CHAPTER 13: Digital Astrophotography


links for Chapter 13

What’s New?

Chapter Links

Recommended Reading

Special Notes About the Links

• For manufacturers, we have listed only website addresses. Other contact information can be obtained at the website. We have listed only companies that advertise into the North American market, providing their U.S. website.

• Within each product category, companies are listed in alphabetical order.

• The only dealers and stores we have listed are those who have exclusive North American license to certain brands of telescopes. To locate local dealers, try the major manufacturers for links on their websites to their network of dealers.

• In all cases, these listings are provided for the convenience of readers of The Backyard Astronomer’s Guide and do not necessarily imply an endorsement by the authors of the companies or their products.


Time-Lapse Nightscapes

The World at Night
Stunning nightscapes and time-lapse animations from photographers around the world in an “Astronomers Without Borders” program; a must see
Hosts a forum on time-lapse night sky photography


Astrophotographers’ Websites

We illustrated our book mostly with our own images. But we’ll be the first to admit that many astrophotographers outdo us! Here’s a selection of other world-class astrophotography. The links are arranged in alphabetical order by last name of the photographer. In some cases, the website is the focus of a small business for selling images to the public and to publishers.

Jim Burnell
Images with Quantum CCD cameras and TeleVue IS refractors, from the co-author of AIP4WIN book and software

John Chumack / Galactic Images
CCD images with variety of scopes

Bob and Janice Fera
High-class CCD images with SBIG cameras and variety of optics

Bill and Sally Fletcher / Science and
Superb film-based astrophotos and a nice array of products to sell them

R. Jay GaBany / Cosmotography
We used one of Jay’s images for the cover; his photos rank as the best in our book, literally!

Robert Gendler / The Universe in Color
Astrophotos (amateur or professional) don’t get any better than these, too; author of the excellent A Year in the Life of the Universe book.

John Gleason / Celestial Images Astrophotography
Stunning deep H-alpha B&W images, and great color as well

Ed Grafton Astrophotography
Some of the best images of the planets taken from Earth.

Ray Gralak Astrophotography
Standard-setting deep-sky images with refractors and Ritchey-Chretien Cassegrains.

George Greaney/
Among the finest film-based images ever taken, and now with CCD 

Tony and Daphne Hallas/
Photos from this team set the standard in the 1990s and continue to do so

Al Kelly Astrophotography
Nice gallery of images, and a good tutorial as well

Kitt Peak’s Advanced Observing Program
Images taken with the Kitt Peak public telescopes by staff and visiting amateurs

Thierry Legault / High Resolution Imaging
Incredible lunar and planetary CCD images

Jerry Lodriguss/
Great photos and some of the best astrophoto information pages on the web. Great tips on image processing from the author of Photoshop for Astrophotographers and Astrophotography with Digital SLRs

Dennis Mammana / Skyscapes
Great nightscapes, atmospheric phenomena and scenic shots.

Steve Mandel / Galaxy
Super-deep CCD images of really faint stuff

Axel Mellinger’s Astrophotography
Incredible Milky Way mosaics, available as posters from Sky Publishing

Brad Moore Astrophotography
Super images from the southern skies

A gallery of first-class images from a long-time master of the craft; Jack’s H-alpha solar shots are amazing

Shigemi Numazawa / Japan Planetarium Laboratory
Incredible wide-field images from one of Japan’s best skyshooters

Pekka Parviainen / Polar Image
Amazing images of atmospheric phenomena and effects of light and color in open air, proving that not all stunning astrophotos have to be multi-hour deep-sky images

Damien Peach / Views of the Solar System
Everyone who shoots the planets with webcams wants to emulate Damien Peach’s shots; unsurpassed amateur images of the planets

Chris and Dawn Schur / Deep Space Astrophotography
First-class CCD images from long-time masters of the art

Stephan Seip / AstroMeeting
An amazing array of astrophotos of all types; from Germany; Seip’s images are among the best we’ve ever seen of any subject; author of recommended Digital Astrophotography book

Loke Kun Tan /
Stunning CCD images well-presented on a classy website

Babak Tafreshi and Oshin Zakarian / Dream View
Wonderful nightscape images from photographers in Iran

Gérard Therin
Super-sharp lunar and planetary images from the French school of hi-res imaging

Fred Vanderhaven Astrophotography
Stunning deep-sky images from Down Under

Chuck Vaughn Astrophotography
Arguably the best deep-sky images ever taken with DSLR cameras

DSLR Camera Accessories 

DSLRs are made by Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax and Sony. Here we list companies who make accessories specifically for DSLR astrophotography. 

Bogen/Manfrotto Tripods
Excellent camera tripods and heads

Adapters for mounting other-brand lenses to camera bodies

Central DS
Korean supplier of modified DSLRs with integrated cooling mechanism

Suppliers of cables for remote control of older DSLRs for long exposures (>30s) thru shutter release port (new ones are controlled thru USB port) + modified cameras

Right-angle finders and other DSLR accessories

Hutech Scientific
Modified cameras and mod services, plus filters, field flatteners and remote controls for DSLRs

Kitchener-Waterloo Telescope & Nature
Canadian supplier of FotoSharp focusing aid for Canon DSLRs and low-cost auto-guider CCD gear, plus modification services for DSLRs

Filters, camera adapters, off-axis guiders

Mogg Adapters
Many types of camera adapters. focal reducer for DSLR use

Oceanside Photo and Telescope
Suppliers of cables for remote control of older DSLRs for long exposures (>30s) thru shutter release port (new ones are controlled thru USB port)

Digital camera adapters & other accessories

HyperStar focal reducer/flattener for shooting at f/2 prime focus of SCTs

Stellar Technologies International
Camera focusers and adapters

Taurus Technologies
Off-axis guiders

Remote video viewfinders for DSLRs


Makers of DSLR-Useful Software 

Here we list companies who make software programs and plug-ins useful for astrophotography with DSLRs and image processing of DSLR images. 

Adobe Downloads
Site for downloads of trial copies of Photoshop, Elements and Lightroom and latest
version of Adobe Camera Raw (Windows and MacOS)

Apple’s MacOS image cataloging and processing software, with trial copy available

AstroArt/MSB Software
AstroArt image processing, autoguiding and camera control software, with photometry 
and astrometry features (Windows)

Astronomy Tools
Noel Carboni’s Action plug-ins for Photoshop designed for astro-processing (Windows and MacOS)

Auriga Imaging
Publisher of RegiStar image registration and stacking software (Windows)

Autostitch at UBC
Autostitch Windows software for automatic panorama creation (Windows)

Free Guidedog autoguiding software (Windows); not updated since 2004 (as of 2008)

Calico/Kekus Software
Calico panorama stitching software for MacOS

Cercis Astro
DSLRStar camera control hardware and focusing software (Windows)
Cyanogen/Diffraction Limited
MaximDL image processing, autoguiding and camera control software (Windows), in 5 versions as of v5, from Basic for webcams, to DSLR, to Pro for advanced CCD imaging

Chris Venter’s control and focus software for DSLRs (not updated as of mid-2008)

Expression Media
From Microsoft, but formerly iView Media Pro – an excellent image cataloging program for MacOS and Windows (trial copy available)

GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program)
Free open-source image processing software for Windows, MacOS and Unix

Free Guidemaster autoguiding software (Windows)

Plug-in for Photoshop with advanced controls for sharpening and compensation for image motion and trailing (Wndows and MacOS)

Adobe’s image cataloging and processing software (Windows and MacOS)

Free MetaGuide autoguiding software (Windows)

MLUnsold Digital Imaging
ImagesPlus image processing and camera control software for Windows
Superb Noise Ninja noise reduction software, stand-alone or plug-ins for Photoshop and Aperture (Windows and MacOS)

Pleiades Astrophoto
PixInsight image processing software (Windows)

Shoestring Astronomy
Autoguiding USB-to-ST4 port adapters as shown on pages 293 and 298

Free plug-in for Photoshop Elements (Windows-only) that adds useful Curves command missing in Elements (as of v6)

Spectroscopy, CCD & Astronomy
Christian Buil’s site for free IRIS software and digital camera tests (often in French)

Stark Labs
Craig Stark’s excellent PHD Guiding and Nebulosity programs (Windows and MacOS)

Star Trails
Star Trails software for automatically stacking short exposures to create long star trails (Windows)


DSLR Review Websites

Here we list sites providing news and reviews of DSLRs and related hardware and software (though not necessarily for astrophotography).
Canadian digital camera review site
British digital camera review site – a superb source of information with very thorough reviews and tests

Imaging Resource
Digital camera reviews

Luminous Landscape
News and tutorials on digital imaging
Calgary-based photographer who runs a thorough site dedicated to digital camera news and reviews, with links to software updates for many programs
Tests of DSLR lenses

Also check out Canon EOS Digital for details on their DSLR cameras.

To assemble an astrophoto rig like we show on page 293, check out these suppliers for rings, mounting plates and guiding accessories.
ADM Accessories
K-W Telescopes
Orion Telescopes
William Optics

Suppliers of CCD and Video Cameras, and Accessories

These are the major suppliers of cameras and accessories to the world of astronomical CCD and video imaging for amateur astronomers (i.e. cameras other than DSLRs).

Adirondack Video Astronomy
Low-light Astrovid integrating video cams, U.S. dealer for Starlight Xpress cameras

Apogee Instruments Inc.
CCD cameras and accessories

High-end filters for CCD imaging

Low-cost, large chip CCD cameras, and autoguiders from QHY in China
Finger Lakes Instruments
CCD cameras and accessories

Fishcamp Engineering
CCD cameras and autoguiders, for Windows and MacOS

Imaging Source
High-end CCD cameras for lunar and planetary imaging

High-end CCD cameras for lunar and planetary imaging

Low-light integrating video cameras for real-time deep-sky imaging

Meade Instruments
Low-cost DSI cameras and imaging accessories

Optec Inc.
Filter wheels, focusers and image rotators

Orion Telescopes and Binoculars
Low-cost StarShoot imaging and autoguiding cameras

Quantum Scientific Imaging
CCD cameras and accessories

Santa Barbara Instrument Group
CCD cameras and accessories

Starlight Xpress Ltd.
CCD cameras, including one-shot color cameras

Technical Innovations
Robotic domes and autofocusers

Winchester Electronics
Canadian dealer for Starlight Xpress and other CCD products

Yankee Robotics
CCD cameras and accessories

Suppliers of Image Processing / Camera Control Software

In addition to the suppliers and programs listed above under DSLR software, 
such as Astroart, MaximDL and ImagesPlus, the following offer software designed exclusively for CCD and webcam control and image processing.

CCD automation and stacking/processing software

DC-3 Dreams
Astronomer’s Control Panel (ACP), software for controlling Go To scopes, including voice-controlled and robotic operation (for Windows)

Equinox Image/ Microprojects
Equinox Image program for control of SBIG cameras with MacOS

K3 Astronomy
Excellent K3CCDTools software for autoguiding, webcam control, stacking and image processing (Windows)

Cor Berrevoets’ free software for registering and stacking lunar and planetary images (Windows); a must for planetary imaging

Software Bisque
CCDSoft image processing/camera control software & other CCD automation programs

Publisher of Richard Berry’s AIP4WIN image processing software


See Chapter 3 Links page for lists of suppliers of telescopes and mounts suitable for astrophotography.Chapter_3_Links.htmlshapeimage_17_link_0