the intent of testing a variety of setups for solar, DSO and wide-field astrophotography, I headed to this very dark location that I have been to 3 other times - but never in February.  While I
thought I was prepared, 25 degree temperatures combined with gusts of 25+ mph wind eventually turned my cozy little field lab into a scene from the wizard of oz.  Rain and clouds the
situation for even  PHD and Lodestar to manage and having to image in the open and "sleep" in a running truck.   Despite being equipped with some of the better duck hunting attire
one can find, using a computer in an open Georgia field in 20 degree temperatures with no indoor 'respite' for 4 days resulting in minor frostbite and real exhaustion.  I did not want to
leave my equipment to the elements or wildlife and go to any one of a number of relatives houses some miles away - and I paid for it .

The 3rd and final night, however, provided the most amazing sky I have ever seen - even in the desert or at altitude.  Greg and I stuck it out and tried to collect some of the data and turn it
into something useful.   Hopefully that works out - but the wind and a possible bad polar align combined to make guiding very difficult.

Also, just before the trip I purchased and ended up testing the Vixen Polarie portable mount head in a variety of modes with promising results.  Below are two of the 'Star Scape' single
frame captures I liked the most.  They will lead what will be, I hope, decent results to be posted here from the rest of the trip.

FINAL RESULTS = Other than for the pics below - a WASHOUT.  Due to wind and a crap polar align that should have been checked twice if it wasn't too cold to stay out with the mount.

CLICK ALL IMAGES BELOW FOR LARGE VERSION (anywhere from 1-10 MB)
14 months and counting
telescope and took my
first picture.....

Mike
Dark Sky Session - Middle Georgia - Various optical systems and tests
Imaging:  Michael DeMita and Greg Myers
Processing:  Michael DeMita
"The Wizard and his Dog".  That's what 3 nights with little sleep and staring at
the same landscape in a dark, cold field will make you name two trees.  

Above: Tests using the Vixen Polarie portable guide head on a simple tripod with
a ball tilted to align with Polaris through a small peephole in the Polarie.  Single
(albeit cleaned up) 20 second exposure in 'Star Scape' mode.  Canon EOS 5D, 800
iso, f5.6, 24mm focal length.
Losmandy G-11 with G2 mount, Tak FSQ-106EDXiii imaging
Above: Imaging with the scopes back to an almost full moon.  with
a SXVR-H18 mono camera and filterwheel.  Side-by-side had been
mounted with an SXVR-M25C and a Canon EOS 24-105mm
zoom - but was removed prior to photo.  Canon EOS 5D, 800 iso,
f5.6, 24mm focal length.
The setup prior to it blowing away
with Greg, my equipment and me
in it.
We thought you said "STEER
PARTY", not "STAR PARTY"!
He would not leave us alone.  I
named him Hub-Bull.
Narrow Band Imaging:
Wide-field Bubble Nebula, Tadpole Nebula, Crab Nebula - Hubble Palettes
SXVR-H18 Camera, Tak 106 EDXiii @ Prime, Astrodon filters, G-11 mount, Lodestar/PHD guide.  Note I had a bad polar align the entire trip making
processing very difficult and hurting quality.  Too cold to re-check it I guess.
Planetary and Solar Imaging:

PGR Grasshopper and Flea3 Camera.  Best 20% of 4000 frames @ 120 fps.
Solar - Lunt double and triple stack 80mm, Planetary - Celestron C11 Edge HD @ 2x Barlow, Satellite - Tak 106@prime with Flea3 (overexposed).
Baader filters, CGEM mount, Color Lodestar/PHD guide.  
ISS - Manual capture (negative)
with Flea 3 in Tak 106 @ prime
- no barlow.  Hey, it sucks but I
get it on film through a scope!
NGC 2403 - HaRGB - 1 h 12 m
- H18, Tak 106 @ Prime
Camera (from field day at my office with
Stephen Ramsden - processed by me)
Sun - Lunt 80mm 2x
etalon - M25C Camera -
from Hawkinsville
Sun - Lunt 80mm 2x etalon - Flea3 Camera
Venus - Tak FSQ-106EDXiii @
Prime - Flea 3 camera.  Lum
image taken as test for ISS
attempt.
LRGB & Ha Imaging:

LRGB with Ha Luminence and/or HaRGB Imaging.
SXVR-H18 Camera, Tak 106 EDXiii @ Prime, Astrodon filters, G-11 mount, Lodestar/PHD guide.  Note that between 25 mph wind and a poor polar
alignment these images are not of the best quality.
Simultaneous Wide-Field Imaging:

SBS with the M25C and a Canon EOS 24-105mm zoom @ 75mm and f4.0.
SXVR-M25C Camera, Tak 106 EDXiii @ Prime, IDAS-LP filter, G-11 mount, Lodestar/PHD guide.  These images were taken at the same time in a
side-by-side setup on the G-11 mount as the main H18 camera images were taken.
M101 - LRGB & Ha - 1 h 55 m of poorly guided
subs- H18, Tak 106 @ Prime - PixInsight First
Processing Attempt
Crab Nebula centered in Taurus -
M25C with IDAS-LP - 1 h 15 m
Antares in Scorpius - Only 25
M42 & IC 434 in Orion - M25C w/
IDAS-LP - 1 h 15 m - Add 1h20m Ha
to the right from H18 camera
M101 in Ursa Major - M25C
w/ IDAS-LP Filter. 1 h 15 m  
Tadpole Nebula in Auriga - M25C
with IDAS-LP - 1 h 15 m
Bubble Nebula in Cassiopeia -
M25C with IDAS-LP - 1 h 15 m
M33 - M25C Camera - 2 h 15
PixInsight Processed
15 m - H18, Tak 106 @ Prime
MadMan's Astronomy and Astrophotography Pages - Photos of the Week