I'm Wouter D'hoye. I live in a town called Zele in Belgium. In 1999 shortly after the full solar eclipse I got interested in Astronomy and joined a small astronomy club, Andromeda Dendervallei. There I got really hooked on astronomy. It's a small club but their shortage in members is more than made up for by the enthousiasm they have for and effort they put in the hobby.
I owe a lot of thanks and respect for two members especially. Patrick Mergan and Lieven Persoons. Both astrophotographers who taught me a lot and gave me a big headstart when I ventured into astro photography in 2008.
My first small steps in astrophtography were taken with my 4" Vixen apochromat and an old SBIG ST7 camera in 2008. But it took until 2011 until my adventure in astrophotography really took off.
I Built a small rol-off roof observatory in my backyard during 2010. This is without doubt the best investment I ever made. Clear nights in Belgium are not very common. So a telescope ready to go is a great asset. Since I have the observatory I 'm able to start imaging in mere minutes. And an added bonus is that I don't have to break down everything after observing. Just turn off the computer and the telescope and close the roof.
2011 was the year or my resurrected love for astrophotography. With the observatory finished I also invested in some new gear. The Vixen 4" apo got traded in for a small Takahashi FS60C apochromat. The ST7 got retired and was replaced by an SBIG ST2000XM. This small telescope was a godsend as it 's short focal length was quite forgiving in the hard proces of learning astrophotography. But it's a gem and the images it produced were very nice for such a tiny telescope.
In 2013 I could not withstand the urge to upgrade. The biggest issue I still had was the mount. So I did a major upgrade in that regard by replacing my Vixen GP-DX and Losmandy G11 by a red beast called the Paramount MX. This was a major upgrade for me. But also a big deal to learn. This is my very first Go-to mount. After getting to learn how to operate and calibrate the mount the ease of use is just fabulous and it reduced my reason not to observe to non existant levels. Offcourse the FS60 was too little a load for this beast (it even looked rediculous on the G11) so Say hello to the Skywatcher MN190. A 190mm f/5.3 maksutov newtonian. It's a relatively rare telescope but it makes a great imaging platform for small to medium sized cameras. It's relatively fast , has a nice 1000mm focal lenght and requires no aditional optics as it already has a well illuminated flat imaging plane.
I'm involved in astronomy since 1999
My major interest is astrophotography with a special love for galaxies
Most of my imaging is done from home where I suffer from very bad light pollution. Whenever I have the chance I go for some astro imaging in the south of France.
contact me: Wouter.dhoye at skynet.be
© Wouter D'hoye 2016 - Last update February 1st 2015