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Digital Imaging - Resource Library

The following list of books and internet sites with information and programs was compiled from members of the ASEM Digital Imaging SIG, and its friends.  This list was compiled to inform and aid both the experienced and the beginner, in finding some of the most beneficial resources and websites on Astro-Photography methods and tools.  Given that Astro-Photography is here for the amateur astronomer, this page will always be "under construction". Comments and descriptions are in italics.



BOOKS AND ARTICLES

Books

"A Beginner's Guide to DSLR Astro-Photography", by Jerry Lodriguss
"Astrophotgraphy for the Amateur", by Michael Covington
"The Handbook of Astronomical Image Processing", by Richard Berry and James Burnell
“CCD Astronomy “, by Christian Buil
“The New CCD Astronomy”, Ron Wodaski
“The Art and Science of CCD Astronomy”, by David Ratledge

Articles

"Improving your DSLR Photos" by Jerry Lodriguss, S&T, October 2008


(off the Internet)

REFERENCE INFORMATION

Personal/Informative Websites

(Members and friends of ASEM, who have their own websites and who have provided instruction at ASEM Digital Imaging meetings)

Gregg Ruppel
www.ruppel.darkhorizons.org

Jim Melka
https://sites.google.com/a/asemonline.org/melka/

Will Day
www.wsday.com/astrophotos

Dan Crowson
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dcrowson/

DSLR Cameras and CCD Imaging

(Those below have books and products to sell along with sharing information)

Jerry Lodriguss
Author and active DSLR Astro-Photographer. Has put a lot of his books' content and recent DSLR camera reviews on his website; go thru the site's menu and look around.  Also the forum moderator for the Yahoo's 'digital_astro'' group.
www.astropix.com

Michael Covington's Digital SLR Notes
Another noted book author with some content and techniques to share in his website.
www.covingtoninnovations.com/dslr/index0.html

Richard Berry
www.wvi.com/~rberry/

Jim Solomon's Astrophotography Cookbook
www.saratogaskies.com/articles/cookbook/

Matt BenDaniel Articles
www.starmatt.com/articles/index.html

Hap Griffin
Also well known for DSLR modification services, in addition to his Imaging experience.
www.hapg.org

Rob Gendler
www.robgendlerastropics.com

Paul Kanevesky’s Imaging Tips
Select from the menu "Tips and Downloads"
http://darkhorizons.emissionline.com/

Dick Locke's DSLR Astronomy Workflow
www.dl-digital.com/astrophoto/P2-Astro/Astro-Workflow.htm

CCD Imaging Only

Steve Cannistra
www.starrywonders.com

Paul LeFevre’s CCD Image Processing Tutorial
www.lefevre.darkhorizons.org/articles/proctutorial2.htm

Thierry Legault’s High Resolution CCD Imaging
http://legault.club.fr/index.html

Ron Wodaski’s New CCD Astronomy
www.newastro.com

Apogee's CCD University
www.ccd.com/ccdu.html

Other Reference and Magazines

Wikipedia's page on Astrophotography
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrophotography

AstroPhoto Insight Magazine
www.astrophotoinsight.com

SOFTWARE

Astrophotography Image Processing


Free or 'Easy on the Wallet':


DeepSkyStacker
A free program that provides the basics of image processing.  If you plan to get into AstroPhotography with a DSLR or low-cost CCD camera, then this program is a good starting point.
http://deepskystacker.free.fr/english/index.html

Nebulosity
A less than $100 program that provides very good tools for image stacking, processing, and includes shutter control and image display for both DSLR and CCD cameras.  If you can't afford Photoshop for after processing refinement, this program can help with its built-in image refinement tools.
www.stark-labs.com/nebulosity.html

Iris
This has a steep learning curve, but rich in tools, and has an over-wehlming amount of tutorials - so be prepared to spend time just learning this one.
www.astrosurf.com/buil/us/iris/iris.htm
A site with more help on using Iris:
http://astro.ai-software.com/articles/dslr_iris/dslr_iris.html

NeatImage
A low cost an image filter that can reduce noise and grain in photographic images produced by digital cameras and scanners.
www.neatimage.com


Software Products over $100

(Most of these products are available for a free-trial period)

ImagesPlus
A very common choice when getting serious about an all-in-one image acquisition and processing program.  Cost is around $250.
www.mlunsold.com

PixLight
Was free, but now has gone commercial big-time, with lots of features.  From Europe, with cost around $300.
http://pixinsight.com/

Diffraction Limited's MaxImDL
The current leader in image acquisition and processing programs.  Cost can range depending upon options, to upwards of around $700.
www.cyanogen.com/maxim_main.php

Photoshop plug-ins

Astronomy Tools
Very powerful, yet low cost, plug-ins specifically for Adobe Photoshop, for refining Astro-Photography images, after they are developed with an processing program.
www.prodigitalsoftware.com/

GradientXterminator
Another low cost plug-in specifically for Adobe Photoshop to remove gradients
www.rc-astro.com/resources/GradientXTerminator

FITS Liberator
A free program that preprocesses FITS files before PhotoShop sessions.
www.spacetelescope.org/projects/fits_liberator/

Video Processing

(AVI Tools)

Registax
A free program that combines images in a video into a single stacked result.
http://www.astronomie.be/registax/index.html

AVIstack
Another free program that combines images in a video into a single stacked result.
http://avistack.de/

AVI Raw
Reads raw webcam AVIs
http://arnholm.org/astro/software/aviraw/

VirtualDub
A free program that reads and converts video files into different formats.
http://www.virtualdub.org/

AVIsynth
http://avisynth.org/mediawiki/Main_Page

Canon EOS Camera Movie Record
For use with Canon LiveView Cameras only. When used with your Canon camera, this FREE program will create movie files on your computer
http://sourceforge.net/projects/eos-movrec/

BackyardEOS
Another program for Canon EOS cameras, that can handle both movies and still Astrophotography images.  It is not free.
http://backyardeos.binaryrivers.com/

K3CCDTools
Covers video-capture (supporting wide range of video capture devices), auto-guiding and frame aligning and stacking / summing.
http://www.pk3.org/Astro/index.htm?astrophoto_vesta_sc2_mod.htm

DarkFrameScaler
For the correct scaling of video dark-frames caused by AGC
http://www.qcuiag.org.uk/DFS/index.htm

wxAstro Capture
A free capture program that supports webcams and Artemis/ATK cameras
http://arnholm.org/astro/software/wxAstroCapture/

PhotoLapse
A free program to create avi movies from jpg sequences. It can be used for creating timelapse movies with your digital photocamera.
http://home.hccnet.nl/s.vd.palen/

HandyAvi
A low cost program that can control video cameras for time-lapse, motion-detection, planetary and meteor photography.  Can also edit and play movies, and control your telescope.
http://www.azcendant.com/

Miscellaneous

CCD Calc by Ron Wodaski
A free program that can be used to visualize the field-of-view for various optical tube/camera combination including barlows or focal reducers.
www.newastro.com

"3D Fly Thru", "Star Removal" and "Stereo Image Pair" Photoshop add-ons ("PS Actions")
http://astroanarchy.blogspot.com/search/label/PS-actions

Astronomy Software, Books, and related material
www.astrotips.com

Camera and Guider Control Programs

Stark Labs PHD Guiding and Other Free Programs
The same source for Nebulosity, Stark Labs, also provides free basic programs for DSLR shutter control, motorized focusers, control of SAC4-2 cameras, Orion StarShoot Solar System imager, and for other cameras compatible with DirectX (DirectShow) and WDM (e.g., the ToUcam, Vesta, etc).
www.stark-labs.com/index.html

EQUIPMENT

CCD Camera Manufacturers

SBIG
www.sbig.com

FLI
www.flicamera.com

Apogee
www.ccd.com

Starlight Xpress
www.starlight-xpress.co.uk/

SAC
www.sac-imaging-europe.com/

QHY
www.qhyccd.com

Meade
www.meade.com

Orion
www.telescope.com

Genesis
Build your own CCD
www.genesis16.net

Focusing and Focus Masks

(Focusing Masks are available at most Astronomy equipment distributors)

Wikipedia explanation of a Bahtinov Focus Mask
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bahtinov_mask

Bahtinov Focusing Mask Generator
Makes a SVG file of a mask based on your input, for your own construction of a mask
http://astrojargon.net/(X(1)S(5dxwed555ait1bzurfvozh55))/MaskGen.aspx?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

MetaGuide
A video-based tool for precise collimation using the in-focus diffraction pattern of a star.
http://www.astrogeeks.com/Bliss/MetaGuide/

Barn Door Mounts

How to make a Scotch mount design by author Phil Harrington
http://www.philharrington.net/scotch.htm

Rod Nabholz's How To
www.homebuiltastronomy.com/barndoor/index.htm

A Motorized barn door mount
http://www.cloudbait.com/projects/barndoor.html

Robert Reeves
How to use the AstroTrac TT 320
www.robertreeves.com/AstroTracresults.htm

Wikipedia
A short review with links
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barn_door_tracker

Telescope Mount Control

ASCOM platform
Group of developers and astronomical instrument makers that work together to bring vendor-independent and language-independent plug-and-play compatibility between astronomy software and astronomical instruments on Windows computers.
http://ascom-standards.org/

MetaGuide
Can autoguide and has several novel features that allow optimal guiding of mid-range mounts under typical seeing conditions. MetaGuide can provide insight into both the optics of your telescope, and the tracking behavior of your mount.
http://www.astrogeeks.com/Bliss/MetaGuide/

Alignmaster
A low cost program for a quick and precise alignment of goto mounts to the polar axis.
http://www.alignmaster.de/

elbrus
A free telescope pointing program. It analyzes a sky image with a few stars, and calculates the coordinates of the image centre.
http://www.astrosurf.com/pulgar/elbrus/elbrusin.htm

EQMOD
An open source applications that can provide an alternative to the hand controller on supported GEMs.  It is free.
http://eq-mod.sourceforge.net/


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