Shooting for the moon: Photo tips from a NASA astronaut
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Shooting for the moon: Photo tips from a NASA astronaut

Photo Credit: NASA/Don Pettit

Many of us have dabbled in astrophotography, but it's a fair bet that none of us have captured star trails quite like Don Pettit has. A NASA astronaut and photographer, part of his job aboard the International Space Station has included photographing Earth from space. The subject of a recent SmugMug profile, his photos go beyond pure documentation, capturing the spectacle of aurora, vast glowing cities and light trails created by the planet and the sky.

If you too want to shoot like a NASA astronaut, Pettit has provided us with eight tips for shooting in space. You can see more of his images at SmugMug.

1: Beat the Blur

Keep your gear stable to avoid camera shake and blur during exposures. On Earth, the 400mm f/2.8 weighs quite a few pounds and definitely requires a tripod. In weightlessness, it becomes a beautiful piece of equipment to use. And it’s heavy enough that small things like your heartbeat won’t make the lens jiggle.