Astronomy and astrophotography really boil down to two things: The object you’re trying to photograph and the tools you use to see it. The tools include your telescope, tripod and mount, camera and the software you use to capture the image and process it. Your technique and experience will make a difference in how well your final photos turn out. While you might get lucky with quick choices, success often is determined by thoughtful choices and diligence in their use.

If you’re interested in taking shots of huge swaths of the night sky a DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera…

Western Veil Nebula, taken July 5, 2020 from Ypsilanti, Michigan. Jeff Kopmanis

Early on in my astronomy hobby, I reveled in the amazing things I was able to see with my telescope. With that first little 60mm refractor, I was mesmerized at seeing the rings of Saturn, the stripes in Jupiter and all of the craters on the Moon. When I upgraded to an 8" reflector, the views just got better, and I was able to expand my views to dimmer objects. Seeing your first star cluster or galaxy was thrilling! …

Jeff Kopmanis

Saxophone-playing astronomy hobbyist who likes sharing his experiences so that others may benefit. I'm a 35-year IT pro with more hobbies than free time!

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