Get to know Featured Photographer—Derek Sturman

For this week's Featured Photographer, we are excited to highlight Landscape and Astrophotographer, Derek Sturman! Not only is Derek amazing with his work out of the camera, but he's also a master at post-processing. He has participated and presented at Utah's own Nightscaper Conferences and has hosted multiple post-processing workshops/webinars. We absolutely love Derek's style of images because they are so clean and crisp. We can't wait for you to get to know him, so let's get started!

When did you start getting into astrophotography?

I got my start in astrophotography in July of 2015, I was experimenting on a camping trip with long exposure and became instantly hooked.

image of milkyway by Derek Sturman

What helped you the most while learning how to shoot Astro?

Practice. Failure, practice, tutorials and education from other photographers... I think that’s huge, it really boosts your learning curve.

panarama milkyway by derek sturman

What has been your favorite locations for night sky photography?

You know, that’s sort of an impossible question for me, the deserts of Utah out in areas no one really goes as been a big one and same with places out in the California desert. I really like to be somewhere remote feeling.

moon at night by derek sturman

Tell us a little about your post-processing style. How'd you learn?

Well a lot of it was trial and error and experimentation, and some of it was solid techniques I learned from other photographers tutorials and etc. I think a perfect balance of learning from others and just getting out to shoot is the best way to learn.

milkyway at night by derek sturman

What does your gear bag look like when you're out on a shoot?

I’ve had a lot of camera bags and I always wear them down. They don’t survive my abuse I guess. So for now I’m running everything in pelican cases until I’m on the location where I'll sometimes pop it into a regular backpack. I typically always have my Tamron 15-30, a tripod, Nikon D850, and Nikkor 70-300mm.

panarama of milkyway by derek sturman

Do you have any advice/tips for those looking to step up their Astrophotography game?

Absolutely,

  1. Shoot darker locations
  2. Stack, blend, track or composite for much better image quality 
  3. Learn as much post processing as possible so you have techniques at your disposal

Thank you so much, Derek, for spending the time to let us get to know you better. Derek will be presenting an Astrophotography post-processing webinar with us on November 19th, click here to register. If you want to learn more about Derek and his photography, head over to his website or follow him on Instagram.

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