The Championship Interview - Mehmet of SolarSystem Category Winner

source:Optolongpopularity:147Release Time:2024-03-30

Interview with the Winner of the 2023 Optolong Deep-SkyAstrophotography Competition-Mehmet Ergün

Interviewee:  Mehmet Ergün



►Q1: First of all, congratulations on winning the first prize in the Solar System Category. Could you please introduce yourself and, if possible, sharing a photo of yours?

Hello, my name is Mehmet. I have 43 years of life experience, which began in Turkey before I found my new home in Germany 38 years ago. Together with my wife and our two sons, I have found a home here that is rich in love and fulfillment. In my professional career, I discovered my passion for online marketing and have been able to develop my skills in a renowned company.





►Q2: When did you develop an interest in astronomy?

As a child, I was interested in astronomy. I believe I was around 11 or 12 years old when I couldn't comprehend that light takes time to reach us, so we see the past. This concept fascinated me as a child, and I always wanted to learn more about it.



►Q3: When did you start doing astrophotography? Could you please share with us how you go about capturing your astrophotography images?

For about 12 years now, I've been engaged in astrophotography. Typically, interest in astrophotography starts with a fascination for astronomy, followed by visual observations through telescopes. Eventually, one often develops an interest in capturing the observed objects photographically, and that was the case for me as well.

Astrophotography encompasses various specialized fields, all of which captivate me personally. These include deep-sky objects, solar system bodies, capturing the Milky Way against landscapes, the Sun in H-alpha, time-lapse imagery, and much more. Each area demands a wealth of knowledge and investment.

Most of my photos are taken on the Canary Island of La Palma, where I also frequently organize astrophotography workshops.



►Q4:What equipment are you currently using? (Please provide a photo of your equipment.)

I have an extensive selection of equipment because I cover various areas of astrophotography, requiring many different components. This includes numerous telescopes, lenses, mounts, and cameras.





►Q5: Could you please introduce your award-winning photo?

In astrophotography, a lot of planning is required, but luck also plays an important role. On one particular day, I was fortunate to stumble upon a live NASA webpage revealing that a significant Coronal Mass Ejection was occurring. I had only a few minutes to set up all my equipment and capture the event. Additionally, the weather cooperated favorably. I believe it was the largest Coronal Mass Ejection I've had the opportunity to witness and photograph thus far.



►Q6:So far, have you encountered any interesting or memorable experiences while shooting?

Yes, I have many amusing memories. For example, I also enjoy photographing Sun ISS transits. During a Sun ISS transit, there's only a specific time and location to capture the photo. Often, the location is nowhere near me, so I always have to drive there by car and find the spot. Sometimes it's just a street corner or a parking lot, all during the daytime. Frequently, I receive strange questions or looks from passersby who walk or drive by. Some even think I'm setting up a rocket launcher and call the police.



►Q7: What are your thoughts on astronomical gear made in China?

China plays a significant role in the world of astronomical products and technologies. As one of the leading manufacturers, China has earned a well-deserved reputation for innovative and high-quality astronomical devices. Chinese manufacturers continually set new standards in terms of precision, quality, performance, and reliability, making them preferred partners for astronomers and hobbyists worldwide. Their expertise and continuous advancements are crucial in enabling hobby astronomers and photographers to pursue our hobby affordably.



►Q8: The last question, do you have any advice for newcomers?

Useful tips for beginners

- Know your night sky
Learn your night skies with the help of a star chart or apps, this way you will find your desired subjects and the Milky Way much faster.

- Know your equipment
Know your equipment well, such as your camera. Learn the settings in advance, you don't have much time for it in the evening.

- The right clothes
Always dress warmly! At night it is usually cold, added to this is lack of movement when photographing, so the body can cool down quickly. Better to sweat than freeze!

- Experience and sky are not for sale
2 important factors are not purchasable in astrophotography. Experience is gained over the years, and good night skies require a lot of luck & effort.

- Do not give up!!!
Astrophotography has different phases, often associated with ups and downs. In the beginning, often more will go wrong than good. But do not give up!

- In the beginning everything is suitable
For the beginning every camera and optics is suitable! Should the interest and experience grow, the equipment can also grow with time. Never buy expensive equipment as a beginner!