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John McDonald's Astronomy Page

 

Image Galleries

 

Time lapse videos

 

Projects

 

Equipment

 

Articles

 

Links

 

I am an amateur astronomer interested in observing the sky and imaging it. This site contains my image gallery, some of my pet projects, the equipment I use, and articles I have written on imaging that may be of help to those getting into DSLR astro-photography.

I am also like photographing birds. To reach my bird images page click HERE

Image Gallery

My astrophotography image gallery can be viewed here 2013 W J McDonald

Time lapse Videos

2013 W J McDonald

*      Northern skies overnight This video contains both star trail images and a full night of stars circling the north pole taken from Yellow Point on Vancouver Island. The Vancouver Olympic lights can also be seen in the lower right.

*      Southern sky star trails This video shows the paths of the stars as they circle the south pole and was taken at La Ensenada Ranch in Costa Rica.

*      Overnight at La Ensenada Time lapse video of the southern stars circling the south pole.

*      Evening at the Plaskett Time lapse video of northern stars rising over the historic Plaskett telescope

*      First Night at the Painted Pony Time lapse video of the southern sky in New Mexico.

*      Overnight at the Painted Pony Dusk to dawn video of the southern sky.

*      Zodiacal Light Time lapse of the faint light formed by sunlight scattering from interplanetary dust.

 

Projects

2013 W J McDonald

*      Camera Controller

*      Camera lens to eyepiece coupler

*      ETX Camera Drive

*      Two Focusing Aids

Equipment

2013 W J McDonald

I have four telescopes, a Skywatcher 200 mm Newtonian, a Williams Optics 105 mm refractor, a Williams Optics 66 mm and a Meade ETX 90 mm. The Williams 105 mm is my favorite. It is well made and has very nice optics and a great micofocuser. My mount is a Skywatcher HEQ5 which performs well and is a pleasure to use. My first DSLR camera was a Pentax ist-DS digital single lens reflex (DSLR) which apart from being inexpensive had some nice features for astrophotography. In particular it had a mirror lock up function to avoid shutter induced shake and a 12 x blow up on the screen that helped with focusing. I have also used Canon DSLRs, a 30D, a modified 350D and my two current cameras, both Canon T1i, one modified by Hutec to allow H-alpha light through and one stock . I have also use an Astrotrack camera mount and a variety of lenses with focal lengths from 10 to 300mm.

*      Williams Optics 105 mm with camera lens finder scope

*      Piggyback setup

 

Articles

2013 W J McDonald

*      DSLR Astro-Imaging - tips for shortening the learning curve

*      A Quick Start For new imagers

*      Photographing the sky with digital cameras

Links

*      Clear Sky Clock

*      Victoria RASC

*      Island Eyepiece

 

 

 

 

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Contact click here to e-mail me

 

Last revised: Date 2013/06/03