inevitably move, respectively. Therefore, use the delayed-fire feature and place the timer on for 10 seconds.

Another useful NightCap camera application helps adjust the duration of the exposure. Also, Apple Watch owners remove stars even more easily. The client application can be installed on the watch and the Shutter button can be pressed remotely without making unnecessary movements when shooting.

What devices are required for successful personnel?

  • Tripod – Don’t bother with that choice if you want to shoot with your smart phone. It is enough to hold the phone steady on the surface. Most tripods worth up to 1000 rubles will cope with this task.
  • A flashlight with a red light will facilitate the shooting process in the dark. In fact, red light is better perceived by the human eye and, unlike normal white, does not blind it at night. It is more convenient to move around, choose a place to set up the tripod, and perform other actions in the dark, highlighting the space with a red lighted lamp.
  • Power Bank. Agree, it is a pity that star shooters adapt to many conditions and do not capture good frames only because of the lack of smart phone charging. Therefore, please use a fully charged PowerBank.

Milky Way taken with a smartphone

What characteristics should a smartphone have for such a shoot?

To obtain high-quality images of the night sky, a smartphone camera should have a resolution of at least 8 mpix and a fairly high aperture.

The parameters of extension are indicated by the number f (e.g., f/1.6, f/2.2). The smaller the number, the more parcels. Higher apertures allow the use of smaller excerpts and ISO, resulting in higher photo quality.

Use Advanced Mode

Use Manual Settings to capture the starry sky with your phone.

Configure Endurance

In the manual settings of the Smartphone camera you can find the maximum duration of the Smartphone camera. If you want to get an image with clear lights of stars, a standard 15-second exposure is sufficient and can be selected for almost all smartphones. It turns out that capturing a series of frames with a long exposure will capture the tracks of the stars. The earth rotates and the stars in the sky also move in the frame.

Compose the white balance

The automatic white balance makes the sky a muddy, incomprehensible dirty tint. Use the “incandescent” setting to give the frame a beautiful cold blue shade and enhance the texture of the stars.

Successful White Balance of the Night Sky

Compose light sensitivity

To shoot the night sky, try selecting a small ISO value. There are no strict rules here. The best value is chosen experimentally, depending on the smartphone model and lighting conditions.

It should be noted that the physical size of the smartphone camera matrix is much smaller than the physical size of the camera. Hence, the higher ISO on the smartphone will degrade the quality of the photo. Frames will be lighter but more grainy.

Delete to RAW

Night shots, with rare exceptions, require considerable processing. Therefore, it is recommended that you shoot in RAW format. Lightroom is designed specifically for RAW, and this program will bring out the color and light you need, even if you make mistakes while shooting. JPEG doesn’t allow for that kind of focus.

Unrealistic Photo Application

These programs will help you capture the starry sky with your cell phone.

Nightcap Camera

This is a cool application if you want to take beautiful pictures at night without worrying about settings. NightCap Camera lets you choose the best settings to create the perfect shot with the help of artificial intelligence.

One foreign enthusiast managed to capture the Cassiopeia A nebula using the NightCap Camera and a telescope with an equatorial mount on his iPhone 5s.


An inexpensive editor for iPhone and Android. It is not designed to apply presets or beautiful effects, but only works with manual settings. The advantage of ProShot is that you can shoot from your camera with this application.

ProShot allows you to adjust the most important shooting parameters such as white balance, ISO, shutter speed, sharpness, manual focus, etc.

ProCam 8

A paid application that enhances your camera with many filters and photo editing tools. ProCam 8 offers a wide range of features, such as

  • Set basic settings (ISO, white balance, shutter speed, exposure).
  • Increase or decrease video speed.
  • Set the flash
  • Capture slow motion of objects using time-lapse photography.
  • Add a watermark to the photo.
  • Adjust the image stabilization.

Pro Cam X

Paid app for android. Useful if your smartphone does not have a professional mode. Take pictures directly from the application by adjusting basic settings (ISO, white balance, shutter speed, focus, brightness, frame sharpness). As well as: as

  • Generate preset settings for different modes.
  • Create interval shots.
  • Shoot video in high resolution.
  • Create fast and slow videos.

Night Shooting

This application specializes in night photography. Choose manual settings or rely on artificial intelligence to modify shutter speed, ISO sensitivity, and white balance settings.

With NightShooting, you can take beautiful photos handheld without a tripod.

Good luck with your starry skies and beautiful photos!!! 🙂

If you are out of town and want to get home to creative experimentation, there are cool master classes.

The Laboratory of Light by top photographer Max Baev is an MK that breaks down stereotypes about the complexity and cost of light in photography. Using impromptu tools that everyone has at home, the photographer captures masterpieces even in the kitchen.

These photos were taken by Max Baev at home without the use of expensive lighting fixtures. You can do the same.

Photo by Max Baev for Light Lab

Photo with two light sources

See you in the Light Lab.

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