Capturing What Lies Beyond Planet Earth
Ken Koziol - Star Wrangler
Over the past year, many people discovered a new hobby while passing the time in quarantine. From bread-baking to painting, from assembling 1000 piece puzzles to inventing at-home workouts, our team found several ways to spend newfound free time. For Ken Koziol, it didn’t take long to find his quarantine hobby. By combining two of the things that he finds interesting, astronomy and photography, Ken soon found joy in seeing what he and his camera were able to produce.
Like most, Ken began with a limited amount of gear. But as his interest for the hobby increased, Ken began to invest in more professional equipment to assist in taking his photos to new heights (no pun intended). To take some of the incredible photos, Ken employs the help of a telescope that has a camera attachment. This allows for Ken to get some very detailed photography of galaxies that, at a distance of hundreds of millions of light-years away, cannot be seen by the naked eye. This process is aided by the use of a star tracker that rotates with the apparent movement of the stars to aid with long exposure shots. Sitting on a tripod, his camera can take hundreds of photos per night that he uses to stack and edit in post-processing.
Light is not your friend when shooting astrophotography. Light pollution from growing cities makes it increasingly difficult to find dark skies. Ken will often set up at home, on a golf course, or drive south far away from Indianapolis lights to get the best conditions. Clear, cloudless skies are also needed when it comes to shooting astrophotography. In order to pick the best nights for shooting, Ken uses apps on his phone that can determine the cloud cover, the moon phases, and nights that specific galaxies and star formations are best seen.