Because Kickstarter wont accept my video for some reason, I have uploaded it to youtube.
Currently nearly all of the astrophotography that is done today is digital, actually I know of only a few people that still practice this art using traditional formats (aka film). I want to do a revival of film based astrophotography. Using a combination of Medium Format and Large Format cameras to get a view of the skies that is unrivaled in resolution. In the image that I have included as the title image for my project, it is a scanned in medium format (6cm x 7cm) image of a small section of the milky way as taken by the author (and a technical mentor of my project) of Nightfly Photography; James Cormier. the 4x5 negatives I intend to use will have roughly four and a half times the resoution. To put this into perspective, A raw image file from a 10mp Camera is roughly 25mb. A fully scanned large format 4x5 negative contains over a gigabyte of information.
This project site says that this will happen in the town of Tonopah, NV but in reality it will occur at a dark sky site over 80 miles away, so unhindered is this site by man made light pollution that it has been reported on several occasions that the milky way can actually cast visible shadows on the ground.
I plan to spend a month in summer during the new moon phase to gather images of the summer milky way as seen from the northern hemisphere (Roughly +90 to -35 Declination) A 300mm Large format Lens (~90mm in 35mm equivalent) for close up constellation images. A 90mm Large Format Lens (~28mm in 35mm equivalent) For wide angle shots milky way. A 90mm Medium Format Lens (~50mm in 35mm equivalent) and a 50mm (28mm in 25mm equivalent)
I plan to use three cameras:
I plan to use three kinds of film:
- Fuji ACROS - A classic black and white film with excellent film characteristics.
- Kodak E200 - The gold standard of film astrophotography
- Kodak E100G - A cousin of E200, finer grained higher saturation
I plan to make ultimately Three forms of art out of all of these negatives.
- Large Sized Grainless Color Images
Due to the fact that I no longer have access to the facilities needed to do color darkroom printing all of the color images will be scanned and large sized quality prints on the highest saturated paper I have found: Picterico Pro White. Using a drum scanner the image files will be on the order of gigabytes resulting in unparalleled resolution and clarity.
Max Print Size: ~13x19in
- Large Sized Grainless Darkroom Images
With the large 4x5 negatives that would be produced from this project they could be printed up to 16x20. With only a four times magnification the images would be crystal in sharpness and clarity.
Max Print Size: 16x20
- Daguerreotype Plates
This is easily one of the oldest photographic processes and the last time it was used in astrophotography was in the mid 1850s. They were used for pictures of solar eclipses and lunar photography. Using a rather complex process I have found a way to create Daguerreotype Astrophotography Plates. I am limiting how many of these I will make because the last stage in the process (Gilding) is -Very- expensive and I don't think i'll have enough gold chloride to do many prints.
The funds I am requesting will go to the purchase of an Equatorial Mount and its related equipment precise enough to have pin point tracking over the -hours- it would take to properly expose an negative (The current mount I have i only good for 5-8 minutes) and the film.
- Vixen GP2 Equitorial Mount (Needed to counter the earths rotation): 700.00
- GP2 Polar Scope (Needed to accurately align to the NCP): 250.00
- Dual Axis Drive DD3 (Needed to guide the telescope on two axis): 430.00
- Weight Shaft Camera Bracket (Needed to mount secondary camera): 90.00
- Orion Starshoot Autoguider (Needed to keep sub arc-second accuracy): 290.00
- 4x5 Kodak E100G Ektachrome Film (Needed for color imaging): 36.00
- 4x5 Fuji ACROS 100 Film (Needed for b/w imaging): 30.00
Expect weekly video updates as this project progress and I talk about the various technical issues that come up as I prepare for the project!
Lets make this Project a reality!
- (45 days)