Putting the 'Amateur' in 'Amateur Astrophotography'
"You're only as good as your gear" is not always true when it comes to taking photos of the night sky, but there is no substitute for experience. You could read every article and forum post on Cloudy Nights and buy all the most expensive gear, but ultimately there is nothing more helpful than getting outside and trying, failing, learning, and trying again.
Truly the learned opinion of one who has been there. So join us at 8 p.m., on April 19, at the Fernbank Science Center Resource Center (formerly the library room) when Jon Doran shares his own insight with us on the travails of his own learning curve.
In his own words: "The talk will cover my experiences in astrophotography over the past 6 years during high school and college. I will show some of my early attempts at capturing the night sky with unconventional tactics to overcome the budget limitations of a high school student. Getting a DSLR camera and the cheapest tripod on Amazon opened the door to Milky Way photography, and I learned that is IS possible to put a 7-pound Orion ED80 telescope on that same plastic tripod and capture sharp pictures of the Moon.
"I will demonstrate my current portable DSLR astrophotography rig that relies on free and open source software running on low-cost and low-power computer hardware. The setup can accomplish everything from go-to control, polar alignment, image sequencing, camera focusing, auto-guiding, observatory dome control, and more — all running on a $35 computer."
Believe it or not, Jon is a 4th year Computer Engineering undergrad at Georgia Tech.
As always, the AAC program is FREE and open to the public. Finally, and weather-permitting, all will be invited upstairs to Ralph Buice Observatory to view through the 0.9 meter (36-inch) Cassegrain reflecting telescope inside the 10 meter (30 ft.) dome.
The Fernbank Science Center is located at 156 Heaton Park Dr. NE, Atlanta, GA 30303. (Phone: 678-874-7102).