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Astrophotography Filters

best astrophotography images

My Best Images & The Gear Used

On this website, I do my best to share information and astrophotography tips that provide value. I could pat myself on the back about all of the great astrophotography images I took this year, but it is of little interest to anyone if I don't explain how I took the shot.  In this article, I'll share my best astrophotography images of 2020, and the equipment setups used for each image. This way, you'll have a better idea of what's behind each image, and how you can accomplish a similar result yourself. Capturing the images with the right set of gear is only half of the equation, of c…

Photographing the Lobster Claw Nebula

The Lobster Claw Nebula (Sharpless 157) is a bright emission nebula. It lies near the edge of the northern constellation Cassiopeia, bordering on Cepheus. As you'll soon see in my long-exposure image, this bright HII region is surrounded by many more interesting deep-sky objects. It sits very close in the sky to another popular emission nebula for amateur astrophotography, the Bubble Nebula (NGC 7635). Although I have photographed the Bubble Nebula several times, it wasn't until this year that I focused my attention on the neighboring Lobster Claw Nebula.  The Location of the Lobste…

Wizard Nebula

I Captured My Most Detailed Portrait of the Wizard Nebula Yet

|Image Processing|6 Comments

Last week, I photographed the Wizard Nebula with my camera and telescope in the backyard. The final image includes 24 individual exposures of 4-minutes each, for a grand total of 1.5 hours. Despite a bright moon interfering, it is by far my best image of the Wizard Nebula to date. In this post, I'll explain how I captured the Wizard Nebula, and what to expect if you're new to the world of deep-sky astrophotography.  You don't need the latest and greatest gear to capture this nebula, although I'll admit, it helps. Along with a few best practices, I'll share a few ways that you can ac…

Optolong L-eXtreme Filter

Optolong L-eXtreme Filter Review

|Narrowband|26 Comments

The Optolong L-eXtreme filter is now being used in backyards across the globe, which is great news for those that take astrophotography images in heavy light pollution. This astrophotography filter features even narrower bandpasses than last year's L-eNhance, making it perfect for nebula photography from the city. The Optolong L-eXtreme filter isolates the H-alpha (Ha), and Oxygen III (OIII) at 7nm exclusively. Unlike the previous L-eNhance, the eXtreme does not include a bandpass for H-Beta (Hb). The more selective bandpass transmissions are more suitable for fast optical systems…

light pollution filters

10 Light Pollution Filters for Astrophotography in the City

If you shoot your astrophotography images with a color camera in the city, there is a good chance that light pollution filters can make your life a little easier. How? By ignoring specific wavelengths of light in the visible spectrum associated with artificial light sources such as a streetlamp. The best way to test if a particular filter is a good fit for your skies is to review examples taken by others from similar conditions.  A quality light pollution filter will allow the important colors and light emitted by your astrophotography subject to reach the camera sensor, without th…

Canon DSLR Ha Filter

Use a DSLR Ha Filter for Astrophotography

|H-Alpha|25 Comments

After almost a decade of taking pictures of space with a DSLR camera, I have come to the realization that a DSLR Ha filter is quite possibly the most important astrophotography filter in your kit. Traditional light pollution filters designed to help you photograph deep sky objects in broadband (true-color) are useful, but a hydrogen-alpha filter makes the single greatest impact on your astrophotography overall. Beginners often ask me which narrowband filter (line filter) I recommend buying first, and it's always a Ha (or "Hα") filter. H-alpha is a specific deep-red visible spectral line wi…

The Impressive Optolong L-eNhance Filter

In this post, I'll share my results using the Optolong L-eNhance filter for deep sky astrophotography in the city. The L-eNhance is a dual band pass filter that ignores artificial light, yet collects a strong signal emitted by certain nebulae. This light pollution filter was designed for color cameras, whether it's a DSLR (a modified camera is best) or a one-shot-color dedicated astronomy camera like the one used (ASI294MC Pro) for the images in this post. As many of you know, I mostly shoot from the city. I love to travel to dark sky locations, but imaging from home is a lot more practi…

Optolong L-Pro filter review

Optolong L-Pro Filter Review

I’ve recently had a chance to review the Optolong L-Pro filter (2 types) for astrophotography from my light-polluted backyard in the city. Unlike many of the filters I used in the past, the L-Pro is suitable for both stock and astro-modified DSLR cameras. (It includes a UV/IR block). I've always had trouble collecting images with an accurate representation of star color when imaging from the city. It's something I spend a lot of time correcting during the image-processing stage of my projects. My hope is that the Optolong L-Pro filter lives up to its description of allowing more starlight…