What’s the Bare Minimum to Get Started?

What you need to get started

What do you really need to get started? A camera and a tripod. I first became interested in astrophotgraphy after pointing my slightly above average point-and-shoot camera at the sky and setting the timer. If you already have a DSLR and some lenses, you might just be looking for a tracking mount for your camera for a few hundred dollars.

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Easy Astrotortilla Setup & Configuration: Plus Advanced Custom Options Settings

I have since moved on to using Astrophotography Tool and the integrated plate solving using ASPS and PlateSolve2. The information below is still relevant, especially if you’re using BackyardEOS or BackyardNikon, but I find plate solving through APT easier and more reliable.

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Setup Workflow

I found this helpful to create when I was starting out. I found myself missing steps, and having to go backwards time and again. I don’t need checklist every time I go out anymore, but creating something similar yourself will definitely save you some time when your just getting going. It will also help you work out the most efficient way to get through your setup. Here are the steps, in order, that I perform every time I setup for an imaging session. This would be considered a top-level workflow, as each of these steps have steps underneath them. Click on the linked steps to see more detail about each step.

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How Everything Works Together

There are a lot of bits and pieces of information out there that you have to piece together yourself to figure out how all of this stuff works together. As soon as you figure out how one piece works, there’s another piece of the puzzle. Hopefully I can put this into perspective and outline all the pieces.

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