AstroGab

Astrophotographers hangout. Invite friends and notice chat bar on bottom.

Hi,

I've just joined AstroGab on the recommendation of a friend. Here's some details on my interests and techniques.

Photography has been my primary hobby for the last 20 years. I got interested in astro-photography somewhere along the line and did some experiments with a film camera on a barndoor tracker, but didn't start seriously pursuing it until 6 years ago. Although I like science in general and astronomy in particular, it has always been the aesthetics of deep-sky imagery that motivated me. So I particularly like complex nebulosity and color variation, and am still a total newbie in astronomy, having learned very little about navigating the night sky!

At the moment I'm just finishing work on a backyard observatory, called "Wa'chur'ed Observatory". The name comes from the 5 foot door that requires a warning sign, "Watch You Head!". I live about 20 miles from Portland, Oregon and although the light pollution is much less troublesome than for my friends in the city, my plan is to use narrowband imaging primarily in the observatory and go to dark sites when possible for RGB images.

I bought a CGEM mount 2 years ago and had problems with it right from the beginning. The problem might now be solved, but it was with no help at all from Celestron, despite 4 trips for service and a replacement head. While it was out for service I bought an Atlas mount and that is what is in the observatory now. I might sell the CGEM after testing the fix, but another idea is to keep it for field trips so that the Atlas can stay in the observatory.

Last year I moved from imaging with a modified DSLR to a QSI 583ws. Although I like DSLR imaging and would recommend it to anyone wanting high quality images at a reasonable cost, my plan for narrowband imaging really calls for a cooled CCD camera. Indeed, although I frequently tried DSLR imaging from home, my only good images (and there aren't many!) were done at dark sites.

I recently acquired an AT111EDT. It was immediately obvious that the Televue 0.8X reducer/flattener I had previously used (with a WO Megrez 90) would not work with the AT111, so I ordered a WO "Flat 4" and have just done some testing on it. The results are fantastic. So now I can get back to improving my guiding, since I can no longer blame the elongated stars on the optics!

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Comment by Greg Marshall on May 15, 2011 at 9:49pm
Thanks, Mark. Yeah, I'm excited about the AT111. Visually, it has the best images of any scope I've owned so far. And it's not the most expensive one!
Comment by Greg Marshall on May 15, 2011 at 2:51pm
Thanks, Steve. I just noticed that I spelled "introduction" wrong! Yeah, I see some familiar names in the member list and am already enjoying the images and conversations.

Greg
Comment by Steve Coates on May 15, 2011 at 2:47pm
Welcome aboard Greg! I enjoyed reading your introduction. I hope you find this site helpful. There is a lot of talent here, some of these guys I've known through other "C-ites" for a couple of years. Everyone is helpful and friendly here. I look forward to seeing your images and reading more of what you have to say.
Steve

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