Often we ask ourself whether we can shot the Milky Way using our phone. This app lets you capture the night sky with the phone camera. It is created and tested in Singapore, the most light polluted country in the world. So if the Milky Way can be photographed here, you probably can do it in your country.
What you will need:
- a small tripod is optional if you use the front camera. You can use bag, cup etc as a holder for your phone. The front camera has lower resolution but can capture IR light. The back camera has higher resolution but requires a tripod. It gives better image. Avoid fully extend the tripod to minimise wind and user touch vibration.
- another app to know where is the milky way. You will need to adjust the phone with tripod to face the Milky Way in the night sky.
- set your phone screen lock to longer time. The app is taking long exposure using the phone camera.
- The Milky Way is not visible to the naked eye in most cities around the world. To capture it, you have to meet some critical conditions.
1. The timing is very important. You will need to know when the Milky Way is at the highest possible point in the sky. For my screenshots, I have to stay awake until 6am to shoot the Milky Way that is close to 60 degree altitude.
2. The sky can be partially cloudy. Best weather is clear sky. Milkycam can deal with passing cloud with its Pause and Continue button. It will also needs to see some stars so that it can track field rotation. If the sky is fully cloudy, then you have try later.
3. Choose a location where strong light from street or window would not shine into your camera. It is possible to shoot in the city because the sky glow can be blocked by trees and tall buildings. See screenshots.
Step by Step Operation:
1. Choose an exposure time from the time slider and it will start long exposure shot. 1 minute of long exposure is good for very subtle image of the Milky Way. The Time slider lets you choose from live to 16 min of exposure.
2. The app will auto choose alignment stars after 15 seconds. You can change the stars by tapping the Pause button and tap the bright stars you want to use for tracking.
3. Sit back and enjoy the live image stacking.
4. Once the the exposure time is finished. Adjust the brightness and contrast, then press the Detail button to see the Milky Way and more stars. The Detail button does some image processing to pop out the Milky Way. In the mid of the long exposure, you can also tap Pause and then Detail to see the Milky Way image status.
5. Tap save for a picture in your photo album.
6. Tap the Time slider for another shot.
Demo setup and use at https://youtu.be/dNtuZNSV6qo
Note: This app is designed to photo the dim milky way so it is useful only if you point it to the night sky. Otherwise the live view will wash out if the camera is used in day time or indoor with bright light.
Have fun and feel alive when you capture your own Milky Way.
- fix a bug for iPhone 8 crashes.
Up to six family members will be able to use this app with Family Sharing enabled.