Home Photography This Tilt-Shift Photo of Andromeda Was Shot Using a DIY Adapter

This Tilt-Shift Photo of Andromeda Was Shot Using a DIY Adapter

by kyngsam


The Royal Observatory Greenwich’s Perception Funding 2020 Astrophotographer of the Year, Nicolas Lefaudeux, has revealed his technique and the straightforward DIY adapter that made his award-winning picture of the Andromeda galaxy attainable.

As some photographers have been locked in a dialogue about whether or not or not the French optical engineer and part-time astrophotographer used Photoshop methods or real pictures to seize his acclaimed photograph, Lefaudeux took to his private web site to share his methodology.

Constraints and {hardware} limitations pressured Lefaudeux to assume outdoors the field and work with what was accessible. The outcome? A shocking new perspective on certainly one of our closest galactic neighbors.

“Capturing Andromeda was a consequence of getting the {hardware} that I had,” Lefaudeux defined to me by cellphone from his house in France on Monday. “With the telescope I’ve, which isn’t that massive, you find yourself with not that many potential targets. Andromeda is the primary one which involves thoughts… it’s a pure object to decide on for it.”

Andromeda’s width would fill the sector of view of his telescope. Together with his goal in thoughts, he turned to creating the blur impact that will fulfill his inventive imaginative and prescient.

Software program results like Photoshop blurring didn’t present a passable search for Lefaudeux, so he set to work fabricating an acceptable mount to attach his digital camera to the telescope at sufficient of an angle to create a tilt lens look.

With its orientation, Andromeda provides the proper aircraft to do that impact, he mentioned, and by aligning his focal aircraft with the galactic heart, he was in a position to simulate a foreground and background comprised of defocused stars.

However the small diameter mount of his Sony a7S digital camera restricted the angle with which he might create the focal aircraft thus constraining the depth of area.

“The bayonet [flange] is tremendous tight… at a sure angle, you start to not see the sensor, as a result of the bayonet is increased than the sensor and it blocks some a part of the sensor,” Lefaudeux says.

Due to Sony’s narrower mount, he noticed shadows on the sensor whereas it was tilted away from the telescope’s eyepiece, at worst blocking the picture solely or making a harsh vignette. Bigger flanges would supply steeper angles, he mentioned, leading to a shallower depth of area.

The answer got here with a singular, but easy, angled digital camera to telescope adapter. By implementing a modest 25-degree pitch to offset the digital camera sensor, Lefaudeux had sufficient tilt to permit the road of focus to incorporate the aircraft of the galaxy whereas making a foreground and background of blurred out, multicolored orbs.

The adapter in use between the digital camera and telescope.

For individuals who nonetheless contend that Lefaudeux used a filter, or software program method to create the impact, he provided some perception to clarify why the digital camera method is feasible, and finally higher than utilizing Photoshop to emulate it.

“When a bit about how the impact is obtained, you perceive why it [software] will not be giving this impact,” he mentioned. “The celebs don’t get saturated, and while you blur them you don’t get their actual brightness, they simply seem darker than they seem in digital camera.”

“For vibrant, colourful bokeh you require defocus acquisition,” he mentioned, including that the thought is much like lens-whacking with an inexpensive lens to realize defocus. He illustrated this level on his website, the place he demonstrated an try and create the impact in Photoshop in contrast with the picture in query. The distinction was apparent: defocus was clearly superior.

Although the thought itself appears easy sufficient, he added that the successful picture required a whole bunch of long-exposure frames compiled in a stack to deliver out the element and shade of the ultimate shot.

A single uncalibrated body shot utilizing the adapter.

Lefaudeux’s method and remaining picture have been sufficient to earn him the title of Astrophotographer of the Yr and web him a money award of £10,000 (~$12,800). Requested what he supposed to do with the prize cash he provided solely a impartial reply, “It opens potentialities…” he mentioned.

Anticipate to see Lefaudeux chasing eclipses world wide as soon as journey restrictions start to carry, and sustain together with his work at his website.


In case you’re taken with listening to my dialog with Lefaudeux in its entirety, you’ll be able to hearken to Episode 3 of my pictures podcast The Image File.

You may also learn Lefaudeux’s blog post to search out out extra concerning the technical particulars of this DIY adapter and the way he created the successful photograph.


Concerning the creator: Chris Koehn is a former newspaper journalist turned videographer. With unbiased documentary and company video manufacturing expertise, Chris helped newsrooms undertake video content material methods as media convergence and DSLR movie making remodeled the web information panorama. His video work earned nominations and nationwide information awards in Canada for election protection. Chris is now working in unbiased journalism and documentary whereas freelancing for Canadian information retailers. You’ll be able to join with him on Twitter.


Picture credit: Pictures by Nicolas Lefaudeux and used with permission





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