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'It is amazing what can be photographed in the night sky with a modestly priced digital camera. No telescopic equipment is required to get started.'
This was the encouraging advice given to members and guests of Wooler and District Camera Club by Graham Relf at their latest meeting.
Graham, from Tynemouth Photographic Society, is an enthusiastic amateur photographer with a particular interest in “deep sky” photography. This means picturing stars, constellations and nebulae that are a very long way away.
Graham explained that to get good pictures the biggest requirement is to get away from light pollution. We are fortunate to have areas of Northumberland that have designated “dark skies” status.
Once in a suitable location, selection of a long exposure time, a wide lens aperture and multiple exposures should get pictures that can be combined by software into very pleasing images. Graham went on to explain the more advanced techniques of astronomical photography, using motorised tripod mounts and telescopes.
The talk was illustrated with a selection of Graham’s photographs, ranging from the surface of the moon to light from a far distant galaxy that began its journey to us from a time before our universe was formed – truly breathtaking.
His website www.grelf.net and book The Dark Skies of the North Pennines – An Amateur Photographer’s Delight are available. Judging by their applause, the audience gave the impression that these sources will be much used in the future.
The next meeting of Wooler and District Camera Club will be on March 17, in Glendale Hall, Cheviot Street, Wooler, at 7.30pm, when there will be a competition evening. All are welcome.