It’s been quite some time since I posted anything about photography, but lately I’ve gotten the bug for astrophotography. I spent quite a bit of time searching the web for information about astrophotography, what kind of equipment is required, how much it costs, etc. Decent telescopes can be had for a few hundred dollars, and Dobsonians seem to provide a very good value for beginners. Not surprisingly, though, it takes a lot more money to set up for astrophotography.

Reading some more, I discovered that while it can be expensive to set up all of the equipment for photographing planets and deeper-space objects, interesting photographs of the sky can be taken with a digital camera, wide-angle lens, and tripod.

This is my first attempt - a 30-second exposure with my Nikon D70s, 18mm-70mm lens set to 18mm. I used a DC-1 wired remote to trip the shutter. The sky was cloudy, and I could only see one star (the brightest one in the photo), but the long exposure captured many more stars.

Cloudy Night Sky, Lambertville NJ - 5 August 2010, 10:00PM EDT
Click the image for a larger view

For a first attempt, I think it came out great - much better than I expected. I’m pretty excited about going to northern Ontario, CA next week. It’s extremely rural there, and there should be some great night skies. The Perseid meteor showers should be at their peak, and I’m hoping to get some great meteor shots.