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6th Sky Photo Trip
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.
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.
The participation fee for the Sky Photo Trip is as follows:
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
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'!
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:
Optional equipment that participants could carry for better results:
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.