M20 – SC8 at f/10 and ISO 3200
Telescope: Meade LXD75 SC8
Camera: Canon Rebel T2i (stock)
Filter: Orion Imaging Sky Glow Filter
Guide scope: None
Exposure: 88x30sec, ISO 3200 saved as RAW
Software: Backyard EOS, Digital Photo Professional, Deep Sky Stacker, Photoshop
I absolutely love this nebula both visually and photographically. The dust lanes are fascinating to see visually, and the contrast between the red emission and blue reflection nebula is just wonderful.
Beginners take note… I think I violated just about every ‘rule’ of imaging with this one; short exposures using high gain with an uncooled camera on an 8” SCT at f/10 on an entry-level mount aligned using just the polar scope without active guiding, stand-alone darks, flats, or bias frames with a target low in the sky under light polluted (red zone) skies on a warm summer night. About the only thing I had in my favor was the air was fairly dry, just on the verge of humid. The take-away is that while it’s great to have really good equipment, you can do quite a bit with relatively simple equipment, so if you’re thinking about getting started in imaging don’t hesitate to start with what you have. The experience you gain will be extremely valuable in guiding you towards the equipment and methods that are right for you, your interests, your budget, and your sky conditions.