Astrophotography Report

Astrophotography Section Report – 2013 14
By Allen Versfeld

Updated the section page on the ASSA website, and organised the gallery page.

Established an archive of user-submitted images on Flickr.  Flickr is a free service which grants a full terabyte of storage space, and a set of tools to share and display those images.  This has allowed me to create indexes of images which are embedded in the Gallery page on the ASSA website which make it easy for visitors to find the specific images, or just to browse through them.  This is still a work in progress, and the design will be tweaked according to feedback from visitors.

Established a mailing list for the section.  Membership of the mailing list is currently at 12.  Members are quite passive, not responding to official posts or making posts of their own.  I will urge members to use the list to ask for advice, share their images and discuss astrophotography in general.

Began issuing challenges to astrophotographers, to capture specific events or subjects.  These have had a good response – only failure was a target that was persistently clouded out for most of the country!

Future Plans / ideas:

Begin formally recognising member’s achievements:  Issuing of certificate to those who successfully image whole of Deepsky section’s Top 100 objects list, for example.

Accordingly I would like to award a Director’s Commendation for Photographic Observations recorded during 2013 14 to four section members:

There are four members whose contributions to the ASSA archive have stood out.  Johan Moolman, Johan Retief, Richard Ford and Kos Coronaios have all shared a significant number of images, and while Richard deserves special mention for the sheet volume of work he puts into his imaging (he has submitted over 300 images, and requested feedback and advice on every single one), the others also deserve mention for the high quality of their work.

Run special imaging events – annual workshops similar to what Dale Liebenberg presented at the 2012 symposium, or dedicated imaging starparties where expert photographers can provide hands-on guidance to less experienced members.  I’m wide open to suggestions on how to organise such an event, how often, which experts to invite, or whether there would be enough interest to make it worthwhile.

Allen Versfeld
ASSA Section Director: Astrophotography

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