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Astrophotography: 14 MUST KNOW Starting Tips! - YouTube

发布时间 2022-12-16 11:30:07    来源


If you're getting started in astrophotography, I'm here to save you some time and frustration by learning from the mistakes of myself and others. Whether you're looking into getting a full blown camera in telescope setup or just starting out with a simple DSLR and tripod, I think this video will come in handy. The following advice and tips were compiled by myself and the hundreds of responses I got when I asked the astrophotography community, what's the one piece of advice you have for beginners? So get ready because the advice I have may surprise you.

Number one, astrophotography is more than just deep sky imaging. You need to choose an area of interest. I know that you want to do it all, planets, galaxies, nightscapes, meteor shower time lapses. But you should narrow down your interest to focus on the equipment and techniques that are most important to achieve your goals. To me, astrophotography usually means deep sky images of galaxy and nebulae. To others, it's a nightscape of the winter constellations rising above a snow-covered mountain. Astrophotography is a close-up of the surface of Mars, a wide-angle shot of the Milky Way and everything in between. This is why it's difficult to provide broad astrophotography tips that apply to all aspects of the hobby. You need to decide which area of the hobby interests you most because the equipment needed varies wildly depending on the one you choose. I generally stick to tracked, long exposure images through a telescope in the backyard. A pet peeve of mine is when people generalize astrophotography into just one aspect and then make rules that confuse beginners. Taking a photo of the moon using your smartphone through the eyepiece of the manual Dobsonian telescope is still astrophotography, just in its simplest form. So pick an area of interest early on, don't try to do it all.

For me, that's deep sky imaging through a telescope in the backyard because it's the most practical way for me to continue enjoying the hobby. For you, maybe that's wide-angle, nightscapes and Milky Way photography where a travel-friendly lightweight system makes more sense. Number two, become obsessed with your own progress. If you're like me, all it takes for you to stay motivated is to make progress towards your goal. It's a simple concept, but it's difficult to sustain at times. It can be very small steps, but always forward, not back. The reason I say this is because you need to appreciate your own personal progress, not someone else's, to stay excited about astrophotography. The game of astrophotography is best played on the court, not the sidelines, because only you will know the true meaning and pride you have behind each photo.

Will the average Joe see your photo and say, that's unbelievable. Lots will, but others will say, I've seen better or you could have just found a better picture online. The difference is, this image was captured by you, someone that didn't even know how to use a telescope a few months ago. You spent the time perfecting your craft to capture and share an object that you chose. You watch the image get better and better over time as you collected more and more light on the object. Comparing your latest version of a deep-sky target with one you previously took is a real eye-opener. You should be very proud of the progress you've made. Astrophotography is not for the dabblers, it takes grit to get to the finish line. Which brings me to my next point.

Number three, if it were easy, everyone would do it. Astrophotography in all aspects is hard. Expect to fail several times. Expect to get frustrated and discouraged. This is not a hobby you walk into and get immediate results. So if that's the game we're playing, adjust your expectations accordingly. Celebrate any amount of progress, because it truly is an amazing feat. You balanced your rig, you focused your camera. Maybe you set everything up and didn't get a single picture. But you will next time, because you now know a pivotal step of the process through experience that you now know forever. The steep learning curve of astrophotography is the barrier to entry.

And why I respect anyone that has chosen to take the challenge on. We are a different breed and it's why what we do makes us extraordinary. Number four, take online advice with a grain of salt. There are some amazing resources out there to learn astrophotography on your own. YouTube, Facebook, groups, Reddit, forums. The problem is there's a lot of conflicting advice out there. And a lot of the guys that like to hang out there can be a little opinionated. My wife Ashley recently got started in astrophotography herself. And I cringe at the idea of her posting a question about her sky watcher mount in one of the forums. And someone's saying, you got the belt mod done, right? You regreased the worm gear? You regreased the worm gear? Don't even bother using it until you've done that or your guiding will be terrible. Throw out all of your subs that aren't 0.3 arc seconds per pixel or less. That's the kind of information that scares people away from our hobby for good. The scary part is many people read the hive mind expert advice and start telling others about it as if it were true. I've even read outrageous stories about myself written online by a stranger. The internet is a weird place. So like I said, take everything with a grain of salt and realize that some of the opinions and beliefs out there aren't always true. Instead, reach out to an individual astrophotographer who's around your skill level or better yet a little ahead of you and kick ideas off of them. Unlike the anonymous faceless keyboard warriors, they don't have the incentive to manufacture drama for attention or boast about their experience. There's a good chance you'll make some lifelong friends through these authentic connections as well.

Number 5, your tracking mount is really important, so get a good one. Beginners like to focus on the camera and telescope used for a photo they see shared online. What telescope did you use? Is the most common question I get when someone sees one of my astro photos for the first time on Twitter or Instagram? The telescope is essential, yes, but it's the equatorial tracking mount that makes it all possible. Whether it's a small star tracker or a full-blown computerized go-to equatorial mount, you can make your life a lot easier by choosing one that's known to be reliable. The basics like polar alignment and balance may seem obvious, but I still see beginners getting this wrong early on and blaming their equipment. Take the time to understand exactly how your tracking mount works and its limitations. This will be your platform for almost every type of astrophotography you do. Once you're comfortable with consistently setting it up properly and polar aligning it, you are free to experiment with new camera settings, filters, and techniques. Aim for a motorized equatorial telescope mount, not an alt-as, that has a listed maximum payload capacity well over the weight of your current imaging gear. If it's only 11 pounds like this one, no problem. There are still plenty of configuration possibilities available. I really like the Skywatcher Star Adventurer Star Tracker, the beefier EQ6R Pro, and most recently the super portable ZWO AM5. Look at what others are using and the imaging system they have riding on top. If they consistently pump out great images using it, that's a pretty good sign.
5号,你的跟踪支架非常重要,所以选一个好的。新手常常关注出现在网上的照片所用的相机和望远镜。“你用了什么望远镜?”是我在推特或Instagram上分享天文照片时最常被问到的问题。望远镜当然重要,但真正让一切成为可能的是赤道跟踪支架。不论是小型星轨跟踪仪还是全功能的电脑化赤道仪,选择一个可靠的跟踪支架可以大大简化你的工作。 基础的极轴对准和平衡似乎显而易见,但我仍然看到初学者在早期阶段犯错误并且责怪他们的设备。花时间充分了解你的跟踪支架的工作原理和局限。这将是你进行几乎所有天体摄影的基础平台。一旦你能自如地搭建和极轴对准,你就可以自由地尝试新的相机设置、滤镜和技巧。 建议选择一个电动赤道望远镜支架,而不是天顶仪,而它的最大承重能力最好远超过你当前的拍摄设备的重量。如果像这个只有11磅的,也没问题,还有很多配置可能性。我个人很喜欢Skywatcher Star Adventurer星轨跟踪仪、更强大的EQ6R Pro,以及最近的超便携ZWO AM5。看看别人用的设备和他们的成像系统。如果他们能够持续拍出好照片,那就是一个不错的信号。

Number 6, don't start with a long focal length telescope. A long focal length, anything over 1000mm really, means a higher native magnification. So when you attach a camera to it, this is the field of view that you will get. If you're used to camera lenses, 300mm is considered to be a long telephoto lens. But telescopes take this to the extreme. A popular choice for astrophotographers starting out is the Celestron C8-SCT, a telescope with a focal length of over 2000mm. Don't get me wrong, this is a great scope, but I believe it will make that first tracked long exposure image of a galaxy or nebula harder to achieve. But high magnification is good, right? We want a photograph, planets up close, or small galaxies. Well we do, but the learning curve goes way up when you're pointed at a very small area of the sky. It makes alignment, finding objects, and accurate tracking more difficult, simply because it literally magnifies any tiny errors you've made along the way. Instead, start wide and give yourself a break. A compact refractor telescope in the 400mm range is ideal and it will make everything easier. No matter which camera you use, you should now be able to find and focus on the brightest stars in the sky and begin your first tracked long exposure image.
第六点,不要一开始就用长焦距的望远镜。因为长焦距(通常指超过1000毫米)意味着更高的原始放大倍率。当你将相机连接到这种望远镜时,得到的视野会非常狭窄。如果你习惯了相机镜头,300毫米就已经算是长焦镜头了。但望远镜会将这一概念推到极致。入门的天文摄影师通常会选择Celestron C8-SCT,这款望远镜的焦距超过2000毫米。别误会,这确实是一款很棒的望远镜,但我相信它会让你拍摄第一张追踪长曝光的星系或星云照片变得更加困难。高倍放大不就是好的吗?我们是想拍摄近距离的行星或小星系。但当你对准天空中非常小的区域时,学习曲线会急剧上升。对准、寻找目标和准确追踪变得更加困难,因为任何细微误差都会被放大。相反,你可以先从较广的视野开始,给自己一个缓冲。一个焦距在400毫米左右的小型折射望远镜是理想的选择,这将使一切变得更加容易。不管你使用哪种相机,你都应该能够找到并聚焦天空中最亮的星星,开始你的第一张追踪长曝光照片。

Once you have mastered the process using your wide field setup, increasing magnification and focal length will be a lot more approachable. Number 7. Get ready for image processing. If you're a daytime photographer and already know your way around Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, great. But even then, you'll still have to make a massive shift in the way you go about editing your photos. The process of creating an astro photo is a lot more than just creative edits to enhance color, contrast, and clarity. It's image stacking, it's hours of integration, calibration frames, and learning the art of pre-processing. I know that some beginners have very little experience with image editing software going in. For these folks, it's going to require a lot of time and energy to get up to speed. Just like the image acquisition portion, the processing side of things can be a lot more enjoyable if you have realistic expectations going in. I personally love the image processing side of astro photography and I think eventually beginners will too.
一旦你掌握了使用广角设备的流程,提升放大倍数和焦距将变得更加容易。第7点,准备好图像处理。如果你是一个白天的摄影师,已经熟悉Adobe Lightroom和Photoshop,那很好。不过,即便如此,你仍需要在编辑照片的方式上进行重大调整。制作一张天文照片的过程远不止是增强颜色、对比和清晰度的创意编辑。它包括图像堆叠、数小时的整合、校准帧,以及学习预处理的艺术。我知道一些初学者对图像编辑软件几乎没有经验。对于这些人来说,需要花费大量时间和精力来快速上手。就像图像采集部分一样,如果你一开始就有现实的预期,处理过程也会更加愉快。我个人非常喜欢天文摄影的图像处理部分,我相信最终初学者也会喜欢上它的。

There's something about spending a few hours really digging into your data and revealing that hidden beauty within it that is both satisfying and rewarding. There are many great tutorials here on YouTube for whatever software you're using. I've created a beginner-friendly image processing guide that aims to save a lot of time and frustration for you and I've linked it in the description. Just remember that when you make a choice for the image editing software, you'll want to stick with it. I recommend starting out with Adobe Photoshop and gradually applying new techniques as you learn them in Pics and Site to your workflow. That's what I did. Number eight, the weather is cruel and you will obsess over it.
花上几个小时深入挖掘你的数据,揭示其中隐藏的美,既令人满意又值得回味。YouTube 上有许多关于各种软件的优秀教程。我制作了一份面向初学者的图像处理指南,旨在为你节省大量时间和减少挫败感,链接已经放在描述中。记住,选择图像编辑软件时,最好坚持使用一种。我建议从 Adobe Photoshop 开始,逐步将你在 Pics 和 Site 上学到的新技巧应用到你的工作流程中。我就是这样做的。第八,天气是无情的,你会为之着迷。

I personally check three to four weather apps multiple times per day. I've been doing this for 10 years now and it is not healthy. Hold on, I haven't checked the long-term forecast in a few hours. It's still terrible. Clear outside, the clear-sky chart, astrospheric, they're all pretty good. But unless you live in the desert and or shoot remotely, you're going to experience lots of cloudy nights. They're often timed out for when a new piece of equipment arrives or when you're particularly excited to continue or start a new project. It's probably the most devastatingly helpless part of astro photography and it will hurt. Even worse is when a clear night is coming up but you have real-life plans that you can't get out of. Work nights, birthday parties, sporting events, these will all be clear nights.
我每天多次检查三到四个天气应用程序。我已经这样做了十年了,这并不健康。等一下,我有几个小时没查长期天气预报了。还是糟糕透顶。Clear outside,clear-sky chart,astrospheric,这些应用都挺不错的。但除非你住在沙漠里或者在偏远地区拍摄,否则你会遇到很多多云的夜晚。经常会赶上新设备到货或你特别想要开始或继续一个新项目的时候。天文摄影中最让人无助的一部分可能就是这个,它真的会让人感到受伤。更糟糕的是,当一个晴朗的夜晚即将到来时,你却有一些无法推脱的日常安排。工作夜晚、生日派对、体育赛事,这些都是晴朗的夜晚。

Out of all the abuse we take as astro photographers, I think dealing with weather is the worst. However, it gets easier to stomach when you commit to astro photography as a lifelong journey. So you missed O'Reilly in this winter. He will be back next year. I promise you that and you'll be ready.

Number nine, astro photography is expensive and there's no way around it. Photography in general is already expensive but astro photography takes it one step further. Even if you have a budget in mind, you will go over it and over and over. As a full-time astro photographer, it's a little easier to justify my expenses now. But when I started, I purchased my first telescope mount on the old credit card and said to myself, if I don't get this thing to work, I'm out of grand. It's a nice incentive to get it all running. Now, I don't want to scare you away if you have a limited budget and you want to get in the game. Used gear, smaller setups, older cameras, you can do so much with this type of equipment. And I bet it will be a lot more rewarding using this type of gear compared to someone that just buys their way to the top. If you're looking for a specific number, I'm going to say that it's going to be really tough to build a deep sky imaging kit for under $2,000. And this will be a smaller scale system for wide field targets. But if you're thrifty and hungry, I bet you could put together one for even less.
第九点,天文摄影很贵,而且无可避免。摄影本身已经很贵了,而天文摄影更是进一步提高了成本。即使你心中有预算,你也会超支,再一次次超支。作为全职天文摄影师,我现在更容易为我的支出辩护。但刚开始时,我用信用卡买了第一个望远镜支架,对自己说,如果这个东西不能用,那我就白花了一大笔钱。这也成了激励我用心学习并让设备运作起来的一大动力。 但如果你预算有限,又想进入这个领域,我不想吓跑你。二手装备、小型设备、旧相机,这些设备同样能让你大展身手。而且,我敢打赌,使用这种设备取得成果会比那些一掷千金的人更加有成就感。如果你需要具体的数字,我会说要想组建一套深空摄影设备,低于2000美元是很困难的。而这种价格只能支撑一个较小规模的系统,适用于广角目标。但如果你精打细算且充满干劲,我相信你甚至能花更少的钱把一套设备组建起来。

Number 10, the social media sharing, joys and let downs. Now I don't know what your plans are for your images when they're done, but chances are you want someone to see them. You can print them out to hang them on your wall, you can post them on your personal website, or you can share them on social media and watch those likes come rolling in, right? Well, sometimes, but the social media landscape has changed a lot over the last few years. And astrophotographers are using feed the algorithm tactics to get more eyeballs on their work. This is all cool with me, but just remember that hitting an arbitrary number of likes on your image has nothing to do with how good it is. Yes, of course, it feels good when others appreciate your work. But if that's what you need to enjoy the hobby, I don't think it's going to work. Follow astrophotographers with a particular style that you enjoy for inspiration. And don't get too hung up on likes and views. It sounds obvious, but it can really get in your head and it is not why you started this hobby. I've recently got into printing large high resolution photos of my work to display in my home and eventually for sale. The process has been refreshingly different from my usual way of dressing up an image to share it on a phone screen.

Number 11, Get Out There And Shoot I can't believe I have to say this one, but Alan Dyer is right. Stop watching YouTube videos and just get outside in practice. Don't try to over prepare yourself with too much information and nail your first attempt. It just won't happen. When you're out there in the field, you'd be surprised at how different everything feels and what sticks and what didn't. If your expectations are set to just have a night of experimentation and learning, you will enjoy every minute of it. This is exactly the way I got hooked on astrophotography, trial and error with my camera and telescope in the backyard. Just got to get out there and start taking pictures. They will get better. I've found that a lot of the experts in the Facebook groups and forums take very little if any actual photos themselves. You can have all the answers, but until you're executing on the advice you give, you haven't even really started.
第11点,走出去拍摄 我都不敢相信这一点还需要说,但艾伦·戴尔是对的。别再看YouTube视频了,赶紧出去实际操作练习。不要试图通过获取太多信息来让自己准备得万无一失,然后一鸣惊人。那是不可能的。当你身处实际环境中时,你会惊讶地发现,所有事情的感觉都完全不同,有些东西你记住了,有些则没有。如果你只是抱着试验和学习的心态度过一个夜晚,你会享受每一分钟。我就是这样迷上天文摄影的,在后院里用相机和望远镜反复试验。只要走出去开始拍摄,照片会越来越好的。我发现很多在Facebook群组和论坛里的专家们几乎很少,甚至根本不拍摄实际照片。你可以有所有的答案,但直到你把自己给的建议付诸实践,你其实还没有真正开始。

Number 12, dark skies make a big difference. If you've only ever shot from a light polluted city, you may be surprised at how much of a difference dark skies make. It's not just that the quality and detail of your images will be better. It's that the entire process seems to become easier and more enjoyable. You are no longer fighting against the light pollution of a washed out sky and trying to find ways around it. You can see more stars in the sky and even deep sky objects. The images you capture there will be easier to process and you will need less overall integration time to create an amazing image. Any chance you get to set up your camera and telescope under a dark sky, take it. I like to go on astro adventures with my wife Ashley on New Moon weekends. We'll look at the light pollution map and book an Airbnb last minute when we're certain that the forecast will be clear. Make those dark sky trips count and go after the fainter targets while you're there.

Number 13, don't be afraid of the dark sky. This one sounds like a joke but it's seriously something to consider if you're new to the hobby. If you're not used to spending a night outside alone in the dark, it can be a little freaky out there. If you've set up at a dark sky spot away from home that is truly dark, which is exactly what you want by the way, you will hear every stick break, every rustle in the bushes. In question why every car that drives by is out so late. You need to be in the right mindset to stick it out or you'll completely freak out and pack up and go home. A word to the wise here, a small stereo or your phone playing classic rock music can really help ease the tension. That's my routine anyway.

Number 14, join your local astronomy club. I know, I know you're a lone wolf that likes to figure things out on your own. You're resourceful, you can learn anything you want online. That's me too. But you will save a year's worth of struggle by hanging around the astro photographers in your local astronomy club. And trust me, there will be a die-hard pack of them. I'm talking in-person hangouts with people that geek out just as much as you do about photographing space. One-on-one advice based on the gear you currently own from someone that's been there. This is precisely how I managed to complete that incredible, rare accomplishment of taking a tracked, guided exposure of a deep sky object through my telescope. Sometimes you just need a responsive guide or mentor to walk you through the steps in person. I think that I, through the screen on YouTube, cannot do for you some final thoughts.

Astrophotography is a hobby you can enjoy for a lifetime. Don't rush the early stages because you're impatient for a result. Some of my favorite memories in this hobby are from that first summer when I got started and the early victories I achieved. Photographing the night sky in any form is a challenge and it's something that most people will never get to experience. Enjoy the process, the crushing lows, the short-lived highs. The pictures that leave you speechless and the ones that make you want to sell your telescope. It's the journey to the image that makes it fun. Life is too short to spend it on the sidelines watching and critiquing others. Get out there. Capture. Create. Inspire. This is where the true joy of astrophotography lies. Trust me.