SKY PHOTO TRIP
(The page for 7th Edition is here)
16th - 18th November 2012
Friday 1400 Hrs - Sunday 1200 Hrs
Majkhali in the Himalayas
Ranikhet, Almora, Uttarakhand
29° 40' 58" North, 79° 30' 02” East, 1900m
SKY PHOTO TRIP
- One-Of-A-Kind Practical Astrophotography Workshop in India. The
location is a pristine dark sky, high in the Himalayas.
All high-end equipment is
Participants walk away with Stunning
Night Landscapes & Deep Sky photographs shot themselves. The lead
facilitator of the workshop is Ajay Talwar, a
photographer from India.
participants are accommodated in the workshop who are
spread over four photography stations. Participants who have
registered early get priority in choosing photography stations on
two nights. Photographers, journalists, professors, scientists,
adventurers, nature lovers and of course amateur astronomers have
attended and appreciated the workshop. 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 .....
The most versatile and movable station of our workshop,
minimum focal length among the four stations, 18-55 mm lens,
Digital SLR camera, Tripod, Intervalometer. This station
will be used for shooting interesting star trails, panoramic
pictures & time lapse movies. In this fourth edition
of our workshop we have added "Dolly" - a automated
motion track to shoot-move-shoot-move and create a
moving night landscape. Special emphasis will be given to
TWAN style images and time lapse movies using this
station. A car is available to travel within 20kms with this
Station two features the world's smallest equatorial mount -
Polarie. The small camera like gadget will be used to follow
the stars precisely, gather light and reveal faint nebulae.
A wide angle lens, Digital SLR camera, laptop with all
necessary software is provided. This station will be used
for shooting large areas of Milky Way, sometimes along with
the landscape in the field of view.
A 200mm lens, or a 500mm apochromat telescope, Canon 450D
Digital SLR camera which has been specially modified for
astronomical photography, Guiding telescope, Guiding CCD
camera, Atlas Equatorial Mount, laptop with all necessary
software. This station will be used for shooting nebulosity
such as the North American Nebula, Orion constellation,
Rosette and many more.
Meade 12” LX200GPS, 2x & 4x powermate, DSLR with movie
capability or a 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. The
focal length of the telescope is 3000mm or it can be doubled
to 6000mm to capture the fine planetary details. Jupiter is
in Opposition on 3rd December and will be visible most of
the night during the workshop.
Apart from the above four stations there will be a H-alpha
solar telescope available for photographing Sun's
prominences and other features.
Discussions through group email are the forte of our
workshop. You will be thoroughly familiarised with the
equipment before you reach the site. The experience of
previous workshop participants is also shared in this
discussion group. The discussions start one month before the
actual workshop and continue two months after the trip for
processing your astro-images.
Astronomical Events during the Fourth Edition:
Conjunction of Crescent Moon & Mars in the middle of
'Earthshine' on the dark side of the Moon.
- Jupiter rises
over the Panchachuli Himalayan peaks.
- Auriga rises
over the Nanda Devi and Trishul Snow capped peaks from
the Sky Photo Trip location.
Transit of Great Red Spot on Jupiter.
- Shadow of
satellite Io falls on Jupiter.
- Venus and Saturn
during the morning Zodiacal light.
- Leonids meteor
shower reaches its peak during the nights of Sky Photo
What's Included in the Sky Photo Trip?
Hotel accommodation on twin sharing basis, for
two nights at Woodsvilla Resort, 16th & 17th November,
All meals at the hotel are included.
Flexible timing breakfast in the room, rest of the meals
in the restaurant only.
All instrumentation for astrophotography will be
There will be four complete and separate equipment
stations on location for participants’ use.
The use of all mounts, telescope, cameras, imagers,
laptops and all associated accessories will be provided
to all participants during the workshop.
A DVD containing all the lecture presentations will be
provided to the participants. Photographs clicked by ALL
participants with the workshop equipment during the Sky
Photo Trip will be provided to participants on their own
hard disks, even if they have not imaged through any
particular station. The DVD will also contain various
astrophotography software used in the workshop that can
be distributed legally.
Apart from the astrophotography equipment there will
also be Aperture Light Bucket i.e. large telescope,
available for visual sky scanning on site.
A car will be available at night to travel to nearby
locations like the Ranikhet Golf Course or any other
village that seems suitable for Fish Eye lens tripod
photography and within 20 kms of Woodsvilla resort
during the course of the workshop.
What's not included?
Travelling to and from Ranikhet is not included in the
participation fee. We will be able to provide a car pick
up from Ranikhet main market. This pick up will be
available only from Ranikhet, but not any other
Any food & beverages, mineral water bottles ordered in
your room, except breakfast, or any other chargeable
activity offered by the hotel and availed by the
participant will be paid by the participant on their own
at the time of checkout.
Accommodation before and beyond the workshop dates will
have to be arranged beforehand, and will be extra on
actual rate charged by the hotel.
Reimbursement, refund of fee or rescheduling the
workshop is not possible in case of bad weather, clouds,
rain or any other natural cause because of which we are
not able to conduct the astrophotography practical
sessions. Though it will be our endeavour to make most
of the situation by having more indoor sessions.
fee for the Sky Photo Trip is as follows:
1. Registration on or before 30st September
Rs. 18,400/- only
2. Registration after 1st October
Rs. 19,400/- only
guarantees your choice of 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.
To register send email to Aperture Telescopes
or call us on +91-124-2336947
Pay cash at
our administrative office at the following address: Aperture
Telescopes, B49, Vijay Rattan Vihar, Sector 15-II, Gurgaon -
Send us a cheque or
demand draft favouring 'Aperture Telescopes' payable at Gurgaon
at the above address.
cash/cheque deposit at any HDFC bank across the country,
'Aperture Telescopes' Current Account No. 13812020000392, Branch
- Sector 15, Gurgaon, Haryana.
Online bank transfer to our ‘Aperture
Telescopes’ HDFC bank, Current Account No.
Branch - Sector 15, Gurgaon. RTGS/NEFT/IFSC Code: HDFC0001381.
before 26th October, 2012, Handling Charge - 10% of the
participation fee paid.
- Cancellation on
or after 26th October, 2012, Handling Charge - 25% of the
participation fee paid
- Cancellation on
or after 9th November, 2012, we regret that no refund possible.
- Reimbursement or
rescheduling of the workshop is not possible in case of bad
weather, clouds, rain, or any other natural cause beyond our
control, because of which we are not able to conduct the
astrophotography practical sessions.
- Price quoted is
a package, no partial refund or credit is possible in case of
services not used.
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.
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'!
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.
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.
The 16 Participants will be divided onto 4 groups and will be able
to use the 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.
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 4-6° 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
All equipment will be provided
but you are welcome to
bring along your camera, or any other equipment.