2022 departed with bad weather, and 2023 roared in with even worse weather, bringing waves of storms marching across North America. Sometimes, bad weather brings opportunities to photograph interesting atmospheric sights, but on balance, as an astrophotographer, I’d rather see clear skies!
Recent Astrophotography Articles
Astrophotographers and even regular photographers have a chance at a comet that is now appearing in our early morning, pre-dawn skies. I'm talking about Comet C/2022 E3 ZTF, rapidly approaching its closest encounter with our sun. It hasn't been to our part of the solar system for about 50,000 years. It's a striking green in color, and not all comets are, so it's created a stir among astrophotographers.
Have you ever wanted to take photos and videos of the Earth from space? Sony has launched an a7R IV nano-satellite into space, offering a user-controllable space photography service.
Nowadays, photographers who use APS-C cameras have a pretty good selection of third-party lenses on the market that are capable of professional results, and this is becoming especially true in the ultra-wide arena.
A couple of days ago, my colleague, Ivor Rackham, had a positive review of Affinity Photo 2. What many people miss is that Affinity Photo is also an excellent astro image-processing tool.
Some months ago, I was excited enough to place a preorder upon hearing of the announcement of Sky-Watcher’s Star Adventurer GTi, the latest in their Star Adventurer series of star trackers. In September, I finally received it and have been checking it out. Let’s see if it has indeed met my expectations.
These two wide angle third-party prime lenses are both ultra-fast, with a maximum aperture of f/1.4. But which of the two should you go for?
You may remember my 2019 review of the original Arsenal hardware. It was a block box you attached to your DSLR or mirrorless camera and it automated many of the tasks photographers face on a regular basis. The Arsenal sold quite well. While it had some good points that could speed or improve a photographer's workflow, it left a lot of buyers unhappy and it seemed to wind up on a lot of shelves and in a lot of drawers, rather than in camera bags. Now we've got Arsenal 2.
When a passion project collides with a good cause, it's a win-win, and photographer and videographer David Zapatka's lighthouse photography project is just that.
With long days and shorter nights, summer is a good time to consider getting into solar astrophotography. The Sun is also heading toward the active phase of its 11-year sunspot cycle and promises to make the Sun more interesting than the featureless cueball look of the sunspot cycle minimum. Solar astronomers use the count of visible sunspots as a measure of the solar activity, and sunspot cycle #25, as counted by astronomers, looks like it will be peaking sometime around 2024.
It has been 26 years since development started on the eventual successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. In that time, after numerous delays, cost overruns, one major redesign, and 10 billion USD, the James Webb Space Telescope has finally taken its first images.
Night photography can be technically daunting. Even with modern cameras, it's not easy to capture high-quality night photos. While photographing the stars already requires high ISOs combined with wide apertures, capturing details in the landscape is even more difficult in the dark. In this article, I walk you through my night photography workflow, which combines image averaging with time blending and focus stacking to achieve high-quality results.
Over the years, I've been following the software offerings of Italian astrophotographer Angele Perrone. He aggressively updates his Photoshop extensions, and he adds a lot of very simple functions that would be difficult to accomplish in Photoshop without a lot of time and trouble. So, here's a look at Astro Panel Pro 6 for Photoshop.
Wide field astrophotography is quickly becoming an established niche that is increasingly available to more hobbyist photographers with the availability of better, smaller, and cheaper tracking mounts. But the smallest galaxies, nebulae, and planets have always been prohibitively expensive to capture. Can this lens change that?
The month of May closes out with a New Moon (moonless sky), to which deep sky astrophotographers always look forward. This month brings a potential bonus of an intense burst of meteors, perfectly timed for North American astrophotographers. In fact, it’s so perfectly timed (for U.S. residents) that it falls on a Monday evening of a U.S. three-day holiday weekend.
If you’re at all interested in astronomy or astrophotography, there is no escaping the effects of light pollution. Whether that means traveling to darker skies or using post-processing to reduce gradients, we all kind of wish it wasn’t there. Right?
Australian Dylan O'Donnell's over-the-top astrophotography adventure videos often introduce us to new equipment. But his "HOTTEST New Astrophotography Products in 2022" video caught my eye. At the very least, it's a bit presumptuous to think that the hottest products come out in the first half of the year!
Astrophotography can be divided into two camps: terrestrial and deep space. Both can be equally challenging for different reasons. But recent advances in technology have also made both more attainable and enjoyable.
Shooting the night sky, whether by itself or as part of a landscape, can be a magical thing. The problem is that with such low levels of ambient light, any manmade sources can quickly overwhelm the stars and ruin the frame. So, how do you deal with light pollution? This helpful video tutorial will give you some useful tips on how to avoid or mitigate it and come away with more desirable images.
If you have ever seen images of deep space objects like nebulae and galaxies while perusing the internet today, you may have wondered why they look the way they do. I mean, it’s not all difficult to point your camera up and take pictures of the night sky. But there’s a lot more to it than that.
Creating a 360 VR panorama (also referred to as 360x180 degree panorama) has been an interesting side-challenge to take on for photographers, but in the past few years, it has been simplified to the point where phones, such as the Google Pixel series, make taking a VR panorama practically a point-and-shoot affair. But shooting one of the night sky remains a worthy challenge.
So, you’ve gone out and bought an iOptron SkyGuider Pro. You’ve assembled it, read the instructions, maybe even watched a YouTube video on how to use it, and you’ve got the basics down. But you find yourself wondering if it could be better. Yes, it can be heaps better.
Time flies by. We’re already into February. Have you got your astrophotography planned out for the year? For astrophotographers, knowing what’s up in the sky and planning is the key to getting an interesting shot.
If you’re into astrophotography, a drone typically isn’t your camera of choice. That’s why I was surprised to see Haida’s release of a light-pollution reducing filter for the new Mavic 3, which they’re calling the NanoPro Clear-Night Filter. Does this filter change the experience of shooting with a drone at night?
I’m occasionally asked to recommend a camera to get into astrophotography. Of course, my first answer is to use the camera and lenses you already have. Beyond that, it’s difficult to recommend a specific brand and model because I don’t have every camera at my disposal, and we are blessed (cursed?) with a continuous stream of new and improved cameras. Here are some thoughts.
With all the fanfare this past year over the latest developments in camera technology, it's easy to get caught up in gear envy. And that's completely natural. But what if there's a better camera out there that most of us have forgotten about?
Have you ever had a shoot fail to go as planned? How often do you come away with images that you love, but weren't expecting? Check out this video to see how Michael Shainblum makes the best of a sunset shoot that didn't pan out.
Astrophotography has always fascinated me, as the thought of capturing objects that are such unfathomable distances from Earth just blows my mind. This great video goes behind the scenes to show you the process of shooting one of the most well-known objects in the night sky and the sort of technique and effort that goes into producing a memorable image.
For Northern Hemisphere astrophotographers wanting to try getting into the deep sky (outside our solar system) targets, here are three suggestions to start the Winter season, with the bonus that a stock (unmodified) DSLR or mirrorless camera can be used.
Astrophotography has become more popular than ever, in no small part due to the global pandemic, but also due to the availability of inexpensive portable tracking mounts.
Astrophotography and nighttime photography generally come with their own respective challenges. The biggest problem tends to be increased noise especially in the shadow areas of an image. But what if there was some incredibly smart software that could magically get rid of the noise and improve your images, would you use it?
If you’ve ever thought about getting into astrophotography, you may have been dissuaded by the task of correctly processing your own images. There are countless guides online using a variety of programs, but they are either expensive and difficult to use, or are only available for a single operating system.
My preferred targets for astrophotography are what we might call transient targets. In this article, I will identify three targets I will be aiming for this winter.
One of the neatest experiences after buying a dedicated camera is pointing it at the night sky for the first time and capturing beauty that is invisible to the naked eye. Doing so takes some specialized technique, however. This excellent video tutorial will show you how to take a compelling nightscape shot using nothing but a basic camera, kit lens, and tripod.
If you have been using your digital camera for astrophotography, you’re probably aware that there are special astro variants of some of the more popular cameras. But how exactly are these special variants different, and can you modify yours?
This video from Cuiv, the Lazy Geek, a YouTuber with a popular following in the astrophotography community, brings up some considerations for photographers who are dipping their toes into astrophotography, including broad considerations and commentary on differences and difficulties traditional photographers may find as they explore astrophotography.
After five years, NASA’s space probe Juno arrived at Jupiter in 2016, carrying with it Junocam, a two-megapixel camera featuring a Kodak image sensor. This camera continues to reveal more mysteries about the red planet.
Fall tends to be a “transitional” season for the astrophotographer. Summer constellations are still visible for early evening, but are quickly fading into the sunset. Late in the evening, some of the prominent Winter constellations are starting to come into view. In a few months these winter constellations will be high in the sky and well placed for astrophotography, so now is the time to do some planning.
Astrophotography has some specific and often more demanding requirements when it comes to lenses, and as such, it takes careful evaluation of potential options to know which is right for your work. For astrophotographers on a budget, there is the Viltrox 35mm f/1.8 AF, and this great video review takes a look at the sort of image quality and performance you can expect from it in practice.