Location: Perth Observatory
Time: 1:00 pm to 10:00 pm (Doors open at: 12:30 pm)
Get started with astrophotography using your camera for widefield astrophotography. Learn what your equipment is capable of and how to make the most of what you have to get a start on astrophotography, as well as what equipment you may wish to consider in the future. The small group (max 12 participants) setting enables you to get maximum benefit from this workshop.
This is an introductory course to help steer your astrophotography future in the right direction. You get hands-on experience using your camera on-site at the observatory, using equipment loaned by Astro Photography Australia (Roger Groom), and seeing in person the setup and use of astrophotography equipment.
In the case of cloud on the night, the practical part of the night will be replaced with a telescope tour and software demonstration including image processing.
- Presented by local astrophotographer and Perth Observatory volunteer Roger Groom of Astro
Photography Australia with assistance from volunteers of the Perth Observatory Volunteer Group
- Tea, coffee, snacks provided
- Dinner: Subway catering provided, please advise of dietary requirements when booking
- Soft drinks and ice creams available for purchase on-site
|1:00 pm – 1:30 pm:||Welcome, general info, introduction to astrophotography. Learn the types of astrophotography and consider how they apply to the equipment you own|
|1:30 pm – 2:30 pm:||About astrophotography, the night sky and what to photograph when. Plan the where to point your camera and at the right time of year, right time of night
Common core astrophotography concepts (including image calibration frames, registering frames, stacking)
|2:30 pm – 2:45 pm:||Break|
|2:45 pm – 3:30 pm:||Equipment for wide-field astrophotography (cameras, lenses, tripods, ultra-portable tracking mounts and additional accessories)|
|3:30 pm – 4:00 pm:||Camera settings|
|4:00 pm – 5:00 pm:||Setting up for astrophotography and taking a shot (including setup of the equipment, settings, how to frame your shot, how to focus, safety)|
|5:00 pm – 6:00 pm:||Software processing introduction (single image processing in manufacturer-provided software, introduction to stacking, demonstration of the benefits of stacking, post-processing concepts)|
|6:00 pm – 7:00 pm:||Dinner/break|
|7:00 pm – 10:00 pm:||Astrophotography practical. You can choose whether you wander the grounds of Perth Observatory putting in to practice what you have learned, or stay with Roger Groom and be taken through the steps of setting up a tracking mount and camera, taking your first shots. You can borrow Roger’s ultra-portable tracking mounts during this time to test drive before you buy|
All of the above will be done with the assistance of workshop facilitator Roger Groom and Perth Observatory Volunteer Group volunteers.
If the night the workshop turns out to be cloudy we will continue inside with:
- Discussion on specific scenarios such as star trails, wide-field Milky Way, tracked vs non-tracked exposures, photographing meteor showers, etc
- Additional software processing demonstration
- A tour of the Perth Observatory telescopes
What To Bring
- A camera (preferably a DSLR or similarly capable mirrorless camera) that you are familiar with and
comfortable with its operation.
- Associated photographic equipment such as a tripod and cable release/intervalometer.
- A head torch or torch with red light and/or dim white light mode
- Warm clothing and sturdy footwear
About The Presenter – Roger Groom
This course will be presented by Roger Groom, an experienced photographer, amateur astronomer and active
participant in the astronomy community in Perth, Western Australia. Roger started astronomy with his first
telescope in the 1990s and since then has expanded to a broad range of astronomy activities mostly focused
around photography. Roger hosts Star Viewing Nights at the Perth Observatory, is the immediate past
chairperson of the Perth Observatory Volunteer Group and gives astrophotography workshops and
presentations at various club and organization events in Perth.