My dead of winter experience in sub zero Michigan taught me some manual settings which work well with my camera. Likewise its expected similar settings will work well for your own camera. Starlight photos require controlled combinations of manual settings. You must control all four settings to have proper exposure: F-stop, shutter speed, ISO and white balance.
I created a test series of night photos at Wildcat Moutian State Park shown here are additional test photos. These test photos have overcome many challenges to create a good sample set. I will speak later on about troubleshooting night photos. The is more than one possiblity to shoot the night sky. Multilpe combinations of settings that will yeild a proper exposure. I chose White Balance, ISO and F-stop. Shutter speed was the variable. Too short of an exposure the sky is black, too long of an exposure and the stars blur.
White Balance set to shade
shade setting seems like it yeilds the best color for starlight
ISO set to 1600
1600 is the maximum sensitivity before grain overwhelms the picture
Widest possible apeture allows the maximum amount of light. Shallow depth of field does not matter as the subject focus is far away to infinity.
Shutter speed varies depending upon conditions
Changing shutter speed is the primary variable for bracketing starlight photos
I knew from experience I wanted the first three settings but why only vary the shutter speed. Why choose these manual settings. The answers are in lesson three, starlight shutter speed settings.