A Months worth of Imaging and Processing

Back in 2012 when I wrote this post, I had no idea of the dedication needed for astrophotography. Spending a month taking pictures of and processing a single target is nothing. In fact, to spend less time than that on a particular subject now, would seem odd.

I guess you could say that this experience began to reveal the truth about this addictive hobby – it’s time-consuming! Add in the fact that acquiring the images happens at night, and you’ve got some long days ahead of you.

With that said, here is my report on the Iris Nebula from many years ago. I was just starting to realize what it meant to be an active amateur astrophotographer.

NGC 7023 – The Iris Nebula
I have always admired the astro-imagers who had 5-6+ hours soaked into one object.  I could never do that because I would get so excited with an hours worth of data, process it, then move on to the next object.  But not this time.

When I saw what I could pull out of the Iris nebula after about 45 minutes, I knew I wanted more.  More Dust!  This is my first astrophoto that clearly shows dark dust blocking the bright stars behind it.

I took these shots over the course of July and August, and ended up with almost 4 hours of “usable” frames.  Here are the details:

35 x 210″ ISO 1600
25 x 270″ ISO 1600

For a total of 3 hours and 40 minutes

Stacked with 45 darks

ES ED80 Triplet Apo
Orion Mini Guidescope
Meade DSI II
Canon 450d unmodded
Stacked in DSS
Processed in PS CS5

Fitting Astrophotography into a busy schedule

Years later, I reflected on the idea of sustaining this hobby around a busy schedule. The following article on Medium explains the basics of my imaging process, and how my family has learned to expect me to be outside on a clear night.

How Astrophotography Took Over My Life

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