Steve's Place

Photography and Astrophotography

Astronomy and Photography Talks

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.

Schools and Colleges – I am also a STEM ambassador and hold a current DBS.

The talks are roughly between 40 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. The cost for the presentation is £50 +contribution to fuel if the round trip is greater than 40 miles.

FEEDBACK received 

Stephen Bowden is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and recently delivered a presentation entitled “Photographing the night sky”. Photographs were shared of deep sky objects such as Galaxies and Nebulas including detailed images of our nearest star with most of these taken from his back garden astronomy observatory located near Filey in North Yorkshire. Stephen also explained in simple terms how the Northern Lights manifests together with photographs taken of the aurora from around the UK including Scarborough. Most of the photographs presented had been taken using Digital SLR camera(s) and Steve was happy to share “how” the photographs were taken so audience members with similar aspirations could do the same. A very different but enlightening talk that clearly demonstrated his passion and enthusiasm on the subject. The talk was extremely well received and generated much discussion with our society members. We look forward to receiving Stephen back again for another of his talks. {Discovering the night sky}

This is the 3rd visit from Steve and he offered a new talk he has written called a “Priceless Jewel in the middle of nowhere”. The presentation uncovered an absolutely fascinating experience documenting the life and scenery from a remote volcanic island in the South Atlantic. Steve was invited to Ascension Island and his photography culminated with some of his photographs receiving Royal approval and later progressed onto Stamps. Steve was very passionate about his experiences on the island and the talk was very engaging with several members later commenting they felt they were actually there. This was our societies largest gathering yet for a talk and we look forward very much to Steve’s next visit. Though we may need a larger venue. {A priceless Jewel in the middle of nowhere}

It was nice to meet up with you again. On behalf of the Beverley Photographic Club I would like to thank you for a very entertaining evening. Your presentation was humorous and very knowledgeable. There where some spectacular images especially of nebulas. You answered the numerous questions very well and in depth which is always a bonus. My personal favourite image was of the refueling plane and although you might have been lucky (your words) the sharpness of the silhouette against the moon was fantastic. Must be one in a million.Thank you again until the next time. {Discovering the night sky – extended version}

On Thursday, Filey Rotary had the pleasure of welcoming Steve Bowden to give us his talk ‘An Introduction to the Night Sky’. This was a fascinating talk where Steve showcased a number of his amazing photos and a few jokes and facts thrown in to make it very engaging and informative. {Discovering the night sky}

On behalf of the Ladies Filey Monday Club I would like to thank you so much for your talk last Monday. It was really good – I thoroughly enjoyed it, as I am sure everyone else did, and I look forward to your visit next year. {Discovering the night sky}

Thank you so much for a super presentation last Monday. It was evident from the number of questions that members were engaged and really enjoyed hearing about your astrophotography. Your passion shone through and I think will have inspired a number to have a go, me included. {Discovering the night sky}

Thank you for coming {Hull Ladies Circle} everyone really enjoyed it they were talking about it long after you had gone. We all shouted Goodbye, hope you heard us above the “chatter  & din”. They certainly want you back so watch out in 2025, as I am already booking up for the coming year. {Discovering the night sky}

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