Astrophotography 101: Getting Started without Getting Soaked

Star Circle Academy
Star Circle Academy
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Your Computer

Where ever you are · Anywhere , CA

How to find us

Connect to the webinar using the link you receive via email.

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REGISTRATION is CLOSED Sorry you missed it.

If you would like to join the next similar webinar, please join the Astrophotography 101 Interest List (

Cost: See ABOVE

NOTE: The time is 7:00 PM Pacific Time (10:00 pm ET) to 9:00 PM (12:00 AM ET)

Location: WEBINAR - i.e. from your computer anywhere in the world.

This expanded edition includes coverage of the upcoming Comet Events and what you need to get photos of those.

Astrophotography is a sub species of night photography that requires more specialized knowledge, more discipline, and usually more investment in time and equipment (i.e. cost!). Those super cool pictures of nebula and galaxies do not happen by accident. Astrophotographers also have developed their own curious language with terms like guiding, tracking, mounts, GEM, integration time, flats, bias, and dark frames. The goal of this course is to provide the background information a potential astrophotographer will need to get started on the best foot - at the lowest investment.

Theory of astrophotography (long exposures, multiple exposures, integration time) Tracking (what and why) Lenses and cameras. Inexpensive solutions for equipment, mounts, software. Dark vs suburban skies Proper exposure(s) - with visual examples The top 3 challenges Recommendations, costs and summary. Q&A Resources (Clubs, Books, Web Sites) Note: If you're even moderately interested in Astrophotography, this class might save you from making 100s of dollars worth of bad investments.

Since this is a Webinar, please see IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS below for things to consider before joining the class.

Here is a photo taken with a cheap equatorial mount, a Canon 40D, a 1.4 tele-extender and a[masked]mm f/4 lens (cost of the equatorial mount < $350). Note this image was taken in town with an 80% illuminated moon.

Here is an image taken with a Canon 50D on an Orion Sirius Equatorial mount with at Orion 80ED refractor. The total cost for the mount and refractor is under $1500.

Here is an example of the Milky Way taken "in town" using only a camera and tripod.

There are successor classes you may be interested in, too:

Astrophotography 201: ( In the Field ( - capturing images in a dark environment not far from the Bay Area.

Astrophotography 301: ( Processing Your Image ( for best Results

You might also find

Night Photography 111: ( Catching the Moon ( interesting and helpful, too.


You should have a decently fast internet connection! Dial-up won't work for audio or the data content.

We recommend that you use your computer microphone and speakers to talk and listen so you must at least have speakers. My recommendation is get a headset for this if you do not already have one. Specifically I suggest getting a Plantronics headset with a microphone and a USB connection ( Such headsets can be found at Best Buy for from $25 and up. USB headsets with microphone can be used with Skype and many other online games, and calling tools. They come in many styles include behind the head and over the head, single ear, open ear and closed. Most laptops include speakers and microphones but the audio quality of these is generally very poor. Some webcams also include built in microphones but generally the quality of those is poor.

Don't have a microphone? That's OK, too... you can interact through text chat and you can use your iPad (or Android) smart phone.

Still Reading?

All of our events and webinars close when one of the following occurs:

A. The event is filled or

B. The signup deadline is reached. The deadline is in the upper right of the page, just below the RSVP button and just after the text: "RSVPs close:"

Speaking of the RSVP button - click the button to join. You must pay to join - your registration is not complete until you do. If you haven't logged in or joined the group the button will say "Join Us" instead of RSVP. You do NOT have to RSVP "NO" except to cancel a prior YES. You can pay via PayPal or credit card. PayPal also allows an eCheck payment - but this takes longer to clear - as many as 4 days.

Refunds? - we don't offer them. Read here for why (

Want to register after registration has closed? Sorry, we don't do that. Read here for more (

Joining a Webinar?

There will be yet ONE MORE step you'll have to take (we wish we could eliminate it, but at the moment we can't). After registration closes we will send you an email with instructions on how to get the webinar access code and any additional materials hints and tips to make your Webinar a success. IF you are not allowing emails, do not check, or have allowed our informative non-spammy emails to go into your SPAM bin, you may not get the information. So please: add "[masked]" and "[masked]" to you contact list. By the way, HotMail and AOL are notorious for dropping lots of valid email.


Will there be a recording of the webinar in case I want to listen again?
Possibly, at an additional cost. Some of our past Webinars are available in the Store (
May I make a recording of the webinar?
Sorry, No. Will you repeat this webinar? When?
Most likely. But we make no guarantees.
Where should I send any questions I have?
During the webinar we will let you know where to send your questions. If you have a question before the webinar, please post it in the comments below.
What about notes, can I get notes?
See the answer to 1. Sometimes we have notes and make them available for free or at a small additional charge.