Astrophotography Hidden Gems:
Sometimes you find really good content hiding within videos. Listed below are some really good instructional video hidden within things you'd never guess.
I have not spent a good deal of time looking for DeepSkyStacker videos, but this is the best that I've found.
There are some things that he left out:
- DeepSkyStacker--a very good 10 minute introduction starting about 7 minutes in.
- static tripod wide field--the entire video shows what is needed to start and succeed with a DSLR mounted on a static tripod
- tracking explained,
- lights/darks/bias frames-what they are and how to take them
- You should take flats particulary if you use a DSLR
- It took him forever to stack because he used such a short exposure and took so many frames because it was not tracked.
- You should join the Yahoo DeepSkyStacker and download the latest version there
- You can use the controls to increase contrast and color, but DDS isn't intended to be the final step in processing. You really need to go to something like PhotoShop to finish off the image. t
- You need at least seven stars to get the image to stack.
- If you have too many stars (hundreds) it will stack very slowly.
It is a great video about a great program!
The beginning part of this video spend a good deal of time describing Alt/Az and Equatorial mounts. If you don't know why you should use an Equatorial mount for astrophotography you should watch the beginning.
The section on drift alignment will show a method that is MUCH easier than the traditional way.
A really good beginning primer on PHD
Different types of OTAs - newts, refractors, and cats
- Alt/Az vs. Eq mounts - the difference and what is needed for astrophotography
- set up for mount and camera-- how to set up the mount and safely connect the camera
- drift alignment photographically -- how to get the best polar alignment possible
- two star alignment -- how to get the GoTo to know where it is pointed
- focus using FWHM
- BYEOS -- beginning BackYard EOS
- PHD - a good beginning primer
- periodic error - what is it and how to measure it