See for details on:

• our 4-hour "Nightscapes and Time-Lapse" Video Course

• and our new 9-hour "Deep Sky with Your DSLR" Video Course

Shooting Stars with Your DSLR …


… From Field to Photoshop


In this 4-hour general workshop Alan reviews:


• recommended cameras and astro-equipment needed to shoot the night sky,

• the best practices for getting great images,

• then … the steps to processing images in Camera Raw and Photoshop.


The emphasis is on wide-field nightscapes, time-lapses, and tracked images of deep-sky objects. We won’t be dealing with lunar and planetary imaging, nor the use of dedicated astronomical CCD cameras or specialized software such as PixInsight.


Part 1 – Choosing Gear


Choosing a Camera

Full-frame vs. Cropped frame

DSLR vs. Mirrorless

Stock vs. Modified


Choosing Lenses & Accessories

Automatic vs. Manual lenses

Zoom vs. Primes

Best focal lengths

Hardware intervalometers

Camera control software

Advanced camera control for time-lapses

Planning software


Choosing Astro-gear


Full-sized mounts

The best telescopes

Recommended accessories (reducers, guiders)


Part 2 - Best Practices


Setting Your Camera


Setting exposure - Expose to the Right

Using the histogram

500 Rule limits

Reducing noise at the camera

LENR and Dark frames

Other settings (White balance, picture styles, etc.)


Settings for star trails

Settings for time-lapses

Settings for tracked deep-sky

Shooting images for stacking

Shooting images for HDRs and Panoramas


Focusing the Camera

Using Live View

Maximizing Live View brightness


Guiding the Camera

Computer vs. Stand-alone



What can go wrong


Part 3 - Processing Images


Developing Raw images

Raw developers vs. Layer-based software

Developing Raw images

Lens correction and “flat fielding”

Merging HDR sets and Panoramas

Exporting as “Smart Objects”

Developing Star Trail and Time-lapse sets

Exporting a set of images using Image Processor

Assembling time-lapse movies



Stacking Star trails (Photoshop and StarStaX)

Blend modes

Stacking in Photoshop for Noise Reduction

Smart Object “combine modes”

Dark frame subtraction in post-processing


Processing in Photoshop with Layers

Using Smart Objects and Smart Filters

Using Adjustments Layers

Selection methods for Masking

Masking earth and sky

Compositing short and long exposures

Sharpening tricks

Merging panoramas and mosaics

Using other stitching software

Grouping layers

Formats for saving/exporting