Showing posts from March, 2013

Inexpensive Solution to Widefield Astrophotography

Resources to build your own widefield astrophotography mount

Both of the images below are multiple images "Stacked" using DSS. Stacking allows us to "see" colours and details that we can't see with the naked eye.

Here is an Image of the area around Orion. It is multiple images that have been "Stacked". You will notice that the stars are for the most part round, there are no "Star Trails" towards the outer portion of the image.

 This is an image where a regular tripod was used and no tracking was involved.  It is approximately the same amount of exposure as the other image with multiple images stacked.  Note as you get towards the outer portions of the photograph that the stars blur and  are starting to develop "Star Trails".  
The reason the second photograph has the trailing is due to the Earth's rotation.  A regular tripod does not align with the Earth's Axis so every time you take a photo of the stars (even if you move t…

How to be a Master Astronomer (or at least pretend to be)

Want to impress your friends with your knowledge of the night sky?  (don't tell them about your little secret)
For today's tip I'll introduce you to a service that I found most interesting.  The nice part about this is that it's not only fun and easy, it's free!
Have you ever taken a photograph of the night sky but had no idea what you were looking at?  Well that doesn't have to be the happen any more.  Introducing Astrometry this service is ran through your Flickr account.
The five easy steps to being a "Master Astronomer" If you do not have a Flickr account, create one.Upload your star photos to Flickr.Join the group "astrometry".Post your photographs to their group.Sit back and wait about 1 hour.  And voila, you now have a fully annotated photograph showing the major stars and deep space objects.
Great idea eh?
Now get out there and leave your friends in awe at your mastery of the night sky!  (We'll keep this as our little secret) ;)


Night Landscape Processing Tip

Shooting Starry Night Landscapes..... How to make it look even "Cooler"
The image below was shot with in RAW as the vast majority of my night shots are.
As you can see this image is straight out of the camera with no processing.
It has a nice amount of stars and some nice highlights in it, but it just doesn't look pleasing to the eye.  "As shot" white balance gives it a murky look and leaves something to be desired in my opinion.
Now lets look at the exact same shot, but this time we changed the white balance to tungsten (cooler).
You don't have to go to this extreme, but cooling your images off a bit by adjusting your white balance will give it that extra little something that the vast majority of people out there like.