Astrophotography for the Amateur

When we arrived in Yosemite on a new moon late at night, the most noticeable thing was the stars in the sky. It was so dark you could easily pick out the Milky Way. So I stayed up even later to take 30 second bulb exposures with a tripod and timer. I wanted to edit some of them and asked Sean if he could suggest something.

He suggested “Astrophotography for the Amateur” by Michael A. Covington. Even though the book is “hardcore” there is apparently a whole section on taking photos without telescopes with separate chapters on comets/meteors, the moon, and eclipses. (I wonder if there is anything on taking photos of the sun.)


Since the last edition was in 2000, when a top of the line prosumer was my 2.5 megapixel Olympus, I don’t think there would be adequate coverage of CCDs. Also I wonder how much of the processing would be manual, how much Photoshop, and how much Photoshop plugins?

I am writing this to remind myself to check it out at the local library sometime. I don’t think I have the right tripod for this. The stars move noticeably in 30 seconds. It also looks like with a little processing, I didn’t need such a long exposure:

Starry Night at Yosemite

If someone can tell me some of the stars, I generate a screenshot of where I actually am. (I think I’m facing south easterly.)

One thought on “Astrophotography for the Amateur

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *