things i'm pleased with

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


latest posts

Philae has woken up

June 14, 2015

Congratulations to the European Space Agency.  Great news that Philae is charged up and ready to send back more valuable data from the comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.  This could really help our understanding of the early universe and how life started to evolve on Earth.

Crescent moon with Venus

Crescent moon with Venus

March 27, 2015

A quick snap of the moon in the west with Venus just above it and to the right.

IC434 Horsehead Nebula

IC434 Horsehead Nebula

March 12, 2015

The Orion Constellation is full of interesting Deep Sky objects so I’m trying to make the best of it during the early months of this year whilst it is visible.  For months there have been hardly any cloudless nights which has been frustrating but in the last week we have had a few in a […]

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 […]


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.