Image Capture Workflow
By Don Selle
This is the first in a series of “how-to” articles to help beginners learn astrophotography. The series will assume that long exposure imaging will be done through an OTA on a GoTo telescope mount that can be polar aligned. The camera attached to the OTA is either a cooled dedicated astronomy camera or a DSLR attached at prime focus. Since there are so many combinations of specific equipment the articles will assume that the telescope and camera have been set-up, equipment connected to a computer, powered up and checked out.
Most beginning astrophotographers (me included) were inspired by the work of others to jump into the hobby, not realizing how involved creating those beautiful pictures can be. No matter how much you know about daylight photography or how technically inclined you are when starting out, learning astrophotography can seem like a huge steep hill to climb.
If you can develop a consistent imaging workflow, a series of steps that you follow each time you go into the field, your astrophotography experience will be much more pleasant and productive. In this column we will explore at a high level the steps involved in a typical imaging workflow. Over the next several columns, we will take each of the steps and dig into them in more detail. So, let’s get started.