Astrophotography is a specialized field of photography that involves capturing images of celestial objects and the night sky. The range of photographs you can create is really diverse. From photographing star trails using a simple setup to capturing images of the deep sky using a sophisticated setup involving telescopes and what not, there is so much to learn. Though astrophotography requires you to put in extra effort and time, it is highly rewarding when you see the striking results you’ve produced. Here are some links to great astrophotography resources and tutorials to inspire you to go out and start photographing.
1. Astrophotography Techniques
This is a comprehensive guide by Jerry Lodriguss that takes you through the topic of astrophotography and how it is done. From introduction to the topic to the equipment needed and the software required to get the job done, this guide lists it all. Do check out the other links as well:
– Accessories for Astrophotography
– Telescopes for Astrophotography
– DSLR Cameras for Astrophotography
2. From Beginners to Pros: A List of Video Tutorials
This reddit post has youtube video links to astrophotography videos for beginners and advanced amateurs alike. If you would like to do astrophotography using just your camera and a tripod, or if you would like to use a telescope and you’re wondering how to attach your DSLR camera to your telescope, you should check out the long list of videos there. Other cool videos include:
– Safe Solar Viewing
– How to Align an Equatorial Mount
3. An Astrophotography Primer
This post at DPChallenge is a good starting point to get introduced to the topic and the various methods of astrophotography, all on a single webpage. As the title says, it is not really a tutorial but a primer on the topic. Another great how-to guide can be found here on Instructable.
4. Photoshop Tutorials for Astrophotography
It always takes a bit of post-processing to take your photos to the next level, and in the case of astrophotography, post-processing is an essential step. This post on the forum of Stargazers Lounge lists links to some very useful image processing articles and videos. This pdf guide, for instance, takes you through the steps involved in using the levels adjustment to drastically improve your deep sky photos. Here are some cool links found on the page:
– Astro Imaging Tutorials
– Star Color Enhancement in Photoshop
– Photoshop Techniques for Astrophotography
5. Digital SLR Astrophotography
This step-by-step guide by Ray Shore directs you on how to use your DSLR to photograph deep sky. Full with comprehensive instructions, this tutorial guides you right from the point where you are taught how to attach the camera to the telescope to the final step that involves image processing.
6. Capturing the Sun
This post by photographer Kevin Lewis guides you through the setup involved in capturing the Sun through a Coronado Personal Solar Telescope. Also, be sure to check Alan Friedman’s images of the Sun.
7. DIY Projects on Astrophotography
Agreed that astrophotography equipment can get a little expensive, but that’s no reason not to indulge in your love for photographing the sky. There are some cool do-it-yourself projects that you can consider. Building a motorized barn door tracker, for instance, can help you rotate your camera to keep it aligned with stars. If you are up for the challenge, you can build an equatorial mount as well. The quality may not be as splendid as that obtained with proper, dedicated equipment, but it may help you get started.
Links to Other Useful Resources
- Flickr Astrophotography Group – A great place to seek inspiration by looking at others' astrophotography work from around the world.
- Astronomy Picture of the Day – NASA
- Astrophotography Inspiration