Full frame, crop sensor DX, APS-C, FX, full frame equivalent… These are terms that get thrown around a lot when it comes to digital cameras and lenses. And rightfully, it can also be a source of confusion for novice or intermediate-level photographers who don’t know what they mean or how it affects their photography. In this article, I’ll attempt to introduce these concepts in simple terms and how they can affect your images when their applied to astrophotography.
From widefield images shot with your camera to deep space images shot with a telescope, all astrophotography can benefit from stacking. Windows users benefit from free tools readily available online such as DeepSkyStacker, as well as some fantastic, albeit expensive, paid applications.
Mac users are left out, as all they have available to them are the expensive, paid options. However, most photographers already have Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, the most common image editing tools on the market. And you actually can align and stack your astro-images using these tool!
This video will give you a step by step guide into preparing your images in Lightroom for export and stacking in Photoshop. Continue reading “Tutorial: Stacking Night Sky Images in Adobe Photoshop”
One of the questions I get asked the most often is how one gets started in astrophotography. More specifically, what kind of equipment is required in order to take images like I do. In this article, I’ll try to clarify that. Note that this won’t be covering technique or procedures in any way, but rather just what you need to get into it.
The first thing to mention is that there are 3 types of astrophotography:
- widefield / landscape;
- solar system; and
- deep sky.
Each of these types will require vastly different equipment and techniques, as well as software and technique for post processing. I’ll be covering each of these 3 types and what is required to get the best results.
In my last article, I discussed lunar image stacking in detail. Since then, I’ve received a few questions on deep sky stacking and what images should look like at the 3 major stages of processing: raw, stacked, and final product. So I’m going to briefly show what the results of stacking are in this article. Continue reading “The Effects Of Deep Space Image Stacking”
To stack, or not to stack? Most astrophotographers will agree it’s necessity with deep sky images, but is it really necessary for lunar imaging when the moon is so big and bright in the sky? There are a lot of single frame photos of the moon that show incredible detail, so is it really worthwhile going through the process of taking dozens, or even hundreds or thousands of images and then stacking them? Are the results really that visible? In this article, I we’ll go through the process of stacking a lunar image and see the results at each step along the way. Continue reading “Lunar image stacking. Is it worth it?”
Hello again. Welcome back to another instalment of the DAA blog!
I’ve been quite busy and quite active this summer when it comes to photography. I’ve been out shooting almost every weekend where the weather cooperates. Anyone who’s been following me on Facebook, Flickr, and Twitter will know I’ve published a lot of pics over the last few months. I’m even beginning to think that now I no longer can call myself a novice at astrophotography. I believe I’ve stepped into the the “intermediate” category. I’m still learning, but I’m at a stage now where I’m experienced enough to know what I need to do, what not to do, and understand how my different settings on my camera will affect my final product.
Continue reading “Good Advice for for the (Starry) Night Life”
Dew. It’s the enemy of anyone outside at night with optics. It will form on your lenses or mirrors and bring an end to your observing or photography session. Any night photography enthusiast who lives in a humid climate has likely encountered this hindrance, and has likely lost a couple of photo session due to it.
As astronomers and astrophotographers, we’re all aware of dew control solutions. The cheapest solution for Cassegrain-style scopes and comes in the form of a dew shield. It extends past the corrector plate and helps mitigate dew formation. However, that doesn’t help much when pointing straight up. And even when shooting lower to the horizon, a dew shield will at most buy you a bit of time.
The most reliable dew control is using dew heaters. But it’s not cheap. Heating strips for most telescopes will set you back at least $100, and you still need to buy the controller, which can range anywhere form cheap 2-channel controllers for $100, to multi-channel for several hundred dollars. All serious astronomers will likely get a real dew control system at some point. But for someone just starting out and in need of a lot of gear, forking out $200 plus buying a heavy-duty battery that can handle the stress of dew heaters is not necessarily feasible. Continue reading “Dew Control, Ghetto Style: Keeping Your Optics Dew-Free On A Budget”