Shooting Stars

Keswick Photography Society welcomed Stephen Cheatley this week, an astronomer and astro-photographer from Blackpool.
Stephen spoke about his start in astronomy and how he has progressed through the years. Astronomy includes the sun, the moon, the stars and deep space and Stephen spoke about capturing images in all areas.
His work has taken him all over the world and he proved very knowledgeable about the night sky and the constellations.
During his talk, Stephen explained to us the techniques he used to capture images, from star trails, where he would shoot the night sky for a couple of hours, to photo stacking, which ensures he gets the best quality images.   He spoke about his use of a telescope to create images from deep space, with some very impressive images of far off constellations showing amazing colour and detail.

Stephen demonstrated the use of a star tracking device for his tripod which allows a much longer exposure to be taken of the night sky, the device matches the movement of the stars so you don’t get any blur in the long exposures, just very sharp and detailed images. He shared with us details of how to create a star trail image, where you take a number of 30 second pictures, it could be hundreds, and use special software to stack all the images to create one image which shows the movement of the stars int he night sky.  The same technique was used to create a superb image of the International Spacing Station passing through the night sky.
It was an excellent and very informative talk, the time flew by.