NEXT SHOOTING STARS WORKSHOP:

I'll present an abbreviated 2.5-hour introductory-level version at the Equinox Festival, in Bon Accord, Alberta

September 16, 2017

Details Here

Shooting Stars with Your DSLR …

 

… From Field to Photoshop

 

In this 4.5-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

Trackers

Full-sized mounts

The best telescopes

Recommended accessories (reducers, guiders)

 

Part 2 - Best Practices

 

Setting Your Camera

RAW vs. JPG

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

Guidescopes

Software

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

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