Why you should stop painting with light when photographing at night

A person is standing in the middle of the Delicate Arch, Utah, USA, watching the milky way and lightning up the milky way with a flashlight beam.
This image of the Delicate Arch in Arches National Park, Utah, uses a flashlight beam. (Image credit: Daniel Osterkamp/ Getty Images)

You wouldn’t kick another astrophotographer’s tripod, so why is switching on a light at night socially acceptable? It’s not – it never was, but using any kind of artificial light at night is increasingly being banned by national parks. 

It’s part of the wider fight against worsening light pollution, according to a recent international study, but it’s astrophotographers themselves that are now being asked to take special care when shooting in International Dark Sky Parks

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Jamie Carter
Astrophotography expert

Jamie has been writing about all aspects of technology for over 14 years, producing content for sites like TechRadar, T3, Forbes, Mashable, MSN, South China Morning Post, and BBC Wildlife, BBC Focus and BBC Sky At Night magazines. 

As the editor for www.WhenIsTheNextEclipse.com, he has a wealth of enthusiasm and expertise for all things astrophotography, from capturing the Perseid Meteor Shower, lunar eclipses and ring of fire eclipses, photographing the moon and blood moon and more.

He also brings a great deal of knowledge on action cameras, 360 cameras, AI cameras, camera backpacks, telescopes, gimbals, tripods and all manner of photography equipment.