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star trackers

Choosing a Star Tracker for Astrophotography

|Equipment|19 Comments

When it comes to astrophotography, a star tracker allows you to take better images. Your exposure lengths are no longer limited to 30-seconds or less due to a moving sky, and you can dial back camera settings like ISO and F-stop. Equatorial camera mounts are designed to align with the polar axis of the night sky so you can take long-exposure images that are free of star trailing. Astrophotography demands long-exposure tracked images to collect as much signal (light) as possible, and that is exactly what a star tracker allows you to do. This summer, I had the opportunity to review a new sta…

Andromeda Galaxy Astrophotography Tutorial

|Galaxies|12 Comments

In this post, I'll walk you through the image processing steps I used to create the image of the Andromeda Galaxy shown below. This astrophotography tutorial uses Adobe Photoshop to bring out the intense colors and detail of a galaxy that was photographed using a DSLR camera and a small telescope.  You can follow along and process the exact same data I did (download here), or you can try these techniques on your version of the Andromeda Galaxy taken using your own equipment. If you choose to download my data and process it, you can skip straight to the Photoshop portion of this tutoria…

Canon DSLR Ha Filter

Use a DSLR Ha Filter for Astrophotography

|H-Alpha|22 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…

Rokinon 135mm F/2 lens review

The Rokinon 135mm F/2 was Built for Astrophotography

|Camera Lenses|19 Comments

In this post, I'll explain why I think the Rokinon 135mm F/2 is the perfect addition to an arsenal of astrophotography lenses.  Deep-sky astrophotography is often associated with a camera and telescope, but the truth is there are a lot of great camera lenses for astrophotography out there. In the past, I've covered a number of different lenses, from the Sigma 24mm F/1.4 to the Canon EF 300mm F/4L. As you know, camera lenses come in varying focal lengths, apertures, and optical quality. Astrophotography is one of the ultimate tests of lens quality, as long exposure photography of dee…

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…