My Astrophotography Journey

CCD vs Film? Lots of time vs no patience? Alright, this is your place to discuss all the astrophotography what's and what's not. You can discuss about techniques, accessories, cameras, whatever....just make sure you also post some nice photos here too!
heyjojos
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Re: My Astrophotography Journey

Post by heyjojos »

OK ok... i didn't give up... Here's my latest effort to try to correct the color gradient. I'm also documenting my learning and sharing with folks who may face the same situation; also in the future in case I forget too :)

The earlier photo was stitched using Adobe Lightroom which didn't turn out as desired. The photo here was stitched using Hugin. Before I exported the files, I bumped up the exposure and shadow in Lightroom to make the stars and foreground brighter. I did tone down the whites if it get a little too overexposed. This likely allow the Hugin software to better identify the stars and therefore stitched better. I then exported the RAW files to TIFF and used Hugin to stitch the photos. You will need to choose the focal length of the lens and also the projection desired. I chose rectilinear. The program somehow stitched a lot better and the gradient that was previously present no longer appears. Certainly some learning here. Once the stitching is done, I imported that back to Lightroom for further post processing.

Photo shot with a Canon 6D, 24mm, f2.0 for 40s at ISO 3200. This photo comprised of 16 photos, 8 each for the sky and foreground.

Panoramic Milky Way at Mesa Verde National Park.
Image
https://flic.kr/p/2gZSXrX
P.S: Full transparency, I did edit the photo a little as I missed out taking a small section of the photo when I was out that night... See if you could spot it :P

Hong Joo

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Airconvent
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Re: My Astrophotography Journey

Post by Airconvent »

You know the city night sky has so many shades that any layman would assume that is normal...
Nice "Landscape Poster" shot! :)
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heyjojos
Posts: 90
Joined: Sun May 08, 2011 11:23 pm

Re: My Astrophotography Journey

Post by heyjojos »

Airconvent wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:31 pm
You know the city night sky has so many shades that any layman would assume that is normal...
Nice "Landscape Poster" shot! :)
Thanks!! :mryellow:

heyjojos
Posts: 90
Joined: Sun May 08, 2011 11:23 pm

Re: My Astrophotography Journey

Post by heyjojos »

I'm thankful for this hobby that allows me to appreciate how vast and majestic this universe is. Tells me that there is perhaps a Creator out there! My friends are often surprised by the beauty when I share it with them; amazed, they often asked how I would set up. With the coronavirus going on here in the US, and being grounded, I thought I pen down how I would normally perform my setup. Now, this took me a while to learn, often times, it is through reading articles in the net and at times, studying the somewhat shadowy photo of fellow hobbyists when they inadvertently took their setup while taking the stars... So, it's by no means the only way nor the perfect way.

Instructions below is for a Star Adventurer. But concepts should be similar for others...

Step 1
Set up the tripod and test that it level around. I use the Angle Pro app to tell levelness. I’m not always that particular, there are times the levelness is off by a few degrees and I’m fine with it ☺
Image

Step 2
I would adjust such that the angular clamp is point north. You can use any app that helps you locate where north is.
Image

Step 3
The next step is to ensure you get the elevation right. I would use any app that provides my elevation for my latitude and adjust accordingly. If you are planning to take wide-angle shots, this is usually sufficient. However, if you are at a location that can spot Polaris and perhaps taking with a longer lens, you could use the Polaris finder in Star Adventurer. What I have learnt here is with wide-angle shots, accuracy of your alignment isn’t as important; you will see minimal drift. I’m just too lazy for that ☺. I have taken exposures close to 3 mins just with these elevation adjustments.
Image

Here’s a close up shot of the Star Adventurer mounted with the illuminator attached to the scope for easy readout in the night while finding Polaris.
Image

Step 4
Depending on what you are taking, you can now mount your camera for your astro shots and fire away! ☺
Image

Step 4B
However, if I’m planning to take multiple panoramic astro shots, I would do set up below. This is a cheap setup version. There are other more sophisticated mounts specifically for panoramic. The horizontal rail is used to adjust nodal point to allow post processing stitching.
Image
Image

There you have it, enjoy! :)

Regards
Hong Joo

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Airconvent
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Re: My Astrophotography Journey

Post by Airconvent »

Nice setup, Hong Joo! I guess one of the best way to spend your time in isolation is to do obbing! And it's free too. No mask or sanitiser needed! :) Hope you are safe there and clear skies too.
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Captain, RSS Enterprise NCC1701R
United Federation of the Planets

heyjojos
Posts: 90
Joined: Sun May 08, 2011 11:23 pm

Re: My Astrophotography Journey

Post by heyjojos »

Airconvent wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:06 pm
Nice setup, Hong Joo! I guess one of the best way to spend your time in isolation is to do obbing! And it's free too. No mask or sanitiser needed! :) Hope you are safe there and clear skies too.
Thanks. I’m doing well so far :)

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