“Redneck” Astrophotography

Redneck Astrophotography:  I’m not sure how this term came to be but somehow it seems a bit contradictory.  That’s all I’ll say about that.

Anyways, I don’t own any fancy equipment for taking long-exposure shots of the night sky on an expensive EQ mount.  I do however have an iPhone which has an app for taking long-er exposure pics but with no tracking system I’m not sure how it will turn out.  It’ll probably have star trails if anything shows up at all.  I did also just download an app called “Snapseed” which is an image editing app for the iPhone.  I managed to get it for free which is huge because it’s usually $9.99.  I took several shots of the moon the other day when it was just before full.  I have to use both my 25% and 13% transmission filters to get the image dim enough for the camera to take in.  The result is 7% light transmission which is a perfect amount for my phone’s camera to handle.  After using Snapseed to sharpen it up and play with the contrast I managed to produce a pretty striking image of the moon with good contrast between the mare and the higher elevations.

The second image is one of M42, the Great Orion Nebula, that a member of the Harford County Astronomical Society took.  I just recently joined HCAS and they sent this picture out in an email.  After sprucing it up a bit I got much more detail out of the nebula than is at first visible (it looks a bit grainy but still not bad).  I’m quite pleased with Snapseed so far and if you’re like me and can’t afford fancy equipment to do real astrophotography then this is a great option!  Especially if you purchase an eyepiece mount for your phone like this one from Orion.

I hope you enjoy the pictures!

M42 Orion Nebula Credit: Harford County Astronomical Society

Refurbished moon

About Tim

My name is Tim Phelan. I am a nerd, amateur astronomer, sports nut, and follower of Jesus. I live in Baltimore, MD where the skies are oh so polluted with light. This is Ravens Country, Birdland, and the City that Reads, or whatever. Follow me on acrosstheuniverseinnotime.com and tphelan.wordpress.com

Posted on March 13, 2012, in Astrophotography, Night Sky and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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