Shooting Stars eBook

How to Photograph the Moon and Stars with your DSLR

Ever wished you could capture stunning images of the night sky? Thought you needed complicated and expensive equipment?

Shooting Stars, written by David Malin Astrophotography Award winner Phil Hart, will show you how to shoot your own stunning images of the moon and the stars with just your digital SLR and a tripod. It will teach you about five key styles of night sky photography and the camera settings required for each:

  • Twilight landscapes
  • Night sky scenes (short exposures)
  • Star trails (long exposures)
  • The Moon
  • Night sky timelapse videos

If you've ever wanted to photograph the night sky, I'm very confident this eBook will help you a lot! UPDATED IN 2015 - SEE DETAILS BELOW


What the Aurora Really Looks Like

Inspired by Harald Moltke - Painter of the Aurora

There are two key messages about what you see in this video:

  • All of the digital imagery is animated and displayed in real-time.
  • Colours have been de-saturated to match the visual appearance.

It's no surprise that seeing the aurora is on many people's 'bucket list'. But with the proliferation of digital images and timelapse videos of the aurora, those same people may travel with unrealistic expectations of what they will see with their own eyes.


Comet Lovejoy C/2014 Q2

What a ripper of a comet! Another Christmas special discovered by Australian comet hunter Terry Lovejoy. In the days after Christmas I enjoyed a several late nights photographing this comet and its beautiful tail. So much fun but so much data my computer was grinding to a halt!

29th December

2014-12-29 1450 UTTakahashi Epsilon 160 530mm f3.3CDS-5D (Central DS modified Canon 5D Mark III)A sequence of five exposures of 2 mins each at ISO2500 was used to create this image, using Adobe Lightroom, After Effects and PixInsight.
2014-12-29 1450 UT
Click to view larger size on SmugMug

A Year in Mount Glasgow

Our story for 2014 really goes back to 30th August 2013 with a property ad in the Earth Garden magazine that Kaz was reading. I think she was surprised that I took the bait on this one :-). For the next step we will be forever grateful to Kris and Andy who carefully chose and accepted our offer to take on their beautiful central goldfields home and continue what they had built, grown and developed over seven years. Thanks Kris and Andy.

What an epic trip.. nine days back country skiing in the Australian 'Alps'. Who'd have thought such a long, remote and rewarding ski trek could be had in our own backyard. View the full album of photos on SmugMug. If you're planning your own K2K or back-country ski in the Jagungal Wilderness, read the planning notes.


Lunar Eclipse at Maryborough Station

With this lunar eclipse starting low in the sky, I decided to try and capture an image sequence of the partial phases showing the type of photography that can be done with simple gear and 'night sky photography' techniques. After some on-line and on-ground scouting around my new home territory in central Victoria, I settled on the grand old Maryborough Railway Station as my location, which *just* allowed me the sight lines on the eclipse I needed, or at least so I thought from Google Earth and Streetview.

Partial Phases of Lunar Eclipse over Maryborough Station Canon 5D Mark II, 24-105mm lens at 82mm Nine exposures of the Moon each 1/90 sec, f/8, ISO200 stacked (using lighten blending mode) with one 2 second exposure of foreground.

Execution went mostly to plan and this result is close to what I had in mind, except that the car park and grounds at the station had been significantly reworked since Google Earth/Streetview was last there so that threw out my planning a little. I was using a tall ladder to gain a little extra clearance over the roof of the station, hoping to pick up an image of the Moon at the end of totality, but my compass alignment wasn't quite accurate enough and so that happened behind the clock tower. Still I wanted the action to be close to the tower and the centre of the frame so I'm happy with how this worked out. I have several other versions of the foreground during twilight to experiment with as well.

I first saw the eMotimo Tilt-Box motion control units two years ago, when a participant on my Night Sky Photography Workshops brought one along to play with. I could see then that they were both well designed and built and also great fun. With the release of the Black TB3 version and my own experiments with motion control needing an upgrade, I couldn't resist getting my hands on one and hope this review will encourage others to have a play with one of their own.

Any trip away from home is an excuse to find dark skies and interesting locations for night sky photography, and a trip to the Australian Astro Imaging Conference (AAIC) was no exception, despite its Gold Coast location.

While planning the trip, I considered that it was almost the ideal time of year (in the southern hemisphere) to capture the zodiacal light in the west, with brilliant Venus set to be blazing in the middle of it. And a trip up north from Melbourne would further increase the angle of the zodiacal light, putting it almost vertical to the horizon with the Milky Way running overhead across the sky at the end of twilight as well. Later in the night the Gegenschein (counter-glow) would rise, in a dark part of the sky well separated from the Milky Way.

Magellenic Clouds (left), Milky Way plus Venus and the Zodiacal Light
Maranoa Wetlands, Queensland, Monday 26th August, 2013
Canon 6D, 24mm lens, Panorama of 27 images, each 30 secs, f2.8, ISO3200


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