Today was day 1 for the 5th annual Advanced Imaging Conference. The conference brings together astrophotographers all over the US (and a few from around the world) to learn about the latest technology, techniques and tips. I was invited to attend for work and the conference being in San Jose helped.
This day was mostly filled with workshops mostly focused on using various software for controlling cameras, alignment, stacking and processing images. I found these sessions very useful as I have been confused on what the various packages (like CCDStack, MaximDL, ImagesPlus) have to offer.
I had an opportunity to walk around and visit a few exhibitors as well including the makers of one of the best German Equatorial Mounts out there, Astro-Physics (top picture). Ah, if only I had $10k to blow on a mount :)
One more interesting thing I saw was a 4'x7' print of the veil nebula. The image was a mosaic of 4 images, each captured with an SBIG 11000 CCD on a Takahashi 4" refractor (FSQ). Ironically, the whole set up was mounted atop a RC scope on a Paramount.
I'm looking forward to tomorrow's sessions, should be fun and informative.