In the past, I have shared reflections on the beauty of the skies over my parent's farm. I often wish I could share both the stories and the visuals. A few weeks back, I mentioned that I have participated in a "fund-me" program for the development of a point and shoot astronomy camera. I'm happy to share that it is on its way! My plan is to use it on my vacation in a couple weeks to do some night photography on the Kurzynski farm.
In the meantime, I thought it would be fun to get a cheap, but good camera set-up to do some astrophotography at the level of the beginner to both compare basic images of the sky with the Nano1 I'll be reviewing in a couple weeks and simply get outside to enjoy the night sky. The pictures below are not the greatest, they're noisy, and aren't going to show up in any magazines anytime soon. The reason I share them is because it was a lot of fun taking them! As I've shared with you in the past, when taking images of the night sky, there's a simple question you need to ask before you begin this challenging form of photography: Why am I doing this?
The answer to why I took these pictures was simple: I love the farm I grew up on and love the night skies the surround it. I also wanted to offer this post for the non-professional on Sacred Space Astronomy to show how for less than $100, you can get out and do similar photography (most likely a lot better!)
So, what did I use for these pictures?
Camera: A $60, 7 year old camera I found on an online auction in lightly used condition. 12 Megapixel CMOS sensor, and settings that allow for manual exposure of the sensor. In other words, your cellphone probably has a better camera sensor than this camera. However, the manual settings gives this camera more flexibility.
Lens: A $40 stock 9mm lens that is standard for the brand of camera I bought. I cleaned it to try and get the best images possible.
Tripod: A $9.00 Big Box store tripod - nothing special.
Image Editing Software: A highly rated free image editor you can find with a simple Google search.
Exposure Settings: ISO of 1600, f/1.9, 30 second exposures.
Welcome to the farm!