Introduction to Astrophotography
Astrophotography is a big step in photography. The level of skill required is so high but ultimately someone with passion and good motivation can eventually learn it. Another side of the story is picking the equipment where a bad decision will take months to be discovered. Choosing the right telescope, camera, mount and accessories is actually harder than learning the skills. That is the reason why I’m writing this to minimize the mistakes in buying or acquiring the equipment to achieve good results even from the start.
If for some reason you have decided to get into this very expensive and time consuming hobby, you must be able to know some important concepts and basic knowledge about the universe and somethings within it and of course be able to answer the following questions by yourself.
- What do you want to take photographs of? Planets, Galaxies, Nebulas, Stars and Star Clusters?
- Are you going to be observing mostly in your backyard or planning to travel with your gear?
- What kind of camera are you going to use? If you choose to be taking pictures from your backyard? How bad is light pollution in your area?
- Most importantly, how much are you willing to spend for your gear?
The first question gives you an idea of what kind of telescope that you need to buy. If you plan to take photographs of planets then your telescope should be able to handle high magnification. The planets are very bright but very small targets. Unlike galaxies and nebulas that are so big but very faint. Taking photographs of galaxies and nebulas needs a very sensitive camera and that goes to the third question where you are going to primarily do your observation of image capture. Before we move on to the last question, let’s first discuss some important things you need to know astrophotography.