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jedmgrew

Astrophotography for a newbie (A few tips!)

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I read many forums before finally buying a SkyWatcher 150P.  Most of the forums and advice pages said "Astrophotography - don't". Well, I did.  Because that's why I wanted to own a telescope. I wanted to take photos, and maybe , just maybe I could learn about the night sky as an additional bonus as I got better at taking photos.  So, my very first night out with a Skywatcher 150P, and the moon was out. Not much of it, but enough to get me interested.  I've attached a couple of photos onto the post just to give you an idea of what i achieved. For all you "aastronomers" out there, I know, its just the moon, and it's not a perfect photo, and its just a star, but it was so easy to take these images that it's inspired me to carry on. So, I used a Nikon D3300, fitted with a wireless adapter, the  free Nikon app which controls the shutter from  my android phone,  a T ring adapter from First Light Optics, (Brilliant customer service and advice),  and the moon.

I live in the middle of a light polluted estate, surrounded by LED street lights, and numerous urban bathrooms and bedrooms with lights on and off at random intervals.

So, don't believe all the advice that says you cant or shouldn't. get some good basic kit, pick a big target and go for it. If you have as much fun as I did, even though my pics can't compare to some of the more "pro"  efforts, then it's worth having a shot. Feel free to ask me any questions, but don't expect any technical answers!

astro 15.JPG

astro 36.JPG

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Hi Jedmgrew, and welcome to the forum :). I can't see why anyone would want to discourage you from AP if that's what you want to do. And you've done your first step - congratulations. Just be warned, there is always the little bit of extra gear which would improve your imaging. But that hasn't discouraged any of the other astrophotographers around here.

Good luck and clear skies!

HJ

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Welcome to the forum, and the dark side. That's a nice moon you got. Nothing to howl at.

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Beware of getting addicted to Astrophotography - it can seriously harm your wallet.

Peter

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Hiya and welcome to the forum.

 

Great effort and as you've already found out, its a real buzz. I'm a noob as well but getting something as awesome as your first photograph of M42  back from AP is totally worthwhile. Like you, LP is a bit of a problem for me although I'm hopefully going to move this year and even though my wife and kids don't realise it yet, Dark skies are up there with schools, commuting etc!!

 

Yep, absolute money pit when you get started and gets worse as you progress but it's totally addictive and as you've already found out FLO are just brilliant for help, advice and value for money. To be honest AP has meant my fishing rods and golf clubs can now be used as this years bean poles! Hope you continue to enjoy this great hobby and once again, welcome.

 

 

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Hiya and welcome to the forum.

Shooting for the moon as a first target is a great way to get started in AP.  It's a fantastic target in it's own right, and frankly can be more interesting than some of the DSO images!  The moon is great for beginning for several reasons.  First, short exposures work, so you don't need a lot of tracking gear to get nice sharp images. Secondly, it's around at different times of day and night depending on where you are in the lunar cycle, so it suits just about everyone's bedtime.  Thirdly, it changes every day, there's a whole months worth of full moon shots to be had before you think about trying to get in closer and get more detail.

 

As for your picture of the star.  It's great.  What I'm seeing in that photo is that you have got a nicely focused image.   I can see that because of the defraction spikes, which is good news.  Taking this idea on a stage, there are lots of double stars that you could photo, using what you have learned so far.  This will push you on a little as the trick with taking photos of double stars is bringing out the colour in each of the two stars.

 

In short I think you are off to a great start and keep it up.    I noticed that you are in Hereford.  Hopefully you'll come over to the star party in october and say hi.

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Hi

Yep, AP is a slippery slope and often referred to as 'the dark side'! Do get a Bahtinov mask to help you get good focus. Also, remember focus changes with temperature so allow for a cool down time before starting exposures and recheck from time to time :)

Louise

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Great first shots...... I have found this forum to be very useful and full of excellent advice.

As for the money pit....I get my buzz by trying to learn to get the best images possible with my limited expenditure.

all the best and keep those pics coming.

cheers, Andy

 

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It's all about the joy. I have my observing nights and I have my imaging nights, and I find enjoyment in whatever I'm doing under the night sky. Some nights I'm totally left-brain with tracking EQ mounts and focusing cameras. Some nights I'm in a right-brain mode just drinking it all in. I started down the astrophotography slope and was able to hit the brakes, haha. Taking pictures of the cosmos is a blast at any level! BTW, you got some great shots there :) 

Reggie

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On 17/8/2016 at 00:26, Andywilliams said:

As for the money pit....I get my buzz by trying to learn to get the best images possible with my limited expenditure.

+1. I think you've done great. Focusing is hard. You've got that sorted. Having the desire to have a go with what you have is the perfect way to start. 

Edited by alacant

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Very nice job! Usually people use a webcam or planetary camera for the Moon or planets. There are webcam modifying tutorials on the Web, or ask on here. The cams take videos of rapid frames which you then stack with Registax or AutoStakkert!2 I use AutoStakkert!2 and bring the resultant TIFF into Registax to use the amazing Wavelets function to bring out the detail in the image.

http://www.autostakkert.com/wp/download/

http://www.astronomie.be/registax/

Good luck!

Alexxx

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