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Nik Szymanek is a lifelong amateur astronomer and has been imaging the sky since 1985 using film, DSLRs and CCDs. Nik has travelled to La Palma many times as well as visiting the Mauna Kea and Tenerife Observatories. He has appeared on the BBC’s ‘Sky at Night’ as well as ‘The Final Frontier’ and ‘Inside Out’ television programmes. A monthly columnist for Astronomy Now magazine, Nik has also written for other magazines including Astronomy, Sky & Telescope and Outdoor Photography. He is a regular speaker to astronomical and photographic societies and hosts CCD training courses. In 2004 Nik travelled to Berkeley, California to receive the Astronomical Society of the Pacific’s Amateur Achievement Award. He is a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Hertfordshire’s Centre for Astrophysics Research and in 2005 published ‘Infinity Rising’, a book designed to help people starting out in photographing the night sky.

Nik-Szymanek-portrait

4

Guide to CCD imaging

Friday 17th May at 3.30pm

Imaging the sky with CCDs is a very rewarding pursuit yet many people are put off by the expense and complexity. This talk will show that it’s possible to take pleasing images from light-polluted back gardens with a variety of equipment and dispels some of the myths associated with CCDs. The talk will cover acquiring the images, calibration, colour imaging, narrowband images all in plain language and is suitable for all levels.

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Photographing the night sky

Saturday 18th May at 2.00pm

The modern amateur astronomer can take great pictures of the sky using basic equipment including film and digital cameras. This talk will explain a variety of techniques using basic cameras, DSLRs and CCDs. It will include many pictures taken from the UK as well as from exotic locations abroad, including La Palma, Tenerife and Hawaii. The last part of the talk will show how powerful CCD cameras have become, even when working from extremely light-polluted locations.

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