The night sky is full of color and beauty! Telescopes, high resolution digital cameras, computers, and specialized software are my tools for creating breathtaking compositions of the night sky. All the equipment that I use for imaging is owned and operated solely by me. While travel is sometimes necessary to capture an image, most images are captured and created at my private observatory and studio near Bloomington, Indiana.
An astrophotograph is rarely a single image. Each is typically a composite of multiple exposures taken over several days or at times years with each image containing different information about the subject. My black-and-white (B&W) images are captured using an ultra sensitive digital sensor. For the color component, separate images are captured through red, green, and blue (RGB) filters, often on different nights. Data from these separate color exposures are then combined with data from the B&W image in the computer to create true color images. The B&W images provide the detail and sharpness, the RGB images provide the color. My most detailed nebula shots require the use of a special hydrogen filter that blocks most light except ionized hydrogen emissions. Using this filter and technique creates images unrivaled in terms of detail and contrast.
Exposure times for images of nebulas and galaxies are measured in hours with longer exposures recording more detail and color depth. Lunar and solar photographs are of shorter duration given the brightness of these celestial objects. And remember: image capture is just the front end of image creation! The 8 or 10 hours spent obtaining the exposures may be eclipsed by the time spent on image processing, where data files are combined to create the final color image. When image creation is completed, the process of printing and framing begins.
I have spent years mastering my craft, revisiting the same parts of the sky in pursuit of the perfect image. This is an ongoing process that will take a lifetime to achieve. My goal is to simply make images that are both timely and timeless. Thank you for your interest in my astrophotography.
All of the photographs and text on these pages are © Copyright 1997-2012 by Scott Johnson and Kris Busch. They may not be reproduced, published, copied or transmitted in any form, including electronically on the Internet or World Wide Web, without written permission of the authors.