Last updated: 15 June 2003

Using a Webcam

Subject:	A Different Look at  Webcam Astrophotography  :)
Sent:	Thursday, June 12, 2003 19:00:56
From: (Chuck Falcone)
When I first purchase a webcam to try my luck at planetary imaging, I
was frustrated by not being able to get an image that the camera was
capable of producing.

I struggled incessantly, and almost gave up.  Then I thought of when I
was younger and played baseball.  In order to play the game at my
highest level I first need to understand the stradagy of the game.  Once
understanding every possible scenario that could happen and what to do,
I was ready to play.  Play I did, but I stunk up the field.  It was then
I realized that the manager was right, Practice Makes Perfect.  So I
practice, practice and practice to improve my skills. I must say it
worked.  I became a decent player for my natural abilities and ended up
on one of the best teams in the league.  But even then there were days
nothing went right, and we would lose as if we were one of the worst
teams in the league.

If anyone is out there like I was, I would encourage them to go back to
the basics,  Understanding Camera Settings.

Below is some information defining the basic camera settings.

And when you've practiced and become very good at it, unfortunately,
there will still be those nights that you'll stink. :)

White Balance - White balance refers to the ability to adjust colors based on white as a reference color to give as true a white as possible; in the process, all the other colors are also corrected. Some preset white balance settings are daylight, cloudy or fluorescent. Using white balance properly is essential in digital photography.

Brightness - One of three dimensions of color; the other two are hue and saturation. The term is used to describe differences in the intensity of light reflected from or transmitted through an image independent of its hue and saturation.

Saturation - The amount of gray in a color. More gray in a color means lower saturation; less gray in a color means higher saturation.

Contrast - The tonal gradation between the highlights, midtones, and shadows in an image.

Gain - The strength of the signal and noise.

*From different web sources

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