Google Pixel 4 astrophotography: How to take pictures of the Milky Way

The Google Pixel 4 was a much debated smartphone. While many users/critics were not too happy with the device, it did come with some very impressive features. The astrophotography mode was one of them.

The Google Pixel 4 was a much debated smartphone. While many users/critics were not too happy with the device, it did come with some very impressive features. The astrophotography mode was one of them.

The Google Pixel 4 was a much debated smartphone. While many users/critics were not too happy with the device, it did come with some very impressive features. The astrophotography mode was one of them.

What is the Pixel 4 Astrophotography mode and what can it do?

Google has a blog post that gives you indepth details, but we have simplified it for you.

The Pixel camera's astrophotography more or astro mode lets you take shots of the night sky, stars and other celestial objects like the Milky Way.

The Pixel 4 combines 16 15-second exposures into a single four-minute "mega-exposure" while the Pixel 3a and the Pixel 3 combine four of these frames to make a one-minute exposure.

Also Read: Google Pixel 4 gets iPhone's 3D Touch-like feature

To capture these astro shots, you will need a tripod or another hack to make sure your phone is absolutely still. You then use the Night Sight mode for the Pixel and that automatically puts you on the astrophotography mode.

So, now that you know what it does, how do you make it work better for you?

Also Read: Amazon India is selling Google Pixel 4, 4XL: Here's how much you have to pay

For starters, Google has already issued from tips and best practices to ensure a good shot. One of these is firing a test shot in astrophotography mode (the viewfinder updates after 15 seconds) to check if your picture is framed properly. The other is to set the focus to 'far' if you are facing 'autofocus' issues.

But besides this, here are some other tips.

1.Find a spot where pollution is as low as possible

To take good and clear astro photos you will need to find areas with very low pollution so as the skies are visible and clear. Cities rarely give you that opportunity, but you can use a website like Like Pollution Map to find those areas with lower pollution.

2.Make your shots better by using your own lighting

If you want to shoot people's faces as well, try using small lamps or indirect lighting to illuminate their faces. Shooting people in complete darkness means you cannot see them unless they are silhouetted by the sky. However, so not use a direct flashlight - that will overexpose the subjects and ruin your sky shots.

3.Protect your phone

If you are using a tripod or a make-shift set-up keep your hand near the tripod or place it on blanket or clothing to protect your phone in case it falls.

4.Edit your photos

You can tweak the light levels and colours in the photos to make them look better.

5.Don't worry too much about other objects in the pictures

You might not always be able to shoot at a site where there is not a thing or a soul around. Let objects in the screen be, they usually add to it all. Pixel 4 deals relatively well with unwanted light sources so you can breathe easy there - subsequent exposures cover it up well. So if someone suddenly turns on a flashlight you don't have to end your current exposure, you should take a follow-up shot just in case.

6.Take multiple shots

Another snap is not a bad thing. And this applies to astrophotography as well. So even if you think you have the perfect shot, take another one.

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