The Apix PSNZ 2013 Southern Regional, hosted by Focus Aorangi in Tekapo kicked off last night with drinks and nibbles giving everyone a chance to catch up with friends. This event was “sold out” in record time with 140 registrations being the maximum the facility could accommodate. Since this is the only PSNZ Regional this year and because of the fabulous location, there are quite a number of “out of region” registrations which has unfortunately caused some anguish for Southern Region members who have missed out.
The more formal part of the got off to a good start with a fascinating presentation on Astro Photography. Freidl Hale, Peter Aldous and Robert McTague had up intrigued as they showed us the relative sizes of various planets and how many light years they are away from earth.
We learned about aligning camera and tripod to the Southern Celestial Pole (SCP) for Southern Hemisphere photographers to get the optimum results from long exposures. add to this, focus stacking to achieve pin sharp stars rather than star trails. For the really serious, throw in some complex and inevitably expensive equipment. As is often the case, it can become complex and technical once you get into the detail.
The programme had a practical session planned to follow the presentations with us all outside with our cameras and tripods to put some of this newly gained information into practice. Unfortunately the weather was not on our side with a ceiling of heavy cloud.