While many professional photographers will go out into the night to take random photos, it is important to plan for these sessions. This not only saves time and energy but also ensures that you and the equipment you go out with are safe all the time.
The best location – this should in essence be the first aspect to consider before going out with your camera because different locations offer different sceneries of the sky due to factors such as, public street lighting, study lights and airplane activity. To find a wide variety of locations to choose from, you can use Google maps features to locate those which would look nice if the situation called for low light. This essentially means that the area you pick to produce HDRI sky images should have the least interference with artificial lights.
Weather – If you are able to take photos at angels in relation to the position of the clouds, then you are more skilled than you think. Weather forecasts are not always accurately, so you can use them as an indicator of how weather patterns are likely to change. It is best to allow for a wide range of error if you are to take confident and bold pictures of the night.
Presence of the moon – The moon lights up the night but this makes it impossible to see the beauty of the stars. Get out more during the night when it is pitch black because this is the best time to capture the stars without interference from other light sources.
Settings and equipment – your eyes may need more time to get accustomed to the night that they need to focus during the day. Apart from the necessary equipment to zoom into the night sky, you all need to take all shots on raw format. This setting is recommended for all types of night or low light captures.
The more photographs you take, the better you become at site location and settings; practice definitely makes perfect. You are bound to experiment with a host of different shots before you discover which combination of factors works best.