SHOOT CAMERA IN MANUAL MODE:
Exposure time – with extreme wide angle lens (12mm-15mm, start with exposure of 20-30 seconds. Then check image to see of start are pin points, or if there is slight blurring from star movement. With longer lenses (more magnification) 18-35mm, you will likely need exposure of 15-20 seconds to get sharp stars. Also, make sure tripod is sturdy – add a sandbag if windy.
Manually focus on stars: Use the infinity setting on your lens. Then fine tune focus with test shots until stars are pin point sharp. Put a piece of tape on focus ring to avoid accident movement.
Use camera’s 2-second delay for shutter release – this avoids any camera movement from pressing shutter release.
After the shoot:
Use Adobe’s Lightroom or Photoshop to process RAW images. Adjust exposure, contrast, white balance, clarity, noise reduction and other tools to create the best image.
Get more Milky Way photography tips online:
Night Sky Photography workshops in National Parks: