A copy of the Draft Programme can be downloaded by following the link below.

Special session for Astro photographers – a unique souvenir of the conference!

There will hardly be a better time to enjoy the star-spangled African night sky than this week at this location. Light pollution is the lowest you will find anywhere and due to the new moon and early moonset the stars will be radiant. The rise of the galactic centre will be taking place at the civil time of around 21:45 and 22:00. The Milky Way will however be at its most spectacular in the early hours. You will probably have to set your alarm clocks to 04:00 if you want to enjoy the full experience of gazing into the galaxy spread perpendicularly over the entire sky. It will be over by 5:50 when the galactic centre should no longer be visible.

For Astro photographers this is a great opportunity as there are some attractive hillocks with some easy footpaths within walking distance from the venue to frame a picture with. The Swakop river bed is right next to the conference sight in short walking distance with many attractive trees to set the scene.

Arnt Kern will give a short workshop on photographing the milky way on on Wednesday 19 April 2023 at 16:40. He will fill us in on the theoretical fundamentals covering Astrophotography basics, camera settings and an equipment check This will be followed up by going out at night and find the right spot in the landscape to shoot the stars!

What You Will Need

1. An Advanced Camera: Your camera needs to allows full manual (!) control of exposure (aperture, shutter speed, and ISO) and focusing. Ideally, you need an advanced DSLR or a mirrorless camera that can handle noise well at high ISOs (3200 – 6400). Know your gear! We will be shooting the Milky Way in full darkness – thus you need to be able to operate your camera essentially blind. There will be absolutely no chance to become familiar with your camera on-site.

2. A fast-aperture wide-angle lens:

Your lens should be ideally in the f/1.4 – f/2.8 aperture range with a focal length in the

– 14-16 mm (full-frame cameras) or

– 10 mm (crop cameras)


3. A sturdy tripod: Exposure times will be in the 10-30 seconds range. There is no way to shoot the milky way free-handed!

4. A cable or radio remote trigger: Manually pressing the shutter release guarantees blurry images, you dont want that. Forget about infra-red remote triggers if the infra-red sensor is located in front of the camera. They usually dont work if you are standing behind your camera. Alternatively you can use the camera’s self-trigger – if it has this feature.

5. A flashlight: A flashlight is not only useful to find your way in the darkness but can also be used to illuminate interesting foreground elements or to work on camera settings. All this without disturbing your fellow photographers, of course…

And remember – it can be cold at night…

If you are a beginner – there are quite a lot of excellent tutorial videos on YouTube. Simply search for e.g. “Milky Way Photography”. This is a good one: