STEP BY STEP

Sky at Night Magazine - - HOW TO -

STEP 1

To as­sem­ble the dew heater, place the sock around your lens, tak­ing care that the fab­ric isn’t over­hang­ing the front. Ac­ti­vate the hand warm­ers and tuck them be­tween the sock and the lens. This will pre­vent dew fog­ging the lens.

STEP 2

Set your cam­era to man­ual, turn off aut­o­fo­cus and set to f/3.5 or as low as your cam­era goes. Fo­cus by point­ing at a bright star (or the Moon, if it’s up) and use live view at 10x. Set the ex­po­sure to 30s then do some test shots at ISO 800.

STEP 3

Choose your fram­ing. Con­cen­tric rings? Po­laris at the cen­tre? Fore­ground ob­jects will im­prove the shot, or con­sider hav­ing the tri­pod low to the ground to get a more in­ter­est­ing an­gle. Lock your tri­pod head and keep it an­chored.

STEP 4

Lock off the re­mote shut­ter to keep it shoot­ing con­tin­u­ously. For best re­sults shoot in RAW, but JPEGs will do. Once fin­ished, put the lens cap on, cover the viewfinder and – keep­ing all set­tings the same – shoot 10-15 dark cal­i­bra­tion frames.

STEP 5

If you shot your images in RAW, batch con­vert your data to TIFFs us­ing FastS­tone Image Viewer: open the images in the browser view, hit ctrl-A to select all, then click on Tools and batch con­vert the se­lected images.

STEP 6

Drag and drop your images into StarS­taX and uncheck any prob­lem frames. Open the dark frames, check Sub­tract Dark Images then hit the Stack but­ton. Once the soft­ware has fin­ished its rou­tines, click on the Save icon to save your image.

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