AP101: Astrophotography without Extreme Expenditures

Webinar AP101: Astrophotography Without Busting your Budget
Next Event: Not Scheduled Total Time: About 2 hours

Astrophotography is a sub species of night photography that requires more specialized knowledge, more discipline, and usually more investment in time and equipment (i.e. cost!). Those super cool pictures of nebula and galaxies do not happen by accident.  Astrophotographers also have developed their own curious language with terms like guiding, tracking, mounts, GEM, integration time, flats, bias, and dark frames. The goal of this course is to provide the background information a potential astrophotographer will need to get started on the best foot - at the lowest investment.

What You'll Learn

  1. Theory of astrophotography (long exposures, multiple exposures, integration time)
  2. Tracking (what and why)
  3. Lenses and cameras.
  4. Inexpensive solutions for equipment, mounts, software.
  5. Dark vs suburban skies
  6. Proper exposure(s) - with visual examples
  7. The top 3 challenges
  8. Recommendations, costs and summary.
  9. Q&A
  10. Resources (Clubs, Books, Web Sites)
Note: If you're even moderately interested in Astrophotography, this class might save you from making 100s of dollars worth of bad investments.


Please see IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS for things to consider before registering for this webinar.

Eager to learn, but not patient enough to wait until we run the webinar again? You can get the online video and notes here:


It is the same content sent to webinar participants.


Here is a photo taken with a cheap equatorial mount, a Canon 40D, a 1.4 tele-extender and a 70-200mm f/4 lens (cost of the equatorial mount < $350). Note this image was taken in town with an 80% illuminated moon.

Colorful Neighbor

Here is an image taken with a Canon 50D on an Orion Sirius Equatorial mount with at Orion 80ED refractor.  The total cost for the mount and refractor is under $1500.

Flaming Horse Head: Alnitak's Companions


Class History

This class is only held one or two times per year.

November 13, 2013 (not held yet)

May 14, 2013

  • Great webinar last night, lots of information to soak up. ~ Don

February 28, 2013.

  • I enjoyed the webinar and would love to get into the field to capture some images. ~ Chris
  • Your knowledge of this subject amazes me. I thought the Webinar was fantastic and cleared up some questions I had about the 4 different exposures. ~ Bob
  • Really Great. ~ Bruce
  • Great content and jaw-dropping images. If this doesn’t make you want to run out and shoot nebulae and galaxies, nothing will 🙂 Great balance of duration/content/detail too ~ Liz

January 12, 2012.

  • Well-done by a great presenter. Just able to scratch the surface of this topic, but served to broaden my understanding of the technical requirements of the endeavor. Thank you Steven!  ~ Mark
  • Great intro material. Steven is a wonderful presenter. Looking forward to do some hands-on astrophotography =) ~ Alexander
  • Excellent class; presentation was great and engaging. ~ Lynne

November 17, 2011.

  • Excellent presentation – MUCH better than I expected. Steven really knows the material, and has it well prepared. ~ Burt

October 18, 2011.

  • A lot of very good information presented in a way that a beginner can understand. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that astrophotography can be attempted for less than the price of a new lens. ~ Phil
  • Very informative for a subject with a steep learning curve. I feel that this course got my toes wet ~ Mohammed
  • Good information about astrophotography ~ Ken

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