Drew Buckley is a landscape photographer who also loves capturing spectacular images of star-filled skies. "Including the night sky pushes the genre a bit further, and I like the fact that it's a different take on the world around us," he says. And conversely, in astrophotography "I prefer to include a landscape or landmark as part of the frame. I sometimes think it helps put things into perspective and show how small we all are."
Drew, who is based in Wales, has been photographing the night sky since he became a full-time professional photographer in 2010. He says the quality of images he has been able to produce has improved enormously as camera technology has advanced.
"Night sky photography is all about capturing as much light as you can in a short space of time," he says. "Faster lenses, and the advancement of camera sensors in terms of high ISO performance, have definitely made a difference. Also, the noise in shadow areas, and the ability to pull detail out of the shadows of RAW files in post production, have vastly improved. If I compare my first astrophotography shots with the ones I'm shooting now, they're a completely different quality."
For Drew, making photographic prints of his night sky images is the ultimate way to view them. He produces prints to showcase his work and also sells them via his website. "In this day and age when we mainly see images on screens, seeing an image in a physical, tactile form is a different experience. For me, it's what photography is all about. It's something I'd recommend everybody does."
But how do you create prints that look just as good as the images you see on your camera or computer monitor? Here, Drew shares his top tips for getting the best prints of your astrophotography images, from preparation to final output.