Digital Imaging - Resource Library
The following list of books and internet sites with information and programs was compiled from members of the ASEM Digital Imaging SIG, and its friends. This list was compiled to inform and aid both the experienced and the beginner, in finding some of the most beneficial resources and websites on Astro-Photography methods and tools. Given that Astro-Photography is here for the amateur astronomer, this page will always be "under construction". Comments and descriptions are in italics.
BOOKS AND ARTICLES
"A Beginner's Guide to DSLR Astro-Photography", by Jerry Lodriguss
"Astrophotgraphy for the Amateur", by Michael Covington
"The Handbook of Astronomical Image Processing", by Richard Berry and James Burnell
“CCD Astronomy “, by Christian Buil
“The New CCD Astronomy”, Ron Wodaski
“The Art and Science of CCD Astronomy”, by David Ratledge
"Improving your DSLR Photos" by Jerry Lodriguss, S&T, October 2008
(off the Internet)
(Members and friends of ASEM, who have their own websites and who have provided instruction at ASEM Digital Imaging meetings)
DSLR Cameras and CCD Imaging
(Those below have books and products to sell along with sharing information)
Author and active DSLR Astro-Photographer. Has put a lot of his books' content and recent DSLR camera reviews on his website; go thru the site's menu and look around. Also the forum moderator for the Yahoo's 'digital_astro'' group.
Michael Covington's Digital SLR Notes
Another noted book author with some content and techniques to share in his website.
Jim Solomon's Astrophotography Cookbook
Matt BenDaniel Articles
Also well known for DSLR modification services, in addition to his Imaging experience.
Paul Kanevesky’s Imaging Tips
Select from the menu "Tips and Downloads"
Dick Locke's DSLR Astronomy Workflow
CCD Imaging Only
Paul LeFevre’s CCD Image Processing Tutorial
Thierry Legault’s High Resolution CCD Imaging
Ron Wodaski’s New CCD Astronomy
Apogee's CCD University
Other Reference and Magazines
Wikipedia's page on Astrophotography
AstroPhoto Insight Magazine
Astrophotography Image Processing
Free or 'Easy on the Wallet':
A free program that provides the basics of image processing. If you plan to get into AstroPhotography with a DSLR or low-cost CCD camera, then this program is a good starting point.
A less than $100 program that provides very good tools for image stacking, processing, and includes shutter control and image display for both DSLR and CCD cameras. If you can't afford Photoshop for after processing refinement, this program can help with its built-in image refinement tools.
This has a steep learning curve, but rich in tools, and has an over-wehlming amount of tutorials - so be prepared to spend time just learning this one.
A site with more help on using Iris:
A low cost an image filter that can reduce noise and grain in photographic images produced by digital cameras and scanners.
Software Products over $100
(Most of these products are available for a free-trial period)
A very common choice when getting serious about an all-in-one image acquisition and processing program. Cost is around $250.
Built from the ground up for Astrophotography. From Europe, with cost around 230 euro.
Diffraction Limited's MaxImDL
The current leader in image acquisition and processing programs. Cost can range depending upon options, to upwards of around $700.
Astronomy Tools by Noel Carboni
Very powerful, yet low cost, plug-ins specifically for Adobe Photoshop, for refining Astro-Photography images, after they are developed with an processing program.
Another low cost plug-in specifically for Adobe Photoshop to remove gradients
A free program that preprocesses FITS files before PhotoShop sessions.
A free program that combines images in a video into a single stacked result.
Another free program that combines images in a video into a single stacked result.
Reads raw webcam AVIs
A free program that reads and converts video files into different formats.
Canon EOS Camera Movie Record
For use with Canon LiveView Cameras only. When used with your Canon camera, this FREE program will create movie files on your computer
BackyardEOS / BackyardNIKON
Another program for Canon and NIKON cameras, that can handle both movies and still Astrophotography images. It is not free.
Covers video-capture (supporting wide range of video capture devices), auto-guiding and frame aligning and stacking / summing.
For the correct scaling of video dark-frames caused by AGC
A free capture program that supports webcams and Artemis/ATK cameras
A free program to create avi movies from jpg sequences. It can be used for creating timelapse movies with your digital photocamera.
A low cost program that can control video cameras for time-lapse, motion-detection, planetary and meteor photography. Can also edit and play movies, and control your telescope.
CCD Calc by Ron Wodaski
A free program that can be used to visualize the field-of-view for various optical tube/camera combination including barlows or focal reducers.
"3D Fly Thru", "Star Removal" and "Stereo Image Pair" Photoshop add-ons ("PS Actions")
Astronomy Software, Books, and related material
Camera and Guider Control Programs
Open PHD Guiding (free)
CCD Camera Manufacturers
Build your own CCD
Focusing and Focus Masks
(Focusing Masks are available at most Astronomy equipment distributors)
Wikipedia explanation of a Bahtinov Focus Mask
Bahtinov Focusing Mask Generator
Makes a SVG file of a mask based on your input, for your own construction of a mask
A video-based tool for precise collimation using the in-focus diffraction pattern of a star.
Barn Door Mounts
How to make a Scotch mount design by author Phil Harrington
Rod Nabholz's How To
A Motorized barn door mount
How to use the AstroTrac TT 320
A short review with links
Telescope Mount Control
Group of developers and astronomical instrument makers that work together to bring vendor-independent and language-independent plug-and-play compatibility between astronomy software and astronomical instruments on Windows computers.
Can autoguide and has several novel features that allow optimal guiding of mid-range mounts under typical seeing conditions. MetaGuide can provide insight into both the optics of your telescope, and the tracking behavior of your mount.
A low cost program for a quick and precise alignment of goto mounts to the polar axis.
A free telescope pointing program. It analyzes a sky image with a few stars, and calculates the coordinates of the image centre.
An open source applications that can provide an alternative to the hand controller on supported GEMs. It is free.