Astrophotography

Tips and tricks, and maybe even a few samples.
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EFleming
Posts: 4
Joined: June 19th, 2016, 12:19 pm

Astrophotography

Post by EFleming » June 19th, 2016, 12:33 pm

I am interested in deep space astrophotography. I own a Canon 6D with a variety of lenses and an iOptron sky tracker, but am thinking about buying a Celestron Nexstar Evolution 8 HD with Starsense. Are the skies in BR too bright for astrophotography? I've seen dslr's made especially for astrophotography, but would my 6D with a red intensifier filter work just as well as those cameras? Any suggestions you can offer would be appreciated. Is the telescope mentioned above a good buy?
Thanks!

Christopher K.
Posts: 4720
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Astrophotography

Post by Christopher K. » June 21st, 2016, 3:17 pm

I have no experience in deep space astrophotography but a number of BRAS members do. I know there are filters that lessen the effect of light pollution, but I don't know if they are good only for optical viewing.

The BRAS members you should consult concerning astrophotography are...
*Briar Richard, who is actually a professional photographer these days:
http://www.briarrichardphoto.com/
*Chris Desselles, who has given several astrophotography talks throughout town.
*Any currently-active BRAS members who post at the club's photo page...
http://www.brastro.org/photos.html

Concerning the naturalness of the sky and the light pollution in the Baton Rouge area, I have been taken measurements from several different locations near HRPO. The device I use is a Unihedron SQM owned by BRAS. The section Light Pollution & Control has threads marked "GLOBE at Night" in which I list the SQMs of various spots in and around town. The measurements are a numerical value and their meaning is explained at this map of our area maintained by Attilla Danko...
http://www.cleardarksky.com/lp/HghLndRdObLAlp.html
Refer to the column that runs from "22.0" to ">17.80".

EFleming
Posts: 4
Joined: June 19th, 2016, 12:19 pm

Re: Astrophotography

Post by EFleming » June 21st, 2016, 4:08 pm

Thank you for the information!

btoman
Posts: 208
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 10:35 pm
Location: Baton Rouge

Re: Astrophotography

Post by btoman » June 24th, 2016, 6:02 pm

As far as doing AP from Baton Rouge, of course the sky is not great. For deep space objects, the darker the sky the better. That's obvious, though.

Fortunately, with digital photography there are ways to get around some of the light pollution problems. Basically, it's stacking. Instead of taking a 10 minute exposure like you had to do in the old film days, you will take several shorter exposures (say 20 x 30sec exposures) and then stack them using appropriate software. You'll end up with the same amount of light capture as a 10 minute exposure, but you haven't saturated your sensor with light pollution, heat current, etc. (You'll still get some of that, but again, much of that can be nixed with calibration frames.)

I'm certainly no expert and Chris has pointed you in the right direction as far as club members that can help. I just wanted to give you a ray of hope :)

Good luck and let us see how you're doing!

EFleming
Posts: 4
Joined: June 19th, 2016, 12:19 pm

Re: Astrophotography

Post by EFleming » June 24th, 2016, 6:26 pm

Thanks!

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