Q1: At first, congratulation that your nice image won #ASIWEEK. Can you introduce yourself to us?
Hi! I’m Vincent Fournaise, earthling, head in the moon, spirit in the sky! My passion for astronomy remains intact for years and today I recently have the chance to work at Optique Unterlinden, the best astronomy shop in France! 😉
Q2: What gear do you use?
I’ve two setups:
The main is composed by:
- Sky-watcher AZ-EQ6 GT guided by 60mm guider scope with ZWO ASI290MM mini.
- Lacerta Photonewton 200/800 with primary artisanal mirror + Sesto Senso 2 motor focuser.
- ASI1600MM Pro + 7-position EFW, ZWO LRGB and now Chroma filters, SHO ZWO filter (version 1).
- Pegasus Powerbox where all is connected and control dew heater.
The secondary is full ZWO
- Sky-watcher EQM-35 Pro or HEQ5 guided with 8×50 guide scope with ASI290MM Mini
- Sky-watcher 72ED with ZWO EAF and ASI071MC Pro
- ZWO ASIAIR
- Lacerta delta T to control dew heater
Q3: How did you capture your winning picture M97 & M108?
Not during the best news, it was the first confinement in France, in March 2020. However, it was the greatest weather ever! 7 days all with clear nights! Unbelievable!
I have the chance to have a garden, in Bortle sky 4-5 and envoy every night to image during this period.
Q4: There’s a very steep learning curve of astrophotography for beginners. How did you make your entrance into this hobby?
When I was a teenager, I wondered a lot about what we saw in the sky on summer nights. One day I came across an astronomy site and fortunately the store was not that far from my home! Since then I have filled the trunk of my car on each visit!
First I was fully a visual observer until I bought a T adapter for my APN, connected to a 350 Newton goto dobson: I see so much more with only 10 secondes than my eyes … The viral astrophotography began here! Then I decided to buy a Sky-watcher AZ-EQ6 GT mount with a Sky-watcher 200/800 carbon tube.
I spent so many nights, learning, facing so multiple problems that I became very technical astrophotographer. My auto guiding must be as perfect as possible, I learn every parameter of PHDguiding, I disassembled my mount, degreased/greased the mechanical parts, finely adjust the mechanic, spend many hours to use Pixinsight, participated to a Pixinsight formation, (the great AIP team), changed some parts of my setup to improve stability, quality, ergonomics, etc.
It’s like work: the more you work, the better you are!
Q5: What do you think is the most important part of astrophotography?
Time! With time, you have time to learn each complex part: installation, stationing, time to shoot, time to sleep, software learning, image processing, etc.
Of course, motivation and perseverance are really important but if you have enough time to watch on the internet how difficult astrophotography is, you’ll know it 😉
M42. Equipment: Lacerta photonewton 200/800 +ASI1600MM Cool + SkyWatcher AZ-EQ6 GT. LRGB. Integration: 4.1 hours.
Q6: Would you mind introducing your YouTube channel “Astro-tuto” to us? What kind of videos are you making?
There is a lot of existing Youtube channel. You often have very basic tutorials. With my explanations I go in deep and in a very educational way, how each mechanical part works, how to take the best pictures and how to be a great astrophotographer… I try not to miss every single detail of course with my touch of humor!
Horsehead Nebula. Equipment: SkyWatcher Evostar ED72/420 + ASIASI071MC Pro + Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer. Integration: 2.5 hours.
Q7: Have you ever traveled to dark places to take astrophotos? Are there any unforgettable experiences that can share with us?
I try to travel twice a year going to very dark places (sky Bortle 1/2)
I call this astro hiking holidays! Every day it’s possible: sleeping, hiking, eating, shooting in a loop 😉
Sometimes my little trick is shooting the color in my garden and the luminance under the best dark sky.
What experiences to tell you?!
Often the simplest experiences are the most memorable. Traveling the sky with a pair of binoculars, 15×70. Watching M31, how big he is!
Almost every outing is memorable: the first time seeing an object, the friends with whom it was, the meeting with an animal, the contact with nature, the cosmic journey I take in my eyes…
Equipment: Lacerta photonewton 200/800 + ASI1600MM Cool + SkyWatcher AZ-EQ6 GT. HLRGB. Integration: 17.9 hours.
Q8: Will your families join you when you are photographing? How do they support your hobby?
I’ve no children yet, that facilitates this hobby. My wife knows this passion is important for me and it’s a beautiful activity, why she will stop me ?! :-p
She likes my work very much, every new picture I edited becomes his wallpaper on his mobile phone lol
Q9: How did you know ZWO and what was your first ASI camera?
ZWO and its great best value quality have quickly been a buzz after the astronomy community. I start with ASI1600MM Pro after using an APN and the performances were up to my expectations, more sensible, better color, more details, etc.
M101. Equipment: Lacerta photonewton 200/800 + ASI1600MM Cool + SkyWatcher AZ-EQ6 GT. HLRGB. Integration: 12.2 hours.
Q10: What kind of CMOS cameras do you wish us to develop in the future?
I was waiting for an APS-C mono sensor, then comes the new ASI2600MM Pro that I just bought, what can I ask better?!
For me, this APS-C sensor size will be enough, with the right pixel size, that will be just what I need for my 200/800.
In the future; the real point will be will improve sensitivity again and again!
IC1396. Equipment: Lacerta photonewton 200/800 + ASI1600MM Cool + SkyWatcher AZ-EQ6 GT. SHO. Integration: 12.8 hours.
Q11: If you are asked to use one word to sum up your achievements in astrophotography during the year 2020. What word would you choose?
Lion triplet. Equipment: Lacerta photonewton 200/800 + ASI1600MM Cool + SkyWatcher AZ-EQ6 GT. LRGB. Integration: 8.2 hours.
Q12: What goal do you have for this year?
Like every year, my goal is to perform always more and more, investing in new gears to improve the last percentage that makes the difference between the standard and the high-quality photography. And shooting less-known targets in the sky. And a new chapter begins with the ASI2600MM Pro!
Congratulations Vincent ! And thank you for your amazing videos !