First attempt at a nebula

Discussion in 'Landscape & Cityscape' started by mountainjunkie, Jun 30, 2020.

  1. mountainjunkie

    mountainjunkie No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well actually second attempt, first one wasn’t salvageable.

    Lagoon Nebula (with Trifid in the back). Only got a fraction of the exposure time I wanted due to some self-inflicted technical difficulties, but dark skies and a new filter helped out quite a bit. Taken with a small refractor telescope and D750:

    50042475656_434fa0be49_o.jpg


     
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  2. SquarePeg

    SquarePeg hear me roar Staff Member Supporting Member

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    super cool!
     
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  3. K9Kirk

    K9Kirk Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Agreed, cool shot!
     
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  4. Jeff G

    Jeff G -Amateur Shutterbug- Supporting Member

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    Great job!
     
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  5. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I have always been interested in this type of photography. I wish people would describe their gear, approach, and challenges with it.
     
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  6. Mike Drone

    Mike Drone TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Beautiful photos!
     
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  7. Warhorse

    Warhorse No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Very nice, well done!
     
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  8. mountainjunkie

    mountainjunkie No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Bear in mind, I've only been attempting DSO (deep space object) photography for a few months, so my thoughts and input are worth what you paid :)

    Here are the cliff notes on challenges in my experience so far:

    1. Conditions need to be near perfect, any wind or clouds can ruin a night planned in advance. The best time for astrophotography is within a few days of a new moon, so figure in the small number of days that entails and eliminate the ones with bad weather or when you just can't do it, and the number of prime opportunities per year decreases quickly. That's not to say you can't shoot with the moon in the sky, it just becomes more challenging and typically requires more expensive equipment (see #4). Also, if you live a larger city light pollution that makes things more challenging as well. It can be done....at more expense and challenge. I'm lucky enough to live a relatively darker area compared to a large city.

    2. Time investment: So when you do luck upon a good night with the right conditions....don't plan on sleeping much. The setup alone i.m.e so far takes around an hour. And that's before zoning in on a target. It can be done quicker when things go just right....unless you get into the big really expensive gear which is another animal I can't address. One night I started setting up at 9:30 and didn't start imaging until 1 am. Mostly due to rookie mistakes but I can assure you I'm not alone. Then, once you're set up, find your target, focus, etc the actually imaging starts. That can be anywhere from a couple hours to to multiple nights, but again don't plan on sleeping much the nights you plan on shooting.

    3. Processing: Once you finally get some data worth working with, the post processing is also time consuming. The more experience you have with photoshop the shorter the learning curve will be, but it's not intuitive. Like anything else photography related there are plenty of resources online to help though.

    4. Expense: Again as with anything else photography related, this is always a loaded question. You can make it as cheap or as expensive as you want, with somewhat correlated results given a large number of variables. With that said, it isn't cheap. At very minimum you'll need a DSLR and decent telephoto or longer focal length prime lens, and a star tracker/guiding mount. From there the wish-list grows...higher end GEM style mounts, telescopes, guiding scopes, filters, PC programs, power sources for remote shooting, etc, etc.

    I'm happy to answer any questions you have given my ability and lack of experience. If you haven't already check out the Cloudy Nights forum, it's a great resource to get a feel for what all is involved and learn if you decide to take the plunge.
     
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  9. PJM

    PJM Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Wow, that is very cool. And inspiring.
     
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  10. RichardProtium

    RichardProtium TPF Noob!

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    Nicely done! I was once bitten by the astrophotography bug along with aperture fever myself. Just in case you are not aware, check out a forum called cloudy nights. All things astronomy and astrophotography. Cheers, and keep the astro shots coming.
     
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  11. weepete

    weepete TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    That looks great, I've been looking into this myself lately after stumbing across it on youtube. Keen to give it a try but I've a few hurdles to overcome first though! A few questions if you don't mind.....What filter are you using? are you using a tracking mount? What kind of focal length do you have here?

    I'm looking at stuff already but going to give it a try with a bare lens and a tripod, possibly a clip in filter too but I'm in a very cloudy part of the world and it's not getting properly dark yet either.

    Lagoon Nebula (with Trifid in the back). Only got a fraction of the exposure time I wanted due to some self-inflicted technical difficulties, but dark skies and a new filter helped out quite a bit. Taken with a small refractor telescope and D750:

    View attachment 193718 [/QUOTE]

    Check out Astrobackyard and Astrobiscuit on youtube, I've been watching them lately and find it quite interesting. Their setups get complicated quick, but it's interesting suff if very technical.
     
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  12. mountainjunkie

    mountainjunkie No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thank you. This was taken with a William Optics Z61 which has a 360mm focal length. Filter was an Optolong L-enhance, and I use a sky guider pro.
     
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