Tuesday, 30 December 2014

First ever DSLR astrophotography...

...well, first ever DSLR photography really :)

Images below were taken at Butser Ancient Farm on Sunday 28th December 2014. I have been working my way through "Digital SLR Astrophotography (Practical Amateur Astronomy)" purchased on Kindle. It has given me a good grounding to DSLR Astrophotography and has some basic projects to help get me started.

The first image is of the Orion Constellation, taken with my Canon EOS 450D on a standard camera tripod. I was surprised and impressed by how well the star colours are captured. The highlighted star, Betelgeuse, is a very unstable red giant and could go supernova in the near future (astronomically speaking). This would be a tremendous sight, visible also in the daytime.

The second image is of the Orion Nebula (which can be seen as a fuzzy patch below Orion's belt in the first image). The 100 exposures were take with the 450D attached to my Altair 80mm EDT Refractor telescope and manually tracked on my alt-az Sabre mount. I stacked the exposures with Deep Sky Stacker and cropped down the Nebula in a basic windows image editing application. There has been no further processing done to image.

My next step is to explore editing and processing images. Photoshop is the industry standard but there are free options out there, for example GIMP, which I will give a try.

Orion Constellation: 30 sec exposure, ISO 1600
Orion Nebula (M42): 100 x 0.6 sec exposures, ISO 1600