The incredible star trail image is by Milky Way Mike Ver Sprill. This image is how we discovered him. See his Photographer of the Month page.
Batsto Village is a New Jersey historic site. It’s also a photography hot spot located in the South Central Pinelands area. It’s a great location to photograph some 19th-century buildings. There are a sawmill and several other buildings with a lake nearby. You can take tours of the village and photograph the interior of the buildings. Stop by the museum and be sure to say at the visitor’s center. The staff is very informative and welcoming. We remembered a $5.00 parking fee, but it doesn’t say there is one on their website. It’s well worth the money if you have to pay to park.
It was a hot day when we were here, and we were glad we took that bottle of water with us. There is no food or drink for purchase when you are walking the grounds. The sawmill makes a great shot, and there is running water for the silky effect. This is also a night sky Milky Way photography location.
Batsto Village, N.J. Photography Hot Spot
You can photograph here any time of year. It’s dark skies here also but the park is closed at night. Park Police will arrest you. That is a fact. Be careful if you choose to sneak in. We have not done that.
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You have moving waters here. You can do your long-exposure running and milky water shots. You will have to use a tripod for this effect. Your settings will vary depending on the lighting and your neutral density filter. You will shoot in manual mode for the milky waters. ISO is always 100 or as low as your camera will allow. The aperture is f22. Your shutter speed will be the only variable depending on the light. Roll your shutter speed until your meter reads zero. (In the center) Use your shutter release or 2-second timer to prevent camera movement when exposed. You will want at least a 2-second exposure to milky water. If you don’t have a neutral density filter, you may not get more than 1/15th of a second in the sun.
How to Shoot Milky Way and Night Sky Photography
This is one of the few places in New Jersey you can shoot the Milky Way. You cannot go in at night, though. You risk fines and trespassing charges.
You can stand outside on the street in front of the barn and do Milky Way photography.
What you will need:
Light pollution map – light pollution map
Camera – You will need a camera to manually control your ISO, shutter speed, and aperture.
Lens – A fast wide-angle lens of 1.4 – 2.8 is ideal. If you use a 3.5 or higher (slower lens), you will have to increase the ISO. The higher the ISO, the more grain or digital noise or grain in your photos.
Tripod – A good sturdy tripod is essential for night photography. If it gets windy, you will need a sturdy one. Remember that when you buy one, it should be sturdy enough to withstand the wind but small enough to fit in your suitcase.
Sky Map – Sky Guide is available through the iTunes Store for $1.99. It has a 5 out of 5-star rating on both the current (3.2) version (1200+ ratings) and all previous versions (8600+ ratings).
Flashlight – Our choice is Coast brand for flashlights. The ideal flashlight will have high lumens, and you will be able to zoom in and out on the amount of light emitting from the flashlight. Get the HP7, PX45, or the G50. Ideally, go with the HP7.
Moon Phaze Map – The best time to go is during a new moon, and you want to be in the darkest area possible. The week before the new moon, when the moon has not risen, is a perfect time to go, so check the moonrise chart to see when the moon will be up.
Remote Shutter Release – When painting with light and you want to go over a 30-second exposure, you must have a shutter release to use your bulb mode. When exposing your pictures in general, you can use the remote release or your camera’s built-in two-second timer.
Use a Tripod – First, you must be on a tripod. A good sturdy tripod is necessary if it is windy. If the tripod moves, your picture will blur.
Focus – Use live view. Use your camera’s live view to focus in the dark, hit the zoom button, and focus on a bright star. You can also use the infinity setting on your lens but do several test shots to determine accuracy. It can be off a little on some lenses. You can also light it up with a flashlight, focus, then gently, without touching the focus ring, put the camera in manual focus so it will not search for the focus. You must do this each time you move your camera to take your next angel.
ISO – Start with ISO 1600 – 3200. This is a common starting point, and you will adjust from here.
Shutter Speed – Remember, the earth is rotating. If you leave the shutter open for too long, you will see star trails that will not make for a crisp image. We want crisp non-star trail images. Here is the formula to avoid star trails—the 500 rule – Divide 500 by the focal length of your lens. So, if you have a 24mm lens on a full-frame camera, you will set your shutter speed to 20 sec. (500/24 = 20.83). If you are using a crop sensor camera, first do the math of the crop sensor to find the focal length. Cannon is 1.6, and Nikon is 1.5. Convert to full-frame focal length, then use the formula. Nikon 18mm x 1.5= 27mm – 500/27 = 18.51 seconds.
Aperture – Depth of field isn’t critical in these shots, but letting the light into the camera is; therefore, you should shoot wide open. If the depth of field is essential to you, try not to go too high. (wide open =the lowest aperture your camera will allow). You will have to increase the ISO some, giving you digital noise.
White balance suggestion: Use live view mode to change your white balance settings and see what it will look like. You can shoot in shade or cloud mode as a standard setting and adjust things later.
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Batsto Park Information:
Telephone: 609-561-0024 Fax:609-567-8116 – Postal address: Batsto Village & Wharton State Forest, 31 Batsto RoadHammonton, NJ 08037 – Electronic mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visitor Center: Daily: 900:am to 4:00 pm
|Self Guided Village Tour:|
Visitors may take a self-guided walking tour by following the numbered map on a Batsto Village brochure, which is available at the Visitors Center. The buildings and sites are numbered and briefly described for the visitor’s benefit.
|Guided Village Tours:|
There are no regularly scheduled guided tours of the village. However, groups and schools can arrange in advance for special tours led by the State employees’ Resource Interpretive Specialists. Groups must make arrangements at least five days in advance. No reservations will be accepted on Saturdays, Sundays, or holidays.
Where To Camp Near Batsto Village?
Do you want us to send our photography and ghost-hunting friends to your campground to stay during their ghost-hunting trip? Put your campground information here. We will put a picture of your establishment, the website link, the phone number, and the information on your campground to make it easy for our photographers and ghost hunters to find you. They are good at getting there in the dark.
Would you like to be featured in an article as a place to stay while doing photography or ghost hunting? If so, please send us an email. You will be surprised at how affordable our prices can be.
FOOD & DINING
Add Your Restaurant Near Batsto Village Here!
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Add Your Batsto Hotel Information:
Place your business here.
Do you want us to send our photography and ghost-hunting friends to your hotel for their photography or ghost-hunting trip? Put your hotel information here. We will put pictures of your hotel, the website link, the phone number, and your hotel information.
Would you like to be a featured hotel like this article or this one? Please send us an email. You will be surprised at how affordable our prices can be.
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