10 Astounding Astrophotos by Phil Hart - Digital Photography School

10 Astounding Astrophotos by Phil Hart

This post is by regular contributer Neil Creek – author of our Photo Nuts and Bolts, Photo Nuts and Shots and Photo Nuts and Post eBooks.

The universe is stunningly beautiful.

OrionMosaic2007_Med.jpg
Orion Mosaic   © Phil Hart

Phil Hart is an Australian amateur astronomer and astrophotographer. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing him for many years, and in that time I have watched his skill at photographing the night sky grow in leaps and bounds. He has been published several times in a number of major international astronomy magazines, and his photos are some of the best examples of astrophotography I have seen. Using only relatively simple and inexpensive equipment, he combines his skill with the camera and with processing software to create breath-taking images of nebulae, star clusters, aurorae and other heavenly bodies.

I have assembled a collection of my favourite of his works here for your enjoyment. I hope these photos inspire the same wonder at the universe and respect for Phil’s skills as they do for me. If you like Phil’s work, please consider purchasing a print of one of the available photos. A link is provided to a print where it is available. To view the images at larger sizes, click on them and you will be taken to Phil’s gallery.

Pleiades_M45.jpg

Pleiades Star Cluster   © Phil Hart
Print Available

StarTrailSmall.jpg
Star Trail   © Phil Hart
Comet_McNaught_24mm.jpg
Comet McNaught from Mt Macedon   © Phil Hart
Print Available
Eta_Carinae.jpg
Eta Carinae Nebula   © Phil Hart
FiveMoonsB.jpg
Five Moons   © Phil Hart
Print Available
47_Tucanae_Small.jpg
Globular Cluster 47 Tucanae   © Phil Hart
iceland_098.jpg
Iceland Aurora   © Phil Hart
Print Available
Rosette_Nebula.jpg
Rosette Nebula   © Phil Hart
RhoOphiuchi2.jpg
Rho Ophiuchi & Antares   © Phil Hart

A word from Phil about the technical details of the photos: “Most of these images were taken with Canon Digital SLRs specifically modifed for astrophotography. A Takahashi 530mm focal length telescope has also been used for most of these ‘deep sky’ shots while standard wide angle lenses were used for the Aurora Borealis over Iceland and the Star Trail image.”

For forther information, please see the following links:

Links

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Neil Creek is a professional photographer from Melbourne, Australia. He has been shooting with a DSLR since 2004, and blogging about his experiences since 2006. Neil has authored five ebooks and a video training course, all designed to help others improve their photography. View Neil's folio at his home page. Learn about his publications here.

  • mysticeyes

    wow awesome work!

  • http://alwaysalli.com Alli

    Excellent images. We have a friend here in the states who has been doing Astrophotography for about a year now. You should check him out at http://flintstonestargazing.com/

  • cathyetta

    thank you Phil for showing us something we may never view for ourselves

  • http://fmatiasphotography.blogspot.com Fernando

    “Phil Hart is an Australian amateur astronomer and astrophotographer” ???????

    Phil Hart does not look like an “amateur” anything to me!! Those shots are AMAZING!!!
    I have always loved astophotography, unfortunately I dont quite have the gear to take those kinds of shots…. maybe some day!

  • M

    WOW

  • sk66

    After seeing these amazing photos I immediately went to look up 530mm telescopes.

    “Using only relatively simple and inexpensive equipment”

    “Realtively” is the key word here! $11,000! I guess it’s not in my immediate future :{

    Too bad too, these pics are Cool!

  • http://thephotographerblog.com Mandy

    These are amazing, I’d love to just be able to take the moon!

  • http://www.sunrisestosunsets.com.au Sandy W

    Absolutly amazing!! you really feel you are in the midst of it all,& so calming!! Great work,congratulations!!

  • http://www.manageyourlifenow.com myln

    amazing photos! well done

  • http://dinemag.net Katherine

    Awesome Photos!

  • http://www.psipsychologytutor.org Char (Online Tutor: Academic Mentor)

    that is some amazing photos. I really like the five moons, maybe it’s the colours. I think many youth could be inspired by shots like these to follow their passions.

  • http://www.joetek.ca Joetek

    Wow. These look like they’re straight from the Hubble, not off of a DSLR! Spectacular!

  • http://www.philhart.com Phil

    Perhaps I should qualify the term ‘relatively inexpensive’! :-)

    Three of the photos were taken with a standard Canon 20D and affordable lenses – Comet McNaught and Aurora with the standard kit lens and the Star Trail with a 10-22mm EF-S lens. I also have many other great shots with a 50mm f1.4 lens. The 200mm f2.8 lens used for the last image is more expensive but awesome for astrophotography and daytime work.

    The telescope I purchased while working the UK at a discount price, but the combination yields results that were not available at all to amateurs only a decade or so ago. Much more affordable equipment can achieve pretty similar results.. eg Borg line of equipment at http://www.sciencecenter.net/hutech/

    Phil

  • Beth

    Thank you so much for posting this article – I’m putting the ‘Five Moons’ photograph on my Christmas wish list. Beautiful!

  • Connie

    Wonderful,
    My husband 3 years back did some great astrophotography with an eight inch telescope with autotracer, a automoble battery charger for his laptop and a coolpix 995. It was great fun and totally portable, before you could be. He even bought the scope used. The pictures really surpised people, many off them were film or did not like computer use. He was involed with the Black River Club in Ohio & some guys from Oberlin College.

  • http://www.perfectlyshapedworld.com MK (Casey) van Bronkhorst

    Phenomenal. Stunning visuals and a talent that should be cherished.

  • http://www.accountingelf.com AccountingElf

    The first one reminds me of stars mixed with muscles… like human hearts. (Ok, I watch too many crime shows, yes.) But it’s pretty!

    I think my favorite is the aurora.

  • http://www.waynejohn.com Wayne John

    Thank you for the wonderful shots. Those are simply amazing. The Pleiades Star Cluster photo is incredible.

  • http://blog.digitalsurvivalforeveryone.com/ Jo

    was just passin’ through and suddenly filled with wonder–nice end to my night, thanks

  • http://www.spudmobile.co.uk/nintendo-wii-mario-kart.aspx Nintendo wii mario kart

    What a magic colllection. I did forget everything for a while after seeing these all. Thanks dear for posting such wonderful magical photos.

  • http://www.thefloatingfrog.co.uk The Floating frog

    OMG these are amazing!

  • jimi rowland

    Some of the most amazing photos I have ever seen!

  • http://www.StarryNightLights.com Anthony Arrigo

    Absolutely amazing images! More people need to see these as it might help to grow astronomy’s popularity among the general public. These views help to put a perspective on our place in the universe. Thanks!
    Anthony

  • http://blah.com skollie

    Phil, that’s incredible. As a fellow 20D owner, I’m astounded by the quality the lenses are giving you – will have to try something similar one day. ;)

    Thanks for sharing these with us.

  • http://www.petelanglois.net Pete Langlois

    Phil,

    These are all spectacular images. I will try and capture some meteor showers again this year. Last year, where ever the camera was pointed, the meteors weren’t showing up.

    Pete
    http://www.petelanglois.net

  • http://www.quickshotartist.com Paul Richards

    Every time I see photos like these, and these are some of the best ever, I kick myself for not pursuing a career in astronomy. Forty years ago I chose electrical engineering and my career was excellent. But astronomy might have been even better. Thanks for these amazing photos.

  • Phil T.

    I would like to do some astrophotography in the future and would like to learn from some of the bestin the field. Does Phil Hart have any books that offer his photo or astrophotography techniques? Does he use stacking software and if so what would he suggest for the beginner?

  • http://www.misselhornmedia.com c wylie

    Nothing makes you feel small, in a good way, like gazing into space.

  • http://japrak.info Digital Photography, Gadget and Technology

    amazing photo thanks

  • C Tsang

    I went to look at the star trail photo and the additional information and it indicated a F stop of 3.5 and shutterspeed of 30 seconds, at ISO1600. Are these correct??!

    I would have assumed it would have taken much longer than that to achieve the amount of trail light?? I have a 20D as well and had been wanting to try capturing star trails, but haven’t been very successful – must be in the wrong spot!! I need a night sky with more stars!

  • C Tsang

    Oh… never mind. I only saw the 2nd post on DPS about how to use stacking to create the images. :)

  • Alex Antonites

    Filled with awe when struck by these visuals. Feeling small in front of this. Of the best that I have seen and very good quality

  • K. Ozan

    like the universe, creativity is limitless

  • stargazer

    amazing angles on the vastness of our reality. they look so close to eachother, but everything is relative. like einstein said.

  • http://snapashottiff.blogspot.com/ Tiffany Teoh

    OMG!!!! these pictures just left me… speechless!!!!!!!!!!

  • John Kirk

    I have a Canon 350D and have purchased the attachement to connect it to my 6″ newtonian. But I have not been able to get any images. I have tried some astronomy books but nothing tells you how to set up the gear in the first place.

    Any help to begin this fascinating journey would be joyfully received

  • Hugh

    Great Photo’s very insperational.

    Any chance you could write a quick “how to” using camera, tripod & kit lens.

    I’ve tried a couple of times but never seem to get ISO, apeture or shutter speed to work together to give any sort of half decent image.

    I live in South West Australia, and we have propbably the best night skys in the world. Looking up at the night sky beats watching TV.

    Hugh (D60 user in training)

  • http://www.focx.de Christoph

    The solar eclipse last month was a great chance and I managed to take these pictures:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/focx/sets/72157621734845365/

  • http://www.poolesimages.com Joette

    WOW Thanks!

  • http://www.jborela.blogspot.com jinky

    very creative shots!

  • http://www.getcre8ive.com.ph Affordable Stock Images Philippines

    Very impressive photos. I love Aurora, I wish to it someday. Great images, very nice.

  • http://NIL Rashid Mukoon

    Thanks a lot for these wonderful images, but i feel sad that i cannot be with you in Australia. Will it be possible to mail a few tips? My best regards.

Some older comments

  • Rashid Mukoon

    February 4, 2011 05:56 pm

    Thanks a lot for these wonderful images, but i feel sad that i cannot be with you in Australia. Will it be possible to mail a few tips? My best regards.

  • Affordable Stock Images Philippines

    January 12, 2011 05:49 am

    Very impressive photos. I love Aurora, I wish to it someday. Great images, very nice.

  • jinky

    October 21, 2009 04:46 pm

    very creative shots!

  • Joette

    August 27, 2009 11:49 pm

    WOW Thanks!

  • Christoph

    August 26, 2009 12:40 pm

    The solar eclipse last month was a great chance and I managed to take these pictures:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/focx/sets/72157621734845365/

  • Hugh

    August 26, 2009 10:40 am

    Great Photo's very insperational.

    Any chance you could write a quick "how to" using camera, tripod & kit lens.

    I've tried a couple of times but never seem to get ISO, apeture or shutter speed to work together to give any sort of half decent image.

    I live in South West Australia, and we have propbably the best night skys in the world. Looking up at the night sky beats watching TV.

    Hugh (D60 user in training)

  • John Kirk

    August 25, 2009 04:34 pm

    I have a Canon 350D and have purchased the attachement to connect it to my 6" newtonian. But I have not been able to get any images. I have tried some astronomy books but nothing tells you how to set up the gear in the first place.

    Any help to begin this fascinating journey would be joyfully received

  • Tiffany Teoh

    February 3, 2009 01:58 pm

    OMG!!!! these pictures just left me... speechless!!!!!!!!!!

  • stargazer

    December 2, 2008 03:51 pm

    amazing angles on the vastness of our reality. they look so close to eachother, but everything is relative. like einstein said.

  • K. Ozan

    December 2, 2008 10:15 am

    like the universe, creativity is limitless

  • Alex Antonites

    December 1, 2008 06:13 am

    Filled with awe when struck by these visuals. Feeling small in front of this. Of the best that I have seen and very good quality

  • C Tsang

    November 23, 2008 03:09 pm

    Oh... never mind. I only saw the 2nd post on DPS about how to use stacking to create the images. :)

  • C Tsang

    November 23, 2008 02:33 pm

    I went to look at the star trail photo and the additional information and it indicated a F stop of 3.5 and shutterspeed of 30 seconds, at ISO1600. Are these correct??!

    I would have assumed it would have taken much longer than that to achieve the amount of trail light?? I have a 20D as well and had been wanting to try capturing star trails, but haven't been very successful - must be in the wrong spot!! I need a night sky with more stars!

  • Digital Photography, Gadget and Technology

    November 22, 2008 11:28 pm

    amazing photo thanks

  • c wylie

    November 22, 2008 12:11 pm

    Nothing makes you feel small, in a good way, like gazing into space.

  • Phil T.

    November 22, 2008 09:19 am

    I would like to do some astrophotography in the future and would like to learn from some of the bestin the field. Does Phil Hart have any books that offer his photo or astrophotography techniques? Does he use stacking software and if so what would he suggest for the beginner?

  • Paul Richards

    November 22, 2008 04:04 am

    Every time I see photos like these, and these are some of the best ever, I kick myself for not pursuing a career in astronomy. Forty years ago I chose electrical engineering and my career was excellent. But astronomy might have been even better. Thanks for these amazing photos.

  • Pete Langlois

    November 22, 2008 03:14 am

    Phil,

    These are all spectacular images. I will try and capture some meteor showers again this year. Last year, where ever the camera was pointed, the meteors weren't showing up.

    Pete
    http://www.petelanglois.net

  • skollie

    November 22, 2008 02:49 am

    Phil, that's incredible. As a fellow 20D owner, I'm astounded by the quality the lenses are giving you - will have to try something similar one day. ;)

    Thanks for sharing these with us.

  • Anthony Arrigo

    November 22, 2008 01:29 am

    Absolutely amazing images! More people need to see these as it might help to grow astronomy's popularity among the general public. These views help to put a perspective on our place in the universe. Thanks!
    Anthony

  • jimi rowland

    November 22, 2008 12:57 am

    Some of the most amazing photos I have ever seen!

  • The Floating frog

    November 21, 2008 11:58 pm

    OMG these are amazing!

  • Nintendo wii mario kart

    November 21, 2008 09:19 pm

    What a magic colllection. I did forget everything for a while after seeing these all. Thanks dear for posting such wonderful magical photos.

  • Jo

    November 21, 2008 03:43 pm

    was just passin' through and suddenly filled with wonder--nice end to my night, thanks

  • Wayne John

    November 21, 2008 03:11 pm

    Thank you for the wonderful shots. Those are simply amazing. The Pleiades Star Cluster photo is incredible.

  • AccountingElf

    November 21, 2008 03:10 pm

    The first one reminds me of stars mixed with muscles... like human hearts. (Ok, I watch too many crime shows, yes.) But it's pretty!

    I think my favorite is the aurora.

  • MK (Casey) van Bronkhorst

    November 21, 2008 03:00 pm

    Phenomenal. Stunning visuals and a talent that should be cherished.

  • Connie

    November 21, 2008 01:36 pm

    Wonderful,
    My husband 3 years back did some great astrophotography with an eight inch telescope with autotracer, a automoble battery charger for his laptop and a coolpix 995. It was great fun and totally portable, before you could be. He even bought the scope used. The pictures really surpised people, many off them were film or did not like computer use. He was involed with the Black River Club in Ohio & some guys from Oberlin College.

  • Beth

    November 21, 2008 10:52 am

    Thank you so much for posting this article - I'm putting the 'Five Moons' photograph on my Christmas wish list. Beautiful!

  • Phil

    November 21, 2008 09:41 am

    Perhaps I should qualify the term 'relatively inexpensive'! :-)

    Three of the photos were taken with a standard Canon 20D and affordable lenses - Comet McNaught and Aurora with the standard kit lens and the Star Trail with a 10-22mm EF-S lens. I also have many other great shots with a 50mm f1.4 lens. The 200mm f2.8 lens used for the last image is more expensive but awesome for astrophotography and daytime work.

    The telescope I purchased while working the UK at a discount price, but the combination yields results that were not available at all to amateurs only a decade or so ago. Much more affordable equipment can achieve pretty similar results.. eg Borg line of equipment at http://www.sciencecenter.net/hutech/

    Phil

  • Joetek

    November 21, 2008 08:10 am

    Wow. These look like they're straight from the Hubble, not off of a DSLR! Spectacular!

  • Char (Online Tutor: Academic Mentor)

    November 21, 2008 07:34 am

    that is some amazing photos. I really like the five moons, maybe it’s the colours. I think many youth could be inspired by shots like these to follow their passions.

  • Katherine

    November 21, 2008 06:54 am

    Awesome Photos!

  • myln

    November 21, 2008 06:48 am

    amazing photos! well done

  • Sandy W

    November 21, 2008 06:19 am

    Absolutly amazing!! you really feel you are in the midst of it all,& so calming!! Great work,congratulations!!

  • Mandy

    November 21, 2008 06:11 am

    These are amazing, I'd love to just be able to take the moon!

  • sk66

    November 21, 2008 05:34 am

    After seeing these amazing photos I immediately went to look up 530mm telescopes.

    "Using only relatively simple and inexpensive equipment"

    "Realtively" is the key word here! $11,000! I guess it's not in my immediate future :{

    Too bad too, these pics are Cool!

  • M

    November 21, 2008 05:07 am

    WOW

  • Fernando

    November 21, 2008 04:13 am

    "Phil Hart is an Australian amateur astronomer and astrophotographer" ???????

    Phil Hart does not look like an "amateur" anything to me!! Those shots are AMAZING!!!
    I have always loved astophotography, unfortunately I dont quite have the gear to take those kinds of shots.... maybe some day!

  • cathyetta

    November 21, 2008 04:04 am

    thank you Phil for showing us something we may never view for ourselves

  • Alli

    November 21, 2008 03:52 am

    Excellent images. We have a friend here in the states who has been doing Astrophotography for about a year now. You should check him out at http://flintstonestargazing.com/

  • mysticeyes

    November 21, 2008 03:33 am

    wow awesome work!

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