At first, Peter Shah seems to be the usual astronomy photographer. He goes out at night to look at the sky with a photo camera and a very big lens on a tripod. This is actually wrong. Peter Shah is actually a perfectionist. Where most amateur astronomers learned to grind a mirror by themselves in order to build a bigger, better astro lens, Peter has perfected the art of improving the little details that make a difference between a good lens and a near perfect photo.
For example, covering the concrete pier, where the 8 inch lens is affixed, with a gold mylar sheet was a step into reducing unwelcome heat radiation that was impairing his pictures. [Peter Shah’s equipment]
You should absolutely go and check his wonderful stars and nebulae’s images. Peter authorized me to copy here a photo I would love to be able to do (any time I start shooting stars, of course): A full color photo of the Horse Head Nebula (in my eyes, one of the most marvelous sight in our skies).
Now, as we are on YLovePhoto and I am always tempted to help my readers improve their photos, I also found a useful article by Jason Anderson (from Canon Blogger) posted on the excellent DIY Photography web site. You will learn how he built a DIY star tracker (very much what astro-photographers would do). But you will start by the excellent basic advice of 5 tips:
- Use a tripod
- Turn on the in-camera noise reduction
- Drop your ISO to its lowest setting
- Make sure you are working with fully charged batteries and have some spares!
- Try to shoot in a remote area where there is not much stray light
The Create Wonderful Astrophotography Images With A DIY Star Tracker article will have you brain working. Maybe, you will try your photo camera at night, too.