May General Meeting Report
HOW TO DO ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY, a joint meeting with The Royal Photographic Society
by Elaine Herbert and Phil Hart

Elaine Herbert, Secretary of The Royal Photographic Society, Victorian Chapter, explained the nature of their group’s work. A very active organisation, based in Melbourne, that in 2006 celebrated its 20th Anniversary. Its monthly meetings take various forms: guest speakers or members presenting a wide range of styles, techniques and individual approaches to photography; or visits to galleries and photographic studios; or occasionally meeting with artists in other fields.
From time to time the group has field trips and various social activities. An annual Print Exhibition is on their program, and the monthly RPS Victorian Chapter Newsletter encourages all members to contribute to it. Special interest groups – a Photographic History Group and a Digital Working Group – meet regularly and have active participation. They can be found on the Internet at www.rps.org/region/australia . Contact from other Royal Photographic Society members is welcome and encouraged. So, if you are visiting Melbourne from interstate or overseas do get in touch – you would be most welcome to attend their meetings.

Phil Hart started taking photos of the night sky while building his first telescope in 1993. He enjoys crafting wide field views of the night sky as well as the painstaking work required to produce telescopic images of ‘deep sky’ galaxies, nebulae and star clusters. His technical excellence and skill in composing astronomical scenes combine to produce stunning and beautiful images. Some of them have won prices and can be found on the Internet.
After five years in Scotland photographing the Aurora Borealis and the delights of the northern sky, Phil returned to Melbourne in 2006 and is now a regular visitor to the Astronomical Society of Victoria’s dark sky site near Heathcote in central Victoria. He particularly enjoys our long, cold and dark winter nights!
A Hop-Skip and Jump through some of Phil’s photographic experiences and the lessons learned from them culminated with a short slide show of his favourite shots. In a short Presentation Ceremony, as Second Price winner of the 2008 Leon Mow Awards for Best Article and Best Picture, awards for Phil’s “Tales from Scotland...” and “Rosette Nebula” (Crux No 4 and No 6 respectively) were presented to him by Visual Aids Officer Filomena Lo Schiavo and President Perry Vlahos.