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(SPT03 is Concluded)
Sky Photo Trip - 3rd Edition
This is a practical astrophotography workshop at a pristine dark sky location high in the Himalayas. All high-end equipment is provided, all! Participants walk away with Stunning Night Landscapes & Deep Sky photographs shot themselves.
Participation: With sixteen participants only, the learning is quick and thorough. Photographers, journalists, professors, scientists, adventurers, nature lovers and of course amateur astronomers have attended the workshop and appreciated it. School going children need to be accompanied by their parent, or if they are coming on their own, should have the parent consent form signed.
Equipment Stations available at the Sky Photo Trip .....
Station One: This is the most versatile and movable station of our astrophotography workshop. The instruments in this station are a Fish Eye Lens (8mm lens), 18-55 mm zoom lens, Digital SLR camera, Tripod, Intervalometer. This station will be used for shooting very interesting star trail panoramic pictures & time lapse movies. A car is available to travel within 20kms for locating a scenic location during the workshop.
Station Two: A 200mm lens, Digital SLR camera, Guiding telescope, Guiding CCD camera, Atlas Equatorial Mount, laptop with all necessary software. This station will be used for shooting large areas of nebulosity, like the North American Nebula, Andromeda Galaxy, Triangulum Galaxy, Pleiades and many more.
Station Three: Sky Watcher 500mm refractor telescope, piggybacked on Meade 8” LX200 telescope, 0.63 focal reducer, Digital SLR camera, guiding CCD camera, choice of focal length of 500mm or 1250mm, heavy duty wedge, laptop with all required software. This station will be used to precisely guide on the sky and shoot narrow field of view, deep sky objects like Dumbbell Nebula, Elephant Trunk Nebula in Cephus, Andromeda Galaxy etc.
Station Four: Meade 12” LX200GPS, equatorial wedge, 2x & 4x powermate, Philips ToUcam planetary imager, laptop with all required software. This station will shoot videos of Jupiter and its surface. During the Sky Photo Trip we will be able to see the Great Red Spot transiting Jupiter and shadow of Europa and Io on the planet's surface. The effective focal length of the telescope will be 6000mm @ f/20, ideal for the 5.6 mm pixels of the ToUcam to capture the fine details on Jupiter. The focal length can also be doubled to 12000mm @ f/40. Jupiter is in Opposition on 29th October and will be visible all night during the workshop. Uranus will also be visible for most part of the night during the workshop.
Online Discussions: Discussions through group email are the forte of our workshop. You will be thoroughly familiarised with the equipment before you reach the site. The discussions start one month before the actual workshop and two months after the trip for processing your astro-images.
What's Included in the Sky Photo Trip?
What's not included?
The participation fee for the Sky Photo Trip is as follows:
Early registration guarantees your choice of two stations on two nights of the workshop. Please note that your full payment as well as registration form must reach us on or before the last dates. The participation fee includes accommodation, boarding at Woodsvilla Resort, but not the travel to and from Ranikhet. Please go through the ‘What’s included’ and ‘What’s not included’ paragraphs carefully. Do mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org giving reasons as to why you should be eligible for a 10% discount. We will consider all valid requests for discounts. To register send email to Aperture Telescopes or call us on 0124-2336947
About 10 kms from Ranikhet, on the road which leads towards the famous Golf Course of Ranikhet, continue onwards and you will reach Woodsvilla Resort. It has an open terrace overlooking the Himalayas and wide open to the beautiful night skies. Absolutely no light pollution here, stars above the horizon and little twinkling village lights below the horizon. Faint stars are visible as soon as they pop out from behind the Himalayan peaks. You could carry your camera & tripod around for stunning views of the pine, deodars and the Milky Way, on the Ranikhet Golf Course. Make a time lapse movie of the stars rising above Trishul peaks and the few vehicles moving below in the valleys.
Ranikhet is known for its towering view of the Himalayas as it is close to the base of the mountains. The view of the majestic 26500 feet high Trishul takes one’s breath away. The Trishul view changes dramatically at sunrise, afternoon and sunset, as the angle of the sun rays changes.
About 15 kms from Majkhali, at Katarmal, there is a 800 year old Sun temple. You could also travel to Sitlakhet, and easily trek to the top of the peak for even more astounding views of the Himalayas.
Please note that travelling to Majkhali will have to be arranged on your own. We would facilitate participants coming together in hired cars, by maintaining an online list of participants, so participants can interact with each other.
Our location Woodsvilla Resort is ideal for astronomy, negligible light pollution, observation terrace just above the rooms, so anytime you feel like a little rest, just come down to the comfort of your bed, rest for an hour and be back to your astrophotography session. A large terrace for astronomy, conference hall, all this in the middle of a small Himalayan village ...... an ideal place for our workshop. The hotel also conducts trekking, rock climbing, and other outdoor activities & section with Burma bridges, pool, Table Tennis and the restaurant is named 'Cloud 9'!
Accomodation: The hotel has large, clean rooms, with bay windows overlooking the Himalayas. All the rooms have twin beds as well as an extra bed installed beside the bay window. Accommodation will be on twin room sharing for Sky Photo Trip participants. Participants registering early will have priority in deciding their astro-roommate. On completing the registration you will be sent a link to access the document detailing rooms and occupants, which you will be able to edit yourself. The hotel has provided us with all inclusive plan, all the meals are on the house. You may order your breakfast in your room with ample time flexibility. Lunch and Dinner will be according to the hotel timings in the restaurant only. Late night hot beverage and a snack will be provided on the observation terrace. Anything extra ordered in the room will be paid by the participants themselves at checkout.
Presentations: Detailed presentations will be held for the participants on the topics related to equipment handling such as polar alignment, focusing, guiding, image acquisition methods, shooting support frames, software available. Topics related to image processing will be presented and discussed in the conference hall on the second day after several images have been acquired under the night sky. A short presentation on the third day will concentrate on final image processing and advanced topics. Discussions will then continue on the online forum for two more months until all images acquired at the Sky Photo Trip have been finished.
Participant Groups: The 16 Participants will be divided onto 4 groups and will be able to use the two different stations on the two nights. The groups and rotation will be decided by the participants themselves during the online discussions before the workshop. Early registration ensures you get your choice of station during the workshop. Late registrations will have to opt for the station that's available.
What to Bring: Please carry an external USB hard drive to copy all the images and videos captured during Sky Photo Trip by all participants. These images will form the basis of post processing online discussions that will go on for two months after the workshop. Usually about 40 GB of images & videos are collected during the workshop.
Expected temperature, at night, will be between 6-10° C, but prepare for weather that is at least 5° degrees colder. Wear layered clothing, and carry ear and head protection. A hooded jacket is very useful on windy nights. Make and use a check list to see that you don't leave home without something you need, such as your red flashlight as well as extra batteries. Bring a thermos, and something for a late night snack. Even better, bring along some goodies to share with your friends around you. Being active late at night makes most people hungry. Chocolates are an instant energy provider and will also better your vision with the increased blood flow. Wear sturdy and closed footwear, such as running shoes or hiking boots.
All equipment will be provided but you are welcome to bring along your camera, or any other equipment. If you let us know in advance that you are getting a telescope we’ll earmark a suitable location for you to setup your own station, provide electricity and a table.