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Learn Astrophotography in the Himalayas ....... Sky Photo Trip - 7th Edition ....... 21-23 November 2014 (Fri-Sun) ..... Setting the highest astrophotography standards in India, join in for a complete astrophotography course

(SPT06 is Concluded)

Current Workshop - SPT07

6th Sky Photo Trip (Concluded)


 

Questions?    Registration Form    SPT Poster    Previous W'shop (SPT5) Images    SPT5 Movie


WORKSHOP    DISCUSSIONS    STATIONS    TARGETS    INCLUSIONS    FEE    LOCATION    RESORT    WHAT TO CARRY   


Event   .

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Participants   .

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Venue   .

 

Astrophotography Workshop

21 - 23 March 2014, Friday - Sunday

Option 1, Deep Sky Photography - 12

Option 2, Earth & Sky Photography - 30

Majkhali in the Himalayas

Ranikhet, Almora, Uttarakhand

29° 40' 58" North, 79° 30' 02” East, 1900m

Satellite Map

 

 


SKY PHOTO TRIP - One-Of-A-Kind Practical Astrophotography Workshop in India.

Aperture Telescopes proudly announces the 6th Sky Photo Trip - The Astrophotography Workshop in the Himalayas - In this unique workshop • All Equipment, • Know-How, • Pristine Star Studded Skies are provided for the participants. Complete and flawlessly working equipment stations, several, are provided for participants. The facilitators of the workshop are well experienced in the field. The lead facilitator is Ajay Talwar, TWAN member from India. Such a workshop does not exist anywhere. This is the only continuously running astrophotography workshop since 2010 in India. The workshop not only is a good platform for learning as well as produce spectacular results. Images from previous workshops are worth exhibiting.

The 6th Sky Photo Trip participation options -

Option 1, Deep Sky Photography - All equipment (viz. telescope, mount, imager, guider, controlling computer, hardware, software), will be provided at the workshop. In this option participants will have three different stations of varying focal length for deep sky photography. The equipment stations are a) Polarie - small & portable equatorial mount, with 100mm focal length  b) Atlas German Equatorial Mount - solid and stable workhorse, with 500mm focal length c) Meade LX200 8inch Schmidt Cassegrain telescope with 1250mm focal length. Images captured by participants will be shared in the repository and among all participants in this option. Full support will be provided for a) pre-workshop tutorials, b) training and troubleshooting at the venue and c) post production, starting one month before the workshop and continuing for two months after the visit to Majkhali. The participation fee for this option is Rs. 22,500/-

Option 2, Earth & Sky Photography - Participants will bring and use their own equipment viz. Digital SLR Camera, Sturdy Tripod and an Intervalometer. A laptop computer is optional but participants will benefit greatly if they bring one along. The hill location of Majkhali is very conducive for night landscape photography. Towards the north and east you have the snow capped mountains, Nanda Devi, Trishul and others, towards the west you have the distant Ranikhet town. In this option participants will be shooting Night Landscapes (single images), Star Trails (multiple images), Time Lapse Movies. Full support will be provided for a) pre-workshop tutorials, b) training and troubleshooting at the venue and c) post production. Participants of option 2 are encouraged to share their raw results in the repository for help in post production. There is a reduced participation fee of Rs. 12,500/- for this option.

Participation: Option 1 - Deep Sky Photography will accommodate Twelve participants on three stations meant for deep sky work. Participants who have registered early get priority in choosing photography stations on two nights. Option 2 - Earth & Sky Photography will accommodate 30 participants. 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.

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 experience of previous workshop participants is also shared in this discussion group. The discussions start one month with before the actual workshop for equipment familiarisation and continue two months after the trip for processing your images.


WORKSHOP    DISCUSSIONS    STATIONS    TARGETS    INCLUSIONS    FEE    LOCATION    RESORT    WHAT TO CARRY   


Equipment Stations are available at the Sky Photo Trip

Option 1, Deep Sky Photography - Three independent stations are available at the Sky Photo Trip for deep sky work. The three stations feature different focal lengths for different celestial objects and achieve varying field of view.

 

Polarie

This is a small equatorial mount, highly portable and quick setup. The accuracy of the mount is amazing. The small camera like gadget, placed on a tripod, polar aligned, and is be used to follow the stars precisely, gather light and reveal faint nebulae. Camera lenses up to 100mm will be used on this station to capture wide angle deep sky views. The Andromeda Galaxy image on the left was photographed at the SPT-5 with a 100mm lens and Polarie.

 

Atlas GEM

This is a versatile full fledged German Equatorial Mount. This station will  be fully controlled using a computer. The laptop will be interfaced with the mount to frame the images, i.e. goto, the interface will also work for guiding the mount while imaging. The same laptop will be interfaced with the camera to shoot light, dark and flat frames. An Apochromat Telescope of 500mm will be used on this station. The image of Krittika on the right was shot using Atlas station and 480mm telescope at the Sky Photo Trip 5th Edition.

 

  

 

Meade LX200 8inch

This station consists of fork mounted 8inch Schmidt Cassegrain telecope. The focal length is 2000mm or 1250mm with the use of a focal reducer. This focal length gives a field of view which is ideal for galaxies like Whirlpool, Sunflower, Sombrero Hat. The workshop is scheduled in spring, which is called the galaxy season. The galaxies of Ursa Major, Coma and Virgo are all suitably available for photography high in the sky. The framing (goto control) imaging and guiding will be controlled using a laptop with full control.


Option 2, Earth & Sky Photography - In this option participants will bring their equipment to shoot: Night Landscapes, Star Trails Time, Lapse Movies. Take a look at this 8 minute movie which encompasses all three styles mentioned above. Most of the frames for this movie have been captures using Tripod & Camera.

 

Participants will need to carry the following minimum equipment:

  • Digital SLR Camera

  • Wide angle lens, e.g. 18-55mm lens

  • Sturdy Tripod (there should be no loose parts in your tripod)

  • Intervalometer a.k.a. Remote Timer

  • Battery & charger

Optional equipment that participants could carry for better results:

  • Full frame digital SLR camera

  • Fisheye lens or lenses ranging from 10-24mm

  • A 100 or a 200mm lens (see Nanda Devi star trail example below)

  • Tripod with a spirit level

  • Extra batteries (2 nos), or a grip for all night shooting

  • Laptop with camera software, photoshop

  • A laptop will be quite beneficial for focusing & processing astronomical images

 


WORKSHOP    DISCUSSIONS    STATIONS    TARGETS    INCLUSIONS    FEE    LOCATION    RESORT    WHAT TO CARRY   


Celestial targets planned during the 6th Sky Photo Trip:

Polarie

  • Orion Constellation & its numerous nebulae

  • The Barnard's Loop in Orion

  • Canis Major and clusters nearby

  • The clusters of Auriga & Gemini

  • The Nebulae in Cassiopeia

Atlas GEM

  • The Rosette Nebula in Monoceros

  • The Witchhead Nebula in Orion

  • The Horsehead & Flame Nebulae in Orion

  • The Markarian chain of Galaxies in Virgo

Meade LX200 8inch

  • The Whirlpool Galaxy in Canes Venatici

  • Cigar & Bode's pair of Galaxies in Ursa Major

  • The Sunflower Galaxy in Canes Venatici

  • Galaxy Cluster in Virgo

  • The Great Hercules Cluster


WORKSHOP    DISCUSSIONS    STATIONS    TARGETS    INCLUSIONS    FEE    LOCATION    RESORT    WHAT TO CARRY   


What's Included in the Sky Photo Trip?
  • Hotel accommodation on twin sharing basis, for two nights at Woodsvilla Resort, 6th & 7th December, 2013 (options 1 & 2).

  • All meals at the hotel are included (options 1 & 2).

  • Flexible timing breakfast in the room, rest of the meals in the restaurant only (options 1 & 2).

  • All instrumentation for astrophotography will be provided (option 1 only).

  • There will be three complete and separate equipment stations on location for participants’ deep sky photography purposes (option 1 only).

  • The use of all mounts, telescope, cameras, imagers, laptops and all associated accessories will be provided to all participants during the workshop (option 1 only).

  • A pendrive containing all the lecture presentations will be provided to the participants. The pendrive will also contain various astrophotography software used in the workshop that can be distributed legally. (options 1 & 2).

  • Photographs clicked by participants of option 1 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 (option 1 only).

What's not included?

  • Travelling to and from Ranikhet is not included in the participation fee.

  • Participants of Option 2 will not be able to use the equipment available at the workshop, although they are welcome to attend all demonstrations like Polar Alignment, Guiding etc.

  • Participants in Option 2 will not be eligible for receiving the repository of raw images generated by the participants of Option 1. Participants of Option 2 are not required to share their raw images, but are encouraged to deposit their work in the repository for post processing help with their images.

  • 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.


WORKSHOP    DISCUSSIONS    STATIONS    TARGETS    INCLUSIONS    FEE    LOCATION    RESORT    WHAT TO CARRY   


 

Participation Fee:

The participation fee for the Sky Photo Trip is as follows:

Option 1 - Deep Sky Photography ............. Rs. 22,500/- only  
Option 2 - Earth & Sky Photography (2 participants sharing a room (reduced participation fee) ........................ Rs. 25,000/- only  

Early registration guarantees your choice of stations on two nights of the workshop, Option 1. 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

Payment Methods:

  1. Pay cash at our administrative office at the following address: Aperture Telescopes, B49, Vijay Rattan Vihar, Sector 15-II, Gurgaon - 122001, Haryana.

  2. Send us a cheque or demand draft favouring 'Aperture Telescopes' payable at Gurgaon at the above address.

  3. Direct cash/cheque deposit at any HDFC bank across the country, 'Aperture Telescopes' Current Account No. 13812020000392, Branch - Sector 15, Gurgaon, Haryana.

  4. Online bank transfer to our ‘Aperture Telescopes’ HDFC bank, Current Account No. 13812020000392, Branch - Sector 15, Gurgaon. RTGS/NEFT/IFSC Code: HDFC0001381.

Cancellations:

  1. Cancellation before 1 March, 2014, Handling Charge - 10% of the participation fee paid.
  2. Cancellation on or after 1 March, 2014, Handling Charge - 25% of the participation fee paid
  3. Cancellation on or after 11 March, 2014, we regret that no refund possible.
  4. Reimbursement, refund of fee 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.
  5. Price quoted is a package, no partial refund or credit is possible in case of services not used.
  6. Joining the discussions in the Yahoo Group 'Aperture Telescopes' signifies participants’ start of workshop. Registration is not transferrable to another person thereafter.

WORKSHOP    DISCUSSIONS    STATIONS    TARGETS    INCLUSIONS    FEE    LOCATION    RESORT    WHAT TO CARRY   


 

LocationAbout 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.

Woodsvilla 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'!

Accommodation: 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 12 Option 1 Participants will be divided onto 3 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.

What to Carry: Option 1 - Deep Sky Photography: Please carry an external USB hard drive to copy all the images 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 80 GB of images & videos are collected during the workshop.

Option 2 - Earth & Sky Photography: Participants will need to carry the following minimum equipment:

  • Digital SLR Camera

  • Wide angle lens, e.g. 18-55mm lens

  • Sturdy Tripod (there should be no loose parts in your tripod)

  • Intervalometer a.k.a. Remote Timer

  • Battery & charger

Optional equipment that participants could carry for better results:

  • Full frame digital SLR camera

  • Fisheye lens or lenses ranging from 10-24mm

  • A 100 or a 200mm lens

  • Tripod with a spirit level

  • Extra batteries (2 nos), or a grip for all night shooting

  • Laptop with camera software, photoshop

  • A laptop will be quite beneficial for focusing & processing astronomical images

Expected temperature, at night, will be between 6-9° 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.


WORKSHOP    DISCUSSIONS    STATIONS    TARGETS    INCLUSIONS    FEE    LOCATION    RESORT    WHAT TO CARRY   


Questions?    Registration Form    SPT Poster    Previous W'shop (SPT5) Images    SPT5 Movie