I have been delivering talks to clubs over a number of years and recently, I have been concentrating more on Astrophotography. Astronomy is a niche area that generates a lot of interest particularly when the audience sees results of what might be possible from a back garden with a little bit of help and knowledge.
These talks are tailored depending on the audience (as indicated below). I have now presented these both nationally and internationally to societies, general outreach and as I am now a STEM Ambassador, schools, colleges and universities also.
Astronomy clubs – equipment connectivity, software packages and a little processing guidance, understanding and application of calibration frames. Pro’s & Con’s using a standard camera, an astro modified camera and a CCD with peltier cooling. What causes an aurora (northern/southern lights), talking about solar astronomy and finally, discussion about remoting and the IT side to make this happen.
Photography clubs – how to achieve widefield astrophotography using just a camera and lens – zoom and wide angle and how to achieve quality results with just a simple camera tripod with no star trails by applying a simple formula. Discussions on iso, shutter speed and aperture settings. How to obtain critical focus using liveview and software. Explanation for the need to image stack and by using just a couple of software packages you will surprise yourself with the results. Expanding on aurora activity and how to photograph.
General clubs – concentrating more on the results with a general talk on how the photos were achieved from the “back yard”. An explanation on how when to see the northern lights (aurora borealis activity) and how often we can actually see these from the UK (for example, it was seen on average 3x a month last year from Scarborough, North Yorkshire). There are lots of photos to see.
The talks are roughly between 60 to 90 minutes in length and will continue to evolve as new images are added once skill levels increase further or if new imaging equipment is acquired. Every talk will be different and humour is always included.
So far the presentation has been really well received at the following clubs and some delivered multiple times:
Ashington Photography Club
Beverley Naturalists Society
Beverley Photographic Club
Brooklands Photographic Society (Hull)
Burniston and Cloughton WI
East Ayton WI
Harrogate Astronomical Society
Hunmanby Camera Club
Focus Photographic Group (Bridlington)
Kirbymoorside and District Camera Club
Mexborough and Swinton Astronomical Society
Muston Village Hall (Muston, near Filey)
Scarborough and Ryedale Astronomical Society
Scarborough Photographic Society
Scarborough Amateur Radio Society
Withernsea Camera Club
York Astronomical Society
York Camera Club
The Saints Club (Overseas)
Two Boats School (Overseas) – talk delivered both at primary and secondary levels * (STEM related) *