Making Every Pixel Count Workshop
Thursday,May 1st - Sunday May 4th, 2014
Learn how to produce stunning images of deep sky objects from Adam Block, a renowned imager whose skill with a CCD camera continues to inspire enthusiasts around the world. His images have appeared in numerous books, magazines, websites and television programs. In October 2012 he won the Advanced Image Conference coveted Hubble Award for his work in astrophotography over the past 20 years. The workshop covers a full range of topics, from basic image aquisition and problem solving to compressing the dynamic range of the data for the best possible aesthetic results. Whether you are just getting started with CCD imagery or have basic skills that you would like to refine, the "Making Every Pixel Count" workshop will help you produce better images. The workshop takes place over three consecutive days. This is a hands-on presentation and you must provide your own computer so please note the system requirements.
Your experience begins with a captivating journey to the top of Mt. Lemmon with its "sky island" environment. Once you arrive at the SkyCenter you will receive a tour of the site including a description of these historical and active observatories. You will then check in to your accommodations on the mountain and proceed to our newly refurbished Learning Center where most of the workshop activities take place. Should the weather permit, we will also use the remarkable 0.8m Schulman Telescope to acquire data and incorporate it into the workshop!
The Day Before the Workshop
Before making the journey up to Mt. Lemmon we will visit Steward Observatory's Mirror Lab—where LSST's optics are currently being created! This is a rare opportunity to see where the largest telescopic mirrors in the world are being made. Refer to the agenda to time your arrival so that you can participate in this remarkable tour.
You will be given a workshop package in advance of your arrival with instructions on preparations to be completed at home including the download of software so that we can get under way quickly. Tailored to the individual needs of the participants, we will begin with understanding programs such as CCDStack to facilitate basic operations including image calibration, G2V color balance, identifying and correcting common imaging problems, and the foundations of LRGB and Ha blending techniques. We will continue into the evening hours. Should it become clear after the typical thunderstorms of the afternoon, we can adjourn to our refurbished dome and our new 32-inch Schulman telescope. It would be great to take some of our own fresh data to manipulate!
This day builds on the first day with more in depth manipulation of example data sets. This includes management of Photoshop layers and blending techniques. By the end of the this day you will be able to confidently produce both a deep sky and planetary image from scratch in a step-by-step, consistent and repeatable method used by the top imagers in the world. Again, if the weather permits, we can observe at the telescope!
We will complete any remaining examples and unanswered issues in the morning. Time permitting, we will discuss object oriented processing and contrast management. After a quick lunch, we will pack up and leave the mountain.