Astrophotography in Taiwan

Just wondering if any of you guys here are into astrophotography? Or are there any astrophotography clubs/shops you can recommend in Taipei?

I was hoping to check out some gear/accessories and also get tips on where to shoot.

I do, go to the mountain, esp. hehuanshan range during summer, learn some tricks to minimize light pollution effect to your picture, else, always check weather forecast to find the clear sky without moon.
my gear: tripod, canon mirrorless and samyang lens, nothing fancy.


Yes, I have dabbed into that. But light pollution is a huge problem. You have to venture far / high to get away from the pollution. Hehuangshan is the only Dark Sky place in Taiwan.

Gear: a camera with manual settings, tripod, wide-angle lens, intervalometer. My pièce de résistance is a red enhancement filter. It does wonders for light pollution.

My biggest help is an app called Planit. You can plan for, among other things, star / galaxy related times at any chosen place. For example, it can tell you, in advance, when there will be a dark sky (no moon), where is the center of the milky way and what time it will rise, meteor showers and what not.

Enjoy it!

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I thought about this too.

Taiwan is one of the most densely populated country in the world. So light pollution is going to be bad.

If you could somehow get a boat and sail East at night… you may have a chance. Mountains are another avenue as you’d be above most the haze and moisture which tends to scatter lights. But getting up to say Hehuanshan is probably not easy.

I don’t think you can take decent long-exposure photos on a boat - there would be way too much camera movement, I imagine.


You would need some image stabilization but if the boat is really big they will be fairly stable especially in calm seas. And even if you are on land your camera would need to track for earth rotation to take long exposure photos of stars at all.

I don’t think you know what you’re talking about here, honestly.

I don’t know much either as I’ve only messed around a bit, but I know that a tripod (or equivalent solid base) is pretty much essential for astrophotography, or indeed any photography with shutter speeds slower than 1/60th of a second or whatever it is. When you’re talking about minutes or hours, you definitely need no camera movement to get clear images. And that’s on land. The movement of a boat is way more significant - not “fairly stable”, image stabilization or not, big boat or not, calm seas or not.

You don’t need to “track for earth rotation” either. Obviously that’s how star trails etc. are acquired.

See here, for example.

And here for an exception, where the guy mentions how difficult it is (and how many photos he needs to take, under optimal conditions, to get a decent one).

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But if you want a clear image of any heavenly bodies, you MUST track for earth rotation.

I found this article online with a few other astrophotography spots. Supposedly. I’m curious about Sun Moon Lake as it’s the most accessible and easiest spot to possibly do this. Thoughts? Anybody tried it here?

Btw, I didn’t think anyone would be into astrophotography in Taiwan so thanks for the replies! I checked Taiwan in this light pollution map and the lowest I’ve spotted is around Bortle 5. :expressionless: and yeah, most are in mountainous areas. Hengchun looks promising though.

What are you talking about here?

Edit: I assume you’re talking about something like this, which appears to be an optional extra rather than a “MUST”.

“Yes Star Tracker”? That looks like something you pulled off a Taobao advertisement for a star tracker…

It’s impressive how the star tracker caused a mountain range to appear, though.

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Yes, I’ve tried Sun Moon Lake, also Kenting is pretty good for Taiwan. But it has happened that I planned a trip to Sun Moon Lake for the sole purpose of taking star photos - but the weather doesn’t always play along…

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I do have my eye on this piece of kit… Polaris - Smart Electric Tripod Head | Indiegogo

What’s your opinion on Star Tracker mounts?

Are they compatible with mirrorless cameras? I own a Fuji.

I can help you with gastrophotography, if you’d prefer somethinng more topical to Taiwan.

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Well, they are cool and would definitely help to make the job easier, but not nessecary. They should work with most cameras since you bolt them on your Tripod. If your camera has wifi and should work with a wifi enabled tracker.

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I see what you did there haha, but I’m more into colored gases above Taiwan :grin:

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These day you can get away with that up to 1/10th-1/20th, 5-axis in body stabilization does a lot.

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Mirrorless yes, a specific brand like Fuji, maybe. Probably as long as you have USB, wifi, and bulb exposure.