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Newbie from Farnborough, UK

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Hello everyone,

I'm Jonny and I live in Farnborough in Hampshire, UK.

My friend and I are taking our first baby-steps into night sky photography so I'm here for all the help I can get.

We're just starting out so our equipment is very basic, but I'm sure the more we get into this the more we will upgrade over time.


Currently our set up consists of:

Home-made Motorised Barn Door Tracker (my friend is an engineer)

Canon 1100D with an 18-55mm Lens

Laptop with BackyardEOS


We took everything out for it's first test-drive last week and the tracker works really well. Even on very long exposures the stars remain as points and not trails so we were really pleased with how it performed.

I've attached what was probably our most successful picture of the evening. It' not amazing, but it's a start.

I would really love to get some photos of the Milky Way and I'm hoping you all could suggest some settings to use, imaging techniques to try out and equipment upgrades? We're on a bit of a budget but we have photographer friends from whom we can beg and borrow equipment.

Looking forward to chatting with you all in time.




Edited by JonnyT
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Welcome to SGL Jonny.  You have made the perfect start to your imaging journey with a simple but highly effective set up.  A wide field set up like this can produce amazing results.  Are you able image away from home?

The next step is probably to run an image sequence - several shots in sucession along with a non tracked shot (if you have any foreground in your fov).  Then download the free Sequator stacking software which can combine your photos to greatly improve the image.  Immediately after you have taken your sequence put the lens cap on and take about 10 shots of the same exposure.  These can be used by sequator as "dark frames" to further reduce noise.

Get yourself a decent pair of binoculars 7 or 10x50 are ideal, a comfy picnic chair, a sky chart and start familiarising yourself with the night sky.  Steve Tonkin does a great binocular tour every month in the Sky at Night magazine.

Good luck and keep asking questions, it's what SGL is all about!

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