While in Sanibel Florida, I tried shooting a few night sky shots. In the Northeast it is usually too bright to shoot night skies with stars, so I thought Sanibel on the Gulf would be a good place to try. When I started it was a clear night, but as soon as I got setup, clouds started to come in. I got a few shots anyway and it was fun to try. Exposures are fairly long and use ISOs that are higher than usual. I used exposures from 10 sec to 30 seconds. I did not have an Intervalometer or cable release to control longer exposures, so I was limited to the built in maximum shutter exposure of 30 seconds. Most digital camera bodies limit you to 30 seconds. Battery life at long exposures and long exposure noise reduction in the firmware really drains the batteries quickly. Also use a sturdy tripod and try not to touch the tripod or camera during the exposure, any little movement will show in your image. As it was, there was a slight breeze so some leaves have a slight movement. You can also try painting the trees or foreground with a small flashlight during the exposure to add texture to foreground subjects. This takes a little practice, but adds some more dimension and depth to your images. I seemed to like the look I got using ISO 1250 for most of the images, but this is all based on the camera body I was using. All images were shot with a Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 24-105mm f/4 L set to 24mm and manually focused either to the trees or infinity.
The header photo exposure was f/5.6 @ 25 seconds, ISO 1250.
f/4 @ 30 seconds, ISO 1250 , you can see the glow along the horizon from the city of Ft. Myers and then drops off to the right once you get past the city lights & land.
f/6.3 @ 30 seconds, ISO 1250 trees painted with light from a small LED handheld flashlight
f/4 @ 30 seconds, ISO 1250 The streak on the right side is an airplane with its light flashing giving a dotted line streak.
f/8 @ 30 seconds, ISO 1250 tree lite with ambient light from a nearby outdoor light on the path.
f/4 @ 30 seconds, ISO 1250 – photo below