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About dick_dangerous

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    Proto Star

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    Astronomy, Natural History, Music, Literature, Doing some actings
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  1. Thanks again for all the comments - I'm just using my D5500 DSLR and for most of these a very old, quite slow, Sigma 18 - 200mm lens. I took some other wide-field shots too, but I haven't got round to doing anything with them yet. All the processing was done using Lightroom and Photoshop - I have a Creative Cloud account so I like to get my money's worth! I'm hoping to get a copy of "Making Every Photon Count" soon which I believe in its latest edition covers Star Adventurers and other tracking mounts. I suppose eventually I'll end up with all the expensive equipment too, I just need to save u
  2. As promised, some more fruits of my labours. I'm really quite pleased with these as first attempts - I have quite a lot of other RAW photos to get through so more might be forthcoming but please enjoy and any tips welcomed! We have images of M31 (with M32 and M110); The Orion Nebula and the Flame and Horsehead; The Pleiades with nebulosity present and what was my favourite to image and create - the Rosette Nebula. Quite a large amount of credit has to go to the dark skies of La Palma! Paul
  3. Thanks for the comments everyone! I've been working on a few more and I have been very pleased with the results - I have photos of the Flame and the Horsehead nebulae (Not great but definitely there) and even managed to get some pictures of the Rosette. I can post all up in the fullness of time. Can't wait to get out there again and improve my technique so thanks for the tips - sadly it'll be about another year until I can next get out under those dark Palmeran skies! The ST80 was out there with me - I think the highlight using it was finding the Cocoon Nebula. You have to love
  4. Hi All, I always said that I was an astro-purist and only did observing. Astrophotography was for other people! Then I got a Star Adventurer... Last week I was in La Palma so I took the mount along and had a play. My polar alignment was rough, but I had a go at imaging a few objects and areas. I present my first ever attempt at imaging and then stacking the images in Photoshop - ladies and gentlemen, the North America Nebula. All thoughts gratefully appreciated - I think this was before I'd worked out how to focus manually in the dark effectively! I currently need to learn
  5. Thanks - I didn't notice any vibrations while I was taking it, but I can see that little kink in the middle of the trail! Practise makes perfect I suppose and I could try processing again and trying to correct it. The full layered tiff would probably kill my computer so I had to merge the layers as I went along. Paul
  6. Hi All, I've recently started to make star trail photos and have started a subscription to Lightroom and Photoshop. Here's my first attempt at a star trail taken last May at Birsay in Orkney of the stars to the north over the Bishop's Palace. I was only able to process the RAW files quite recently, but thought I'd share to see what people think! Cheers, Paul
  7. Hi All, It's been a long time since I've used SGL, but it's good to be back! I'm just beginning to dip my toes into the vast and terrifying world of imaging. So far I've been concentrating on fairly simple long exposure photography of the Milky Way and making some star trails (Will post some of those up at the moment) but I've set my sights on other targets of interest and want to explore the possibility of taking photos of bright objects just using the telescope and my DLSR - what I understand as basically being digiscoping. I have a Nikon DSLR (D5500) and several telescopes, all al
  8. John Flamsteed, the first Astronomer Royal, is buried at the church at Burstow in the shadow of Gatwick Airport, where he was Rector until his death. Burstow that is, not the airport... The Royal Observatory at Greenwich, rather obviously. And for observing, Kielder and Exmoor National Park are also renowned for their dark skies. On a similar theme, how about Maeshowe? Paul
  9. I have an ST80 which fits in my hand luggage for flights, with a camera tripod to mount it on. Taking it to Northern Spain I was able to view the Veil, North America Nebula, Helix Nebula, M33 and M74, all of which are invisible in my Dob from home. I've recently invested in a 5'' reflector to put in the car for observing but, in true form, when I opened the box I let a load of clouds out, so I still haven't given it a test run. It is certainly a compact set-up though - an f5 Explorer 130PS with an AZ5 mount. Paul
  10. Cheers all - the forecast at the moment looks like I won't get a chance to use it tonight, but hope springs eternal! It did indeed - in several boxes within the one box. It all folds up quite neatly too which will help when carting it to far-flung places or even just if it's in the back of the car while we're doing something else for the day. Yeah... he won't go in the lovely cat bed we bought him, but provide him with a box and he's as happy as Larry. You should have seen the evils I got when I removed the box though... Paul
  11. Hi All, It arrived! Many thanks, once again, to FLO for their usual superheroic turn-around on the telescope delivery. Of course I couldn't wait to get the box open and get it set-up; this took about 20 minutes and no problem whatsoever. I've not had much experience with RDFs before, but even this is now adjusted and ready (Although I'll keep one of my finderscopes handy in case). The AZ5 seems sturdy and simple to use - light-weight too and should pack up nice and small for transporting and holidays, which was the whole logic behind going for this slightly smaller system. And the possibi
  12. In the end I went for the Explorer 130PS on the AZ5 - my thinking was that I'd be able to buy a the 127 Mak to complement it in the future, plus it'll all still fit in the car boot which was the clincher. Looking forward to test-driving my new toy! Ta muchly for all the help, Paul
  13. Hmm... interesting, especially considering that your car is essentially the same as mine! And thanks for the pictures - very helpful. I was originally considering getting a Fiat 500 like all the cool kids but the boot wouldn't fit my Dob base so we went for the Up! instead. The Heritage has often tempted me but my reservation has always been the fact that it's so low down (that and the helical focusser). How do you practically use yours without getting sore knees or sitting on something? I think a 130P reflector is going to be the way to go on this one... Paul
  14. Yeah, my car is really, really small! Although thinking back to my Mum's old Fiesta that I was on the insurance for, it's probably about the same size. Car's have got bigger in recent years! My ST80 is small but get it somewhere dark and it punches far above its weight - on a trip to Asturias I got better views with it of things like the Veil and the NA Nebula than I ever have with the 150P. And it's the 'scope I used for the one and only time I saw M74 and the Helix Nebula. Aperture isn't king - dark skies are! Having said that, 150mm of aperture will beat 80mm of aperture under the same
  15. This was my big fear with the ST120 - and it would cost a lot more than my budget to get an AZ5 to go with it. Cheers Stu - that's a good suggestion! I didn't realise they did that package, but that's a bit of a winner! I'm always considering the Heritage as a grab 'n' go, but then change my mind because of the height problem - this could be an ideal solution! Paul
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