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Wizard Nebula

I Captured My Most Detailed Portrait of the Wizard Nebula Yet

|Nebulae|5 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

|Nebulae|17 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…

Canon DSLR Ha Filter

Use a DSLR Ha Filter for Astrophotography

|H-Alpha|21 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…

Astrophotography with a 12nm ha filter

|Camera|8 Comments

With the aid of an Astronomik 12nm Ha filter, I can capture deep-sky images more often than ever before. With both the Canon EOS clip-in version for my DSLR and the 2" CCD round mounted version for the my dedicated astronomy camera, I collect photons in every moon phase. Despite the bright 80% illuminated moon this past Saturday night, I was able to capture some incredible deep sky photos of 2 deep sky emission nebula targets from my backyard in the city. Using my 102mm refractor telescopes, I collected isolated wavelengths of light on the Wizard Nebula in the constellation Cepheus, and Bub…

Narrowband images with a color camera

Narrowband Images with a Color Camera

|Narrowband|21 Comments

Narrowband imaging with a color camera is not only possible, but I have found it to be an excellent way of adding detail and structure to my astrophotography images. If you currently own a one-shot-color camera or DSLR, I highly recommend trying some narrowband filters with it such as Ha (Hydrogen-alpha). Ideally, you'll use a monochrome astronomy camera for narrowband (and LRGB) images, yet owners of color cameras can still tap into the benefits of narrowband filters before taking the big leap to mono. An example scenario is someone with a one-shot-color cooled astronomy camera such as…