Astrophotography Talks – receiving some lovely feedback

Last night I gave my astrophotography talk to the Kirbymoorside and District Camera Club. An absolutely delightful group of people. Very warm and welcoming, full of enthusiasm and it was a fabulous evening.The same can also be said with the other clubs I have given the talk to that are mentioned below.
I have been tailoring this talk to suit different audiences and hopefully deliver the content in a way that benefits the clubs purpose. This talk is aimed at all clubs from Astro to Photography and from WI to Schools. It is delivered on Powerpoint and I am happy to travel anywhere to provide this.


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. Discussion about remoting and the IT side to make this happen – this is my own end goal.

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.

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.

These 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 with some multiple times:

Harrogate Astronomical Society

Scarborough and Ryedale Astronomical Society

Scarborough Photographic Society  

Scarborough Amateur Radio Society

Mexborough and Swinton Astronomical Society

Scarborough Rotary

York Astronomical Society

Ashington Photography Club

Kirbymoorside and District Camera Club

Upcoming talks with dates to be fixed for the following clubs

23rd February – York Camera Club

Cheltenham and Gloucester Photography club – TBA



Top position on Gurushots – cannot believe it !!

Earlier in the week I reached the Top Level of Gurushots, an incredible online sharing site with some superb photographers.

Just learned one of my photographs was ranked Top position – the old favourite of a lizards eye macro.



Now writing for the Daily Express

What a headline and one I never ever imagined I would be writing. Now if only it was to be a regular feature ….

I was recently contacted by a media agent to write an astronomy article and the piece appeared in the national newspaper The Daily Express.



Gurushots – Top Photo Award

The theme was “Be Square” and one of my photographs was voted as Top Image and I won a cash reward.

Be Square – Results

With over 5.8 million votes cast in this competition I am absolutely over the moon – also ending up with a Top 10 finish.

To be ranked amongst top class photographers internationally is something I am extremely proud of.

Maybe, just maybe, my photography is improving slightly  🙂


Awarded 1st place York Astrofest

Just returned from York University – Astrophysics Department after winning 1st place in the York Astrofest Astrophotography competition. The winning photograph being an image I took of the Rosette Nebula.

Two other submissions – Orion Nebula and Horsehead Nebula were also selected


horsehead2A m42 rosette


World records and high scores in amateur radio contests

Just looking back at world rankings from amateur radio contests I used to participate in – this was before I sold my gear and pursued photography !I

I still miss the contesting operating for either 24 or 48 hours in one stint was not only a mental challenge but a physical one also and if any club would like a guest operator then please get in touch.

Here are a few placings I have found after trawling the internet – some of these I had forgotten about !

Callsigns were ZC4BS and G4KIV

2002  ARI DX  CW
(morse code)
New Record  (990 contacts)

2002  CQ WPX QRP  CW
(morse code)
Top in World (1506 contacts)
Asian Record still held
Score remains All Time Top 5 in the world

2001  ARI DX  SSB
New Record  (1503 contacts)

New Record  (904 contacts)

2001  CQWW SO LP 15m  CW
(morse code)
Top in World
(1479 contacts)                                                                                                                    Asian record still held

2000  CQWW SO LP 10m  CW
(morse code)
Top in Asia
2nd in the World (1330 contacts)

(morse code)
Top in Europe  (2290 contacts)

1991 CQWW SO AB LP SSB (voice)
Set a new world record



Forestipedia – Astronomy Guide goes live

Forest Holidays asked permission to use several of my photos for advertising and also asked me to write an astronomy guide to promote Ardgarten as a “Dark Sky site”.

For providing this they graciously gave us a weeks holiday which was fantastic.



Forest Holidays – Argyll

I was very pleased to have several photographs featured on the main Forest Holidays website and also in holiday brochures

Forest Holidays Website – Argyll

Even more so when I was offered an £1100 holiday for granting permissions and writing an astronomy feature.

Brilliant place, great staff and I will be returning for definite 🙂


Lancashire Life magazine – Competition Win

I recently won a Nikon D5100 and 18-55 VR lens in a National Competition.

Lancashire Life Competition


Photo requested by Canon UK for Expo

Canon UK contacted me requesting permission to use one of my photos for the Canon Expo 2011 (Pro photo solutions) held in London.

Naturally, permission was granted – no charge made, maybe one day I will “try out” and evaluate a Canon product  😉

Canon Expo 2011