Monday, 5 January 2015

Tracking Mount, EXIF Data and Final Edits Log

Having wetted my appetite for astrophotography I have decided to take the plunge and put a deposit down on a tracking mount. The mount will counter the rotation of the earth and ensure that the object being imaged remains on the camera's sensor. Such a mount does not come cheap but is essentially for any long exposure astrophotography. I've heard it said that it is better to have a £60 telescope on a £600 mount than a £600 telescope on a £60 mount.

In anticipation of my move into imaging I have been exploring how to best manage the potentially large amount of data and files that comes with RAW images from my Canon EOS DSLR Camera. As well as the images themselves there is various information about the image recorded in the image file. This includes the file name, date image was taken, exposure length and the ISO. This information is collective known as EXIF (Exchangeable Image File) data and there are free software available on the web that will allow you to extract this information for a collection of files and create this in a csv file format. This information will be very useful when accessing and organising images for stacking and processing.

In addition to this I have also created a spreadsheet to record and organise the finalised images after all the processing is complete. Below are the columns that I plan to capture.

It might seem a bit overkill but this will help me catalog all my efforts and also allow me to track my progress.

Image Id
Object (NGC etc)
My Type (ds,db, pl etc)
Date Finalised
Final Edit Name
Object (Other)
Object Name
Lights - # Exposures/ISO
Darks - # Exposures
Bias - # Exposures
Flats - # Exposures
Stacking Summary
Processing/Editing Summary
Original File Name
Original File Location

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