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Deep Sky Workshops

Have you ever wondered what equipment you need to take detailed photos of space and its wonders?

Are you unsure of how to use the equipment to its best potential now you own it? How do I align on the south pole? What's the best camera to use? How long should my exposures be? 

Would you just like to capture an image of the Andromeda Galaxy, Eta Carina or the star your family purchased for you, but don't want to purchase the equipment you will rarely or never use again?

If you need help with any of the answers to these questions, you may like to consider talking to me about one of my astrophotography workshops. I have the equipment so you can learn what's easiest for you. I have the experience to show you how to start getting the results you are wanting. I can show you the difference between a tracker, standard or heavier equatorial mount. I will show you, not only how to shoot the images but also how to stack the images using some freeware programs and process the stacked image to bring out all the detail. I can even arrange a hire session for you where I set up and troubleshoot while you get to capture the astronomical object or event you have always wanted.

DSC_9567DSC_9567The scopes

I have several different setups you can try and learn on

  • 2x Skywatcher Star-adventurer trackers with a sturdy Manfrotto tripod for each.
  • An Orion Sirius EQ-G (EQ-5) equatorial mount with Goto
  • A Saxon NEQ6-R equatorial mount with Goto. (takes twice the weight of the Orion)
  • A Skywatcher EQ6-R equatorial Mount with Goto (newer version of the Saxon)
  • An Orion ED80, f7.5 Refractor telescope. 600
  • A Skywatcher 8" Quattro, f4 Newtonian telescope. 800mm 
  • A Bintel 8" f4 Newtonian telescope. 800mm
  • A Skywatcher 150ED Evostar, f8 Refractor telescope. 1200mm
  • A heavy-duty ball head to take a camera or large long lens for the equatorial mounts.
  • T-ring adapters for mounting the telescope to Sony E, Canon EF and RF, Nikon F and Z mounts.
  • Intervalometer remote controls for most brands to set up the continuous shooting.

The combination of trackers, equatorial mounts and various size telescopes and camera lenses will allow you to capture what you would like.

I personally offer over 40 years of Astronomy and 35 years of photography experience with the last 15 years as a professional Photographer. I combined my two interests in the early 1980s to capture the Milky Way and Halleys Comet on film.

IMG_20180720_0004IMG_20180720_0004Milky Way April 1986. IMG_20180720_0005IMG_20180720_0005

My experience will allow me to guide you, relatively painlessly through the process of gear selection, setup, polar alignment, shooting and post-production of the images. I will help you miss some of the common pitfalls and put you back on track when you may miss a step or two. I was the winner of the prestigious Lone Star observers award at the Texas Star Party in 2007 where I was also one of the guest lecturers. I discovered my own deep-sky object, a Planetary Nebula known as Murrell 1 in 2004. I was the National winner of the Camerahouse photographer of the year in 2018, and I won first place in the Nightscape category in the Capture the Cosmos competition in 2019. 

0165_Pa33_fa0165_Pa33_faMurrell 1

I offer several different workshops. The weekend away is a comprehensive 3-night event with a maximum of 4 attendees. This makes sure I have quality time with everyone during the weekend. You will get the opportunity to try all the equipment on offer. Post-production including stacking the images and processing the files are covered during the Saturday and Sunday daytime sessions. These workshops will be held in April, June and July. April and June at Coonabarabran and the July event at a Luxury farm stay in Gresford.

The individual tuitions will cover just one aspect of Astrophotography. Setup and use the Star Adventurer and shoot with your DSLR. Setup and shoot with Equatorial mounts and telescope and your DSLR. Stacking and post-processing with Several programs including Sequator, Deepsky stacker and Photoshop. The individual workshops are held on the Central Coast and run for approximately 4 hrs. 

Lastly, I offer my telescopes for hire. Over the last while, I have had several people contact me wanting to know if they could use my telescope to capture several deep-sky objects and events. The hire includes the setup and maintenance during the evening and my assistance at troubleshooting if the need arises. All you need to do is attend with your camera and shoot the object you desire.


The dates for the workshops in 2022 are

  • April: Friday 1st to Monday 4th  will be a combined Nightscape and Deep sky workshop to start the year. The Friday Night will be the night for Nightscapes where we will head out to several locations to capture the rising Milky Way. Saturday and Sunday Night will be where you will learn how to set up and shoot Deep Sky objects (Galaxies, Nebula and Clusters). This workshop will be held at the East Gresford property Camyr Allyn. This workshop will be $1100 per person, including the use of mounts and telescopes. The accommodation and meals are included as part of the package.
  • June: Friday 24th to Monday 27th The 2nd last opportunity to capture the rising Milky Way for 2022 as it will be above the horizon just after sunset. Still, plenty of opportunities to get some great shots. This workshop is to be held at the Warrumbungle Mountains Motel in Coonabarabran. This will include Nightscape photography on the first night followed by Deep Sky Photography via telescopes on Saturday and Sunday. This workshop will be $500 per person, including the use of mounts and telescopes. No accommodation or meals included. 
  • July also has Friday 29th to Monday 1st August. The northern end of the Milky Way is still rising so some great composition opportunities are available from a good dark sky. The extra day will allow us to cover Star Trackers, Equatorial Mounts, and visual Observing via a large Dobsonian telescope. The extra day will increase the cost of the Workshop to $1100. This will be held at the Gresford Property in the upper Hunter and includes the use of mounts and telescopes. This fee also included the accommodation and breakfast and evening meals for the duration.

The dates for the Individual Tuitions will be the Saturdays of the Last Quater Moon each month. Other nights can be arranged if required. These individual sessions can cover the subject matter you want to learn. Quick easy methods of Polar Alignment, The ins and outs of your Equatorial Mount, How to setup, maintain and collimate your telescope. These nights will be held near Box Head on the Central Coast, a Bortle 4 sky away from the street and house lighting. Please contact me to book your date as they will be done on a first in basis. The individual tuition is $250 if you are using my equipment and $200 if you wish to use yours.

Rental Night will be arranged on a night that suits both parties and will also be held near Box Head due to location and lighting. The Rental night fee is $150 start price for 4hr at Box Head. If you would like me to bring the scopes to a darker location that can be arranged depending on the distance. Travel and accommodation fees may apply. Please advise where and when you would like to Rent

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