Learn Astrophotography

If you are looking to learn astrophotography and the process of capturing deep-sky objects with your DSLR and telescope, you may find the information below of value.  By watching my techniques from the backyard, you will understand how to go about capturing images yourself.

No matter what your current skill level is in astrophotography, you can always pick up a few pointers by watching a fellow astrophotographer’s workflow. Actions speak louder than words.  If you have seen the deep-sky images in my photo gallery, then you know what to expect by using my capturing and processing methods.

Deep Sky Astrophotography is a Lifelong Journey. Enjoy every step of the way.

The AstroBackyard blog has been running for 2 years now, so I decided to assemble some of the most useful information in one place. The archived articles below act as a beginner’s guide to learn astrophotography.  I have grouped each blog post by topic, to help you get started.

veil nebula

The Veil Nebula captured from my backyard (August 2018)

Before diving into the articles and tutorials below, make sure you have a look at the astrophotography equipment I use for DSLR deep-sky imaging, including the telescope and camera I use.

The resources and tutorials sections contain a wealth of information to help you along the way.  You can also learn a lot by watching the videos on my YouTube channel: AstroBackyard.

Learn Astrophotography: Topics

For Beginners Only!

7 Astrophotography Tips (You Can Try Tonight)

This post contains helpful tips and camera settings for those shooting without a telescope and tracking mount.  Many of the same rules of long exposure night photography apply across all areas of astrophotography.  Some of the topics covered are white balance, how to focus on stars, and choosing the best ISO setting on your camera.

Trevor Jones

My camera and telescope set up in the backyard

Recommended Targets

The Andromeda Galaxy with a DSLR Camera

The Cave Nebula in Cepheus – May 2019

The Elephant’s Trunk Nebula in Duo-Narrowband – September 2018

The Lagoon Nebula with a DSLR and Telescope – July 2017

The Crescent Nebula in H-Alpha (DSLR) – June 2017

Markarian’s Chain of Galaxies – April 2017

The Leo Triplet – Springtime Trio of Galaxies – March 2017

The Ultimate Target for your DSLR and Telescope – December 2016

The Best Winter Deep-Sky Objects – November 2016

Photogenic Group of Galaxies – March 2016


Andromeda Galaxy

The Andromeda Galaxy captured with a DSLR Camera and small telescope.

Image Processing Tutorials

Selective Color Boosting (Photoshop Tutorial) – May 2020

Topaz Labs DeNoise Review – March 2020

Use StarNet++ to Quickly Remove Stars from Your Image – January 2020

Andromeda Galaxy Image Processing Tutorial – August 2019

Use the Select and Mask Tool in Adobe Photoshop CC – April 2019

Create an HDR Image of the Orion Nebula – January 2019

How to Remove Gradients in Photoshop – April 2017

Deep Sky Image Processing in Photoshop – Mar. 2017

The Horsehead Nebula in HaRGB – Dec. 2016

Tutorial – Manual Stacking in Photoshop – Nov 2016

Introduction to H-Alpha Astrophotography – June 2016

Forgotten Light Frames – Processing Old Data – June 2016

The Importance of Screen Calibration – April 2016

Selective Processing in Photoshop for More Detail – April 2016

Deep Sky Stacker and Photoshop Tutorial – Feb. 2016

Dumbbell Nebula

The Dumbbell Nebula

Camera Equipment

Optolong L-eXtreme Filter Review – August 2020

Starlight Xpress CCD Cameras (Mono CCD) – November 2019

Canon EOS Ra Astrophotography Camera Review – January 2020

Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer Pro Review – October 2019

ZWO ASIair WiFi Camera Control Device – November 2018

ZWO ASI294MC Pro Color Camera Review – August 2018

New Canon Clip In Astrophotography Filter – June 2017

How a DSLR Ha Filter can Improve Your Astrophotos – Oct. 2016

Astrophotography with a Canon Rebel DSLR – July 2016

Altair Astro GPCAM2 AR0130 Mono CCD for Autoguiding – February 2017

Camera Mount Review: The iOptron SkyGuider Pro – July 2017

Astronomik 12nm Ha Filter – October 2017

iOptron SkyTracker Pro Camera Mount – October 2017

Recommended Light Pollution Filters – November 2017

The Milky Way

The Milky Way

Telescope Equipment

Celestron StarSense AutoAlign Review – May 2020

Sky-Watcher EQ6-R Pro SynScan Review – May 2019

The Celestron 8-inch RASA F2 (Review) – March 2019

QHY PoleMaster Electronic Polar Scope Review – March 2019

Choosing a Telescope Mount for Astrophotography – October 2018

Sky-Watcher Esprit 100 ED Super APO Triplet Unboxing (video) – August 2018

Explore Scientific ED140 – First Impressions – June 2018

Meade 70mm Quadruplet ED APO Astrograph Review

iOptron CEM60 Astrophotography Mount – First Look – Oct. 2017

William Optics Z61 APO Review – Sept. 2017

The Best Beginner Astrophotography Telescope – Mar. 2017

My New Astrophotography Telescope – May 2016

Aligning My Newtonian – Reflector Collimation Tips – Mar. 2016

How to Use a Bahtinov Focus Mask – Feb. 2017

My Complete Deep-Sky Imaging Setup – Jan. 2016

M20 - The Trifid Nebula

The Trifid Nebula

Backyard Imaging Tips

Summer in the AstroBackyard – Aug. 2016

Astrophotography in the City – April 2016

Can you image deep-sky objects during a full moon? – Jan. 2017

5 Tips for Better PHD2 Guiding – Feb. 2017

How to take Flat Frames for Astrophotography – Oct. 2017

Deep Sky Astrophotography Walkthrough (Step-by-Step) – July 2018

How to Take Dark Frames for Astrophotography – Dec 2018

How to Attach Your Camera to a Telescope – April 2019

What’s the Difference Between Tracking and Guiding? – June 2019

How to Take Bias Frames for Astrophotography – Nov. 2019

How to Focus Your Camera for Astrophotography – Nov. 2019


Celestial Events

How to Photograph a Meteor Shower (Perseids) – Aug. 2016

Delta Aquarid Meteor Shower – July 2016

Landscape Astrophotography 5 Visible Planets – Feb. 2016


Traveling with your Astrophotography Gear

Photographing the Carina Nebula from Costa Rica – March 2019

The Best Portable Astrophotography Setup – Oct 2017

Finding Darker Skies – Camping Under the Stars – Sept. 2016


Solar System Photography

How to Photograph the Planets (with any camera) – April 2019

Photographing the 2016 Harvest Moon – Sept. 2016

Moon Photography Tips – Christmas Eve Moon – Dec. 2015


Camera Lens Astrophotography (Wide-Field)

The Rokinon 135mm F/2 was built for astrophotography – Aug. 2019

Using a Canon EF 24-105mm Lens for Astrophotography – Jan. 2019

Deep Sky Astrophotography with a 300mm Camera Lens – Dec. 2018

Real Results with a Budget Astrophotography Lens – Feb. 2018

The Perseus Double Cluster with a 300mm Lens – Feb. 2016


deep sky imaging telescope


All of the information contained on this page was discovered from real-life experiences in the backyard!  Astrophotography is a learning process that never ends.  The exciting part is, the more you learn, the better your photos become.

My dream is to one day build a backyard observatory in a dark sky location. Perhaps that dream will become a reality by utilizing the same passion and work ethic involved in building AstroBackyard.com.

Clear Skies.  – Trevor