Photographing The Night Sky – Nik Szymanek Lecture – Wednesday 16th March 2016

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Fifty five WAS members were treated to a thoroughly entertaining evening. Nik’s enthusiasm and positive, all-inclusive approach meant that everyone went away happy.

The talk included the use of basic techniques to create attractive pictures of clouds, aurora, star trails and asterisms with DSLR cameras.

It moved on to the delights of photographing the Moon, including the opportunities a slowly developing Lunar eclipse can offer, the Sun and transits of Mercury and Venus. As the evening warmed up we learned more about CCD techniques, auto guiding and the use of colour and narrow-band filters to bring deep sky objects to life.

Nik cleverly compared the effects of different techniques with the same objects. He seamlessly integrated basic principles with examples of his work and personal experiences. His motto: You never stop learning – initially there is a steep learning curve – but it flattens out! When asked what could beginners start with in their journey into astrophotography – he included the Moon, the Orion Nebula, the Andromeda Galaxy, the Dumbbell Nebula and definitely our own galaxy the Milky Way.

This was Nik’s sixth visit to our Society and I guess it won’t be the last. Many of us bought his book ‘Shooting Stars’ or a few of his stunning pictures as prints or postcards. If this didn’t stimulate you to want to take your own photographs, then I don’t know what will!

Chris