Some of my Favorite resources

Various Resources and Links to Help Along the Way

Here is a collection of my most useful resources I have mentioned around my website and blogs. You will find gear that I suggest and use, apps to download for your iPhone, websites I use for scouting/planning and more. I am constantly updating and adding to this page, so keep it bookmarked!

Some of My Favorite Gear

Astro Tracker

Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer Pro Pack – Motorized Dslr Night Sky Tracker – This is the tracker I use with all the accessories.

Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer Astro Pack – Motorized Dslr Night Sky Tracker – This is the tracker with enough to get you going.

SkyWatcher S20540 Star Adventurer Counter Weight Kit, Telescope Accessory, Black – If you have the basic kit and want to get into deep space, using telephoto lenses, you will need this to balance the heavier weight. Included in the pro pack above.

SkyWatcher S20530 Star Adventurer Latitude (EQ) Base, Telescope Accessory, Black – Must have for polar alignment in my opinion. Makes for a quicker, easier, and precise setup. Included in the pro pack above.

Lenses (astrophotography)

Sigma 20mm F1.4 Art DG HSM Lens – Available for Nikon, Canon, and Sony.

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED – Best of the best for Nikon shooters.

Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN Art for Sony E Mount, Black – New lens, killer for astrophotography.

Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM Art Lens + Sigma USB Dock with  Travel Bundle – Available for Nikon and Canon.

Sony E-mount FE 24mm F1.4 GM Full Frame Wide-angle Prime Lens (SEL24F14GM), Black – For Sony.

Sigma 150-600mm 5-6.3 Contemporary DG OS HSM Lens – Available for Nikon, Canon, and Sony mounts. Aside from using this lens for deep space photos, it’s an excellent wildlife lens too.

Rokinon 12mm F2.0 NCS CS Ultra Wide Angle Lens Sony E-Mount (NEX) (Black) (RK12M-E) – Great budget lens and fast!

Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC Ultra Wide Angle Fixed Lens w/ Built-in AE Chip for Nikon – The Nikon Version. This lens served me quite well for some time, and it’s ideal to test the waters to see if you want to jump into night shoots.

Rokinon FE14M-C 14mm F2.8 Ultra Wide Lens (Black) – Canon/Canon AE/Fuji X-Mount/Olympus/Sony Alpha A mount versions.

Please make sure the equipment you are viewing is specifically made for your brand/body. Lenses will allow you to enter your camera’s body type to verify the lens you are looking at works with your equipment. Note these are Amazon affiliate links. I will earn a commission if you decide to purchase via these links at no additional cost to you. I have experience and knowledge about the above gear and recommend it because I feel it is helpful and can help others achieve their photographic goals. You should only purchase these pieces, if after reviewing the listing, you believe the item will help you as well.

Useful Apps for Planning a Shoot (iOS)

PhotoPills – One of the most in-depth and helpful apps for photographers. Plan shoots and simulate your ideas. See where the sun, moon, and Milky Way will easily be. Features augmented reality that is helpful for checking compositions beforehand.

Sky Live – A way to quickly check stargaziing conditions. A great way to see a quick summary of the upcoming night.

Sky Guide – View the stars and everything else in the sky! My favorite app on the iPhone.

Deluxe Moon – A very in-depth moon app with lots of useful information. Also has a main screen to tell you the basics fast.

The Photographer’s Ephemeris – Also features augmented reality for planning. There is a ton to unpack here, and it’s a blast. A very in-depth tool to help you plan all your outdoor shooting anytime of day or night.

Sputnik! – A fun app for tracking the International Space Station Across the sky and showing you the times you can catch it streak across the sky. It also shows bright satellites.

Great Websites to Know

National Weather Service – The trick here is to click on your state, and then your area. Then use the hourly forecast for tons of useful information, such as cloud coverage percentage, surface winds, gusts and much more. The layout and charts work well and that’s why I list this as a site to bookmark for your planning.

Dark Site Finder – This site is very helpful to check for dark skies and light pollution. Great for planning trips or seeing just how dark it is near you. Also available as an app.

Telescopius – If you are interested in deep space objects check out this website. It will easily show you what you can see in the sky tonight from your location and have some great sorting options.

Clear Dark Sky – Clear Sky Charts. See easy to read charts with cloud cover, transparency, darkness and more. Also available as an app.

Stellarium – An online planetarium. Plan your night shoots and simulate the night sky. Also available as an app.

Sky & Telescope Astronomy Terms – Learn the lingo of some of the most used astronomy terms.

Sky at Night Magazine 10 Easy Lessons – An excellent guide for those getting into viewing the night sky. This is also a great starting point for Astronomy in general.

Trails Off Road – You can sign up for free and see some basic trail info that can be handy for planning in new or off road area.

Software

StarStax – used for creating star trails.

Starry Sky Stacker – Used for stacking astrophotos, available for Mac.

Deep Sky Stacker – Used for stacking astrophotos, available for Windows.