Wide-Field Astrophotography Made Easy Workshop (night-time), by Robert Reeves
This course will demonstrate how easy it is for the novice, who has never taken an astrophoto before, to achieve great widefield astrophoto results using their own DSLR camera and lens.
We’ll shepherd the user through the principles of nighttime image acquisition.
In this night-time hands-on course, the user will mount their camera and lens of their choice (up to 135mm focal length) on a tracking mount supplied by the Symposium. A series of sub-frames totaling a half hour exposure will be taken of a sky region chosen by the user.
Image acquisition techniques will include:
- DSLR camera settings for astrophotography
- Proper lens settings to achieve true infinity focus
- Composing astrophotos under the night sky
- The acquisition of “light” and “dark” frames with the user’s camera control software
- You must provide your own:
- Lens hood, desirable for dew control and stray light protection.
- Right-angle finder attachment for DSLR, desirable for aiding image framing.
- Computer or laptop, and connecting cables if any
- Image Acquisition software installed and running on computer
- Controlling your camera shutter:
- For newer cameras that allow time exposure functions (greater than 30 seconds) to be controlled through a USB connection, the native camera control software will suffice and the user should familiarize themselves with its functions before the Imaging Conference.
- Older cameras that do not allow time exposure control through a USB connection will require an additional serial cable connection provided by the user. Serial cables can be found at Hap’s Astrocables and Shoestring Astronomy
- Image Acquisition software – Suggested commercial sources include Images Plus camera control, Backyard EOS camera control, and DSLR Shutter camera control (including limited function freeware)
- You must already be familiar with taking images with your setup. Our focus will be on technique and optimization.
- You are responsible for mastering the use of your software prior to the Imaging Conference.
- You must be able to acquire a sequence of six sequential 5-minute exposures with your camera and software.
Evening session (approximately 1 hour per student)
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 10PM-1AM
This unique night-time session brings you hands-on training. Bring your own camera and computer and we’ll provide the mount and telescope.