things i'm pleased with

"The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique" .. Walt Disney

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M42 Orion Nebula take 2

M42 Orion Nebula take 2

March 2, 2015

Had another go at imaging this nebula.  It wasn’t a perfect night but cloudless nights have been rare this year so I thought i’d have a go anyway.  I took 15 x 180 second exposures at ISO800, and then 15 x 30 second exposures at ISO800 for the brightest (core) of the nebula.  I then […]

Getting started in Astrophotography tutorial

January 19, 2015

When I started in Astrophotography less than a year ago and realised how complicated it was, I promised myself that once I started producing images I was happy with I would write a simple tutorial.  By writing this I am not saying i’m an expert, or that this way is the best way to do […]

Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy – short video of movement last night

January 17, 2015

Managed to take my first picture of a comet last night. Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) is visible as a grey blur in binoculars, or a green dot through a small telescope. Once i’d found it through my telescope I took 7 x two minute exposure pictures and then put them together in this video in […]

M42 Orion Nebula

M42 Orion Nebula

November 16, 2014

I’ve been looking forward all year to a chance to image the Orion Nebula.  It has a reputation of being easy for the beginner, and i’m delighted with the results I obtained.  I took 13 x 150 second guided exposures yesterday on what was a recently rare clear night.  I used my OpticStar UHC filter […]

NGC281 Pacman Nebula

NGC281 Pacman Nebula

September 27, 2014

Named after the popular video game character, this nebula sits in Cassiopeia (the big W shaped constellation that is visible all year round from the UK).  The “mouth” is a dark nebula made up of mainly hydrogen and dust in which new solar systems are forming.  Once the whole of NGC281 would have been dark, […]

M45 Pleiades

M45 Pleiades

September 27, 2014

When I first got my telescope, two years ago this month, this quickly became one of my favourite objects to observe.  Last night I had the chance to try to get a picture of it and this was the result.  Unfortunately I am slightly out of focus but I am happy with the result for […]

 FAQ

What equipment do I use to write music on?

Over the years the equipment has changed often, but basically for electronic music you always need some sound sources, effects, monitoring, and a digital audio workstation.  I always try to use only the basic equipment necessary to get reasonable results – it’s too easy to get involved in an endless cycle of buying and selling equipment instead of actually sitting down and doing some composition.  Years ago everyone used hardware and some of my favourite synthesisers I owned included the Roland JV1080, Novation Supernova II, and Access Virus B; effects included the Lexicon MPX500, Boss VF1, and the Smallstone Phaser.  I always used a PC running Cubase since version 3.5 for sequencing, recording and mixing.

Now however hardware is not required (although some still prefer it for its tactility) and everything I have is contained within my Mac running Logic Pro X.  My favourite sound sources include the Spectrasonics and Native Instruments software plugins and my effects are SSL and Lexicon software plugins.  I master using IK Multimedia T-Racks.

What equipment do I use for astrophotography?

As with my music equipment I try to buy the most basic equipment possible to allow me to get reasonable results.  My imaging telescope is a Skywatcher Explorer 150PDS reflector attached to a Skywatcher EQ5 Pro mount.  I then use an Opticstar AR80S Guidescope with Opticstar PL131M camera to guide the mount using PHD guiding software so as to compensate for the earth’s rotation.  My camera is a Canon 1100D with the factory fitted infra-red filter removed, and I usually use an Opticstar two inch Ultra High Contrast filter to reduce light pollution.  I use StarTools to help process the images along with Apple Aperture.