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My Introduction! Howdy Folks

Shawn Gossman

New Member
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Howdy everyone,

My name is Shawn.

I joined because I have an interest in the subject of this forum. I'm into photography, myself. I use my iPhone more than anything and I know that isn't always the best but it's easy.

I do have a few SLRs that I want to get better at.

I'm an avid hiker and I go to spots that are really dark and would be perfect for astrophotography. I'd love to learn how to do it.

I joined to learn :) I'll be more of a lurker than a poster. But I'll try to stay active, too!

A bit about me... I'm 38. I am a freelance outdoor writer by night and a data analyst by day. I'm into hiking, biking, and forums. I own a few forums. They're not relevant to this forum so I'll keep them to myself :) I've been using forums for about 25 years.

I look forward to being a member here.

Tracy - great job with the forum, it looks amazing!


Dark Sky lover
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Welcome Shawn. And thanks for the compliment. It took some time to get to where it is, and I'm lucky to have some really good users active here that are knowledgeable in the field, much more so than I am.

You can do some nice wide field captures with a simple DSLR and a decent lens and a steady tripod.

You don't have to have a high powered scope to get good images... but the hardest part once you get them is processing them. I've seen several really nice captures done by regular DSLR's, but for some targets you need to use a filter with them to get the gases that you can't normally see, or may only see faintly in a OSC image. You usually need an Ha filter installed to capture nebula, but for star clusters (these, other than the Pleiades, won't look real impressive) and galaxies the camera with a decent lens can do the job.

Five of the easiest galaxy to capture with a regular DSLR/lens combo are
  1. The Andromeda Galaxy (Messier 31)
  2. The Triangulum Galaxy (Messier 33)
  3. The Whirlpool Galaxy (Messier 51)
  4. The Pinwheel Galaxy (Messier 101)
  5. Bode's Galaxy (Messier 81) and it's companion the Cigar Galaxy (Messier 82)

They are bright enough that you don't need tracking to get good captures, although you will need to retarget frequently.


Founding Member
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Hi Shawn.