By Bill Huegerich
<ul><li>Any digital or film camera, depending on what you want to photograph (DSLR’s are great for many subjects). </li></...
<ul><li>Earth’s rotation causes stars to trail in long exposures. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Equatorial mount/barndoor tracker ...
<ul><li>Done with normal camera lenses (wide angle is easier to work with. </li></ul><ul><li>Can photograph Milkyway, cons...
<ul><li>Use solid tripod. </li></ul><ul><li>The longer the exposure, the longer the star trails. </li></ul><ul><li>Try ISO...
<ul><li>Brightest object in night sky, similar to photographing on earth in daylight. </li></ul><ul><li>Easily done with n...
<ul><li>Requires extreme focal length telescopes (4,000-5,000 mm common for these shots. </li></ul><ul><li>Dedicated astro...
<ul><li>DSO’s are generally very dim and require very long exposures and/or many shorter exposures stacked together. </li>...
<ul><li>Trial and error. </li></ul><ul><li>Start with high ISO (1600-3200) and take quick exposure with lens wide open. </...
<ul><li>Ronchi focus screen. </li></ul><ul><li>Magnified angle finder. </li></ul><ul><li>DSLR Focus or other software base...
<ul><li>Light pollution will create skyglow in your images. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Get away from street lights and cities. ...
<ul><li>Try setting white balance to Tungsten. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Auto white balance will make red cast from light poll...
<ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>www.pbase.com/billhuegerich </li></ul>
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Basic Astrophotography

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Basic Astrophotography

  1. 1. By Bill Huegerich
  2. 2. <ul><li>Any digital or film camera, depending on what you want to photograph (DSLR’s are great for many subjects). </li></ul><ul><li>High sensitivity sensor or film (ISO 400 or higher) </li></ul><ul><li>Tripod or tracking mount are helpful. </li></ul><ul><li>Self timer or cable release. </li></ul><ul><li>Bulb setting often needed. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Earth’s rotation causes stars to trail in long exposures. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Equatorial mount/barndoor tracker can adjust camera and/or telescope to follow rotation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Polaris (the North star) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Almost directly off the Northern axis of the earth, stays in same position. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Everything else in sky appears to rotate around this axis. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use skymap to find and identify things in space. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>www.skymaps.com </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Night vision </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It takes your eyes about 30 minutes to adjust to dark. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use red LED flashlight to preserve night vision. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Done with normal camera lenses (wide angle is easier to work with. </li></ul><ul><li>Can photograph Milkyway, constellations, meteor showers, comets, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Fast lenses better to reduce exposure times (f/1.8 much better than f/4.) </li></ul><ul><li>ISO 400 or higher sensitivity. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Long exposure noise reduction will help reduce noise, but takes twice as long to create one exposure. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Try 10-30 second exposures. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Use solid tripod. </li></ul><ul><li>The longer the exposure, the longer the star trails. </li></ul><ul><li>Try ISO 400. </li></ul><ul><li>Use smaller aperture (f/5.6 or f/8). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Will reduce sky glow from nearby towns/lights. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Have fresh batteries in your camera. </li></ul><ul><li>Star trails will rotate around Polaris. </li></ul><ul><li>Shoot from a dark location. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Brightest object in night sky, similar to photographing on earth in daylight. </li></ul><ul><li>Easily done with normal zoom lenses (long focal length) on any type of camera. </li></ul><ul><li>Webcams have become popular for lunar photography. </li></ul><ul><li>Thinner crescent moons show craters and mountains better because of side lighting. </li></ul><ul><li>This is one of the best first target for astrophotography. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Requires extreme focal length telescopes (4,000-5,000 mm common for these shots. </li></ul><ul><li>Dedicated astrophotograpy CCD cameras and webcams best for planetary photography. </li></ul><ul><li>SLR’s not good due to shutter vibration and mirror slap. </li></ul><ul><li>Generally done with video to stack hundreds of frames to increase signal to noise ratio. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>DSO’s are generally very dim and require very long exposures and/or many shorter exposures stacked together. </li></ul><ul><li>They generally require tracking the earth’s rotation in order to get long enough exposures with long focal length lenses. </li></ul><ul><li>Other galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters would fall into this category. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Trial and error. </li></ul><ul><li>Start with high ISO (1600-3200) and take quick exposure with lens wide open. </li></ul><ul><li>Preview image on LCD screen and zoom in as far as possible on a single star. </li></ul><ul><li>Examine star, you want as close to a pin-point star as possible. </li></ul><ul><li>Slightly adjust focus and repeat until you get best focus. </li></ul><ul><li>Tape focus ring down and change settings for real exposures. </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Ronchi focus screen. </li></ul><ul><li>Magnified angle finder. </li></ul><ul><li>DSLR Focus or other software based aids. </li></ul><ul><li>Hartman mask. </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on something at infinity during day and tape down focus ring. </li></ul><ul><li>Live view – focus on live view zoomed in as far as possible. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Light pollution will create skyglow in your images. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Get away from street lights and cities. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Wait until well after sunset for sky to get as dark as possible. </li></ul><ul><li>Tracking can be difficult, especially with longer focal lengths. </li></ul><ul><li>Focus, focus, focus (autofocus not very reliable) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Crop sensor digital cameras have dim viewfinders and it is very difficult to achieve pin-point stars. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Try setting white balance to Tungsten. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Auto white balance will make red cast from light pollution. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Set camera for long exposure noise reduction. </li></ul><ul><li>Use mirror lockup to eliminate mirror slap. </li></ul><ul><li>Use cable release or self timer to avoid vibration from touching the camera. </li></ul><ul><li>Hat trick. </li></ul><ul><li>Turn off in-camera sharpening, shoot RAW mode. </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>www.pbase.com/billhuegerich </li></ul>

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