No tripods, no guiders, no nothing. It´s just your camera and your own breath.

Once a good joke, freehand astrophoto shootings are nowadays in the evening menu of every smartphone user. They have been made possible thanks to today's technology and accessibility. But what about us astrophotographers? Sure, all of us own sharp telescopes, rigid mounts and sensitive astrocameras with all bell and whistles available. We all know what is the right way to practice astrophotography. But are we allowed to think out of the box? Let´s get serious: although this photographic discipline is mainly about fun, it shows a way how to spontaneously manage an unavailable-light situation, and hopefully inspire many. Thanks for reading. /px

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Photo Shooting

1. Grab your camera. Switch it to manual mode (M) and set ISO 51200 or higher.

2. Enable the stabilization (VR) on both camera and lens.

3. Set the drive mode of the camera to continuous shooting.

4. Set the highest possible aperture (e.g. f/2.8) on the lens.

5. Set exposure time to 0,5s.

6. Autofocus on the brightest star of the sky by using the spot focus on the camera.

7. Disable the autofocus on the lens or camera without shaking.

8. Hold the camera steady with both hands. Hold the camera body with one hand, and the lens with the other hand. Take a stable standing position with your body. Karate! 

9. Breath normally, relax, you’ll make it.

10. Point the constellation of your choice and frame it well by noticing the exakt positions of the stars in the viewfinder.

11. Notice your breath rhythm. Press the release button briefly between exhaling and inhaling. 3 seconds lead to 6 exposures.

12. Repeat step 11 for 20 times or more.

Photo Processing

1. Go back to your computer, and load the exposures in Adobe Lightroom (LR).

2. Choose those pictures with pinpoint stars and delete the rest showing star trails.

3. Correct the first one using LR’s lens correction functions and adjust its colors.

4. Let LR to apply all your corrections to the rest images.

5. Export all exposures to a directory on your harddrive in TIFF format.

6. Load, align, and stack those exposures in the directory with Registar.

7. Save the stacked image combine1.tif on your hardrive.

8. Load it in Adobe Photoshop and process it as good as possible.

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Note:  All images below are the result of this method.

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