About - Neil Winston

Neil Winston

Astronomy and Photography

I am a 22 year old photographer based in Southern Maryland. With a degree in Mechanical Engineering and Physics, I am classically trained in the technical field, however I have a deep interest in the artistry of photography. While I enjoy all types of photography, my greatest interest lies in deep space astrophotography.


For me, photography and astronomy have always gone hand in hand. In late summer of 2008, as a freshman in high school, I assembled an old Edmund Scientific telescope. This  six inch Newtonian sat on a simple motorized equatorial mount, built in the late 1960s. That summer night I pointed the scope at the brightest star in the sky, however the view through the eyepiece didn't reveal a star. I recognized the planet Jupiter, and immediately I was hooked.  


Not long after, I began taking my first astrophotos. By piggybacking my parents' Canon Rebel on the 6 inch telescope, my first images were wide angle 30 second tracked exposures of various parts of the sky. I found many great sources of information on the internet through articles and forums, learning the basics of image staking, calibration, and processing to get the most out of my images. I was amazed that this simple camera could capture images of nebula and galaxies I once thought was the stuff of books and magazines.


Over time, my pursuit to take better astrophotos has led me to acquire dedicated equipment, software, and techniques. In the process, I've gained an understanding of optical systems and camera theory. This understanding of exposure, focal length, focal ratio, ISO, and their relative effects on a final image, has given me a great head start to explore other types of photography. 


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