Whether you just took your first picture of the night sky or have years of experience, there was something for everyone in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, during the MidWest Astro-Imaging Conference June 20-21.
Sponsored by Al Degutis of AstroPhoto Insight Magazine, the event offered a broad selection of presenters specializing in everything visible in the sky from the Moon to the faintest reaches of space.
Notable presenters included NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center staff scientist Jerry Bonnell, who co-authors the Astronomy Picture of the Day, offering tips for submitters on making your work stand out.
Imaging artists Ken Crawford, Neil Flemming, R. Jay GaBany, Warren Keller, and Bob Pilz all gave presentations detailing their processing work flows using Adobe Photoshop (as well as Warren's tuxedo-clad "Russian Filmmaker" alter-ego).It was especially nice to see lunar imaging specialist Pilz demonstrate his tricks for capturing top-rate lunar photos - a pursuit often neglected at similar events.
A great gem numerous imagers mentioned with frequency was a plug-in filter for Adobe Photoshop called Focus Magic. Designed for forensic applications, This filter performs a type of deconvolution useful for any type of image, and works quite well.
Speaking of Photoshop, representatives of software and cameras were on hand to demonstrate the latest in digital technology. Adobe, Canon and other imaging-product vendors including Diffraction Limited, DC-3 Dreams, MLUnsold Digital Imaging were represented in the vendor area. Both Quantum Scientific Imaging and Fishcamp Engineering showed off their versatile cameras.
Workshop sessions were held in smaller classrooms, allowing those interested to experiment and follow along with various software packages such as ACP, AIP4WIN, MaxIm DL, and ImagesPlus.