Astrophotography produces stunning images that can transport viewers out of this world. To become an expert in capturing starscapes or the colorful nebulas of the Milky Way takes dedication, technical skill, and a love for the outdoors. Photographers all over the world are capturing the stars with their unique vantage points from Earth.
If you are curious how to get started photographing the night skies, photographer Trevor Jones’ website AstroBackyard is the place to start finding beginner equipment, tips, and techniques. But what it boils down to is that with some simple photographic tools—even just a smartphone—you too can get started creating.
Instagram is the perfect platform on which to share your photography journey; scroll down to check out some astrophotographers you should follow for a daily dose of inspiration and beauty. The world of prominent astrophotographers remains dominated by men, but women are making inroads into the field. Whether you are new to photography or have spent your lifetime snapping the stars, the night sky can be an inspiration for everyone.
Scroll down to check out the awesome shots of 21 nighttime and astrophotographers you should follow on Instagram.
Known for his incredibly high megapixel images of the moon, photographer Andrew McCarthy takes the most incredible shots of space from his backyard in California. You can purchase his work as fine art prints.
Pablo Ruiz Garcia
Pablo Ruiz Garcia takes stunning celestial shots, but his daytime landscape photography is also beautiful. His work seems to use neutral density filters to create incredible effects when photographing moving water.
Finnish astrophotographer and self-described “northern lights whisperer” Thomas Kast seems to have the best luck capturing the aurora borealis—in addition to dedication and technical skill.
Michael Goh is a Perth, Australia-based photographer who shoots sporting events, music performances, and (of course) the vast night sky on view in the Southern Hemisphere.
Between photographs of Nori Yuasa‘s enchanting miniature dachshund, you will find astrophotography that speaks of painterly elegance—check out his gallery for more amazing images (of the stars, not the cute puppy).
A professional photographer from Östersund, Sweden, Göran Strand takes advantage of his beautiful surroundings—even capturing a rare lunar halo.
Russian photographer Sergey Korolev shoots magnificent sunsets and the swirling green and purple northern lights. These warm lights can make even the coldest landscapes look cozy.
Jason De Freitas
Photographer Jason De Freitas takes astrophotography in a retro direction—his film shots will remind you that the newest DSLR is not necessary to capture amazing moments, such as the transit of the International Space Station between Jupiter and Saturn.
Navid Baraty is a National Geographic Your Shot contributor who shares his photos from around the United States, including astrophotography, street photography, and aerial images. To learn more about his work, be sure to listen to his episode of the My Modern Met Top Artist podcast.
Dr. Nicholas Roemmelt captures stunning nighttime images above impressive snow and icescapes. Some of his long exposure star trails are actually taken while he sleeps in a nearby tent.
Peter Zelinka turns the U.S. western landscapes and the night sky into works of fine art. This image of the Veil Nebula is a stunning example of his work.
Astrophotographer and landscape photographer Giulio Cobianchi captures images from the snowy arctic circle to the dramatic Italian Dolomites.
Cheryl Kerr‘s gorgeous landscape photography is a lesson in finding beautiful details in waterfalls and the night sky. As a bonus, her bread pictures will inspire you to get baking.
Manish Mamtani has been published by National Geographic and Vanity Fair, and he is also a judge for prestigious photo competitions. His aerial photography of fall foliage is just as stunning as his starscapes.
An expert in long exposure star trail photography, Steve Raymond often camps out on mountain tops in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York to get his mesmerizing shots.
Based in Moab, Utah, Bettymaya Foott combines beautiful scenery with technical skill to produce arresting images that will make you want to drive across the country and stop to gaze at the unobstructed stars somewhere in the remote desert.
This image of a cosmic cloud within the Milky Way’s Orion Arm was captured by astrophotographer Charles Bonafilia, whose work is not just beautiful but also deeply educational with detailed captions.
Julio Castro Pardo
Landscape photographer Julio Castro Pardo pairs the night sky with earthly scenes almost as beautiful, including ancient monasteries to rushing rivers.
Based in Peru, Jheison Huerta teaches astrophotography workshops. Check out his website for the chance to learn to photograph the stars above some of the most magical vistas on Earth.