Hidden in plain sight
Since childhood, I was fascinated by space. One Christmas I got a telescope from my parents, that same night I was looking through the big rooftop window in my room and found Saturn. I could barely make out the rings but I still remember that feeling: “It is real! It is all out there and I can see it!”
For many years I have been a pure visual observer of the night sky. I have a 10′ Dobson to aid me. Actually I am not much of a Photographer, but one night after reading something online about Astrophotography I took my camera outside. I took some long exposure shots of what I thought would be the Milkyway.
I was stunned. I was blown away. I live in a quite light-polluted area. With the naked eye, I could only make out some very very faint streaks at the night sky. But my Camera? wow.
Endless possibilities – Endless) challenges
I quickly realized that Astrophotography is an extremely wide field and I had just scratched the surface!
There is a lot of equipment, software, and knowledge out there I had absolutely no idea about. (I love to learn new stuff especially if it is techy)
I heard and read about: Motorized mounts, auto guiders, and guide scopes, polar scopes, Bahtinov masks, filters, stacking, stretching, motorized focusers, aperture (remember I was by no means a Photographer)… camera control software for Pc and many more…
But I realized at the same time none of these things are mandatory. I could learn and experiment step by step. Include them one by one. The only thing I needed was the will to invest time (yes and later Money) and my camera (I didn’t even own a Tripod, I borrowed one from time to time from my father, you can’t even imagine what kind of creativity I developed to replace the tripod when it was not here).
So is started top play around: