Fotosens's Random Tutorials

Here's a list of mini-tutorials I've created in the process of learning new software, tech projects or just random stuff. These are by no means complete tutorials. There's plenty of those on the internet and I point out those that I particularly like. These will get you started with the basics and sometimes that's all you need. I've created these basically for my own purposes, for notes and reminders but why not share them on my website? Just click on the link to go to the tutorial.



Web Design This was actually my first project. I had noticed that it looked fairly easy to design a simple webpage. Your browser can display a webpage whether it's on the internet or not. I ended up making a tutorial about how to make a webpage on the webpage I was learning how to make. (or something like that). Webpages are very useful for creating a resource reminding you how to do something. You can add photos, videos, texts, headings, links, anything you want. And you don't have to have it on the internet to work. Your browser will display it whether it's on the internet or not. This tutorial is about HTML and also introduces some CSS, Javascript, and PHP all used in web design. w3schools.com is a good website for a thorough study. Here

CSS Cascading Style Sheet, is another computer language separate from HTML but used in HTML for enhancing the look and feel of your webpage. In my opinion they shouldn't be considered separate, they work hand and hand in making a nice, good looking web page. Css controls your font types, sizes, colors, layout design, borders and much more.

Javascript This is the computer language used by HTML for putting action into your webpage. You can click on a button and have text, articles, images appear or disappear. You can have images move around on the screen. You can do complex math problems on the screen for example converting farenheit to celsius, decimal to hexidecimal, etc. Fun stuff.

PHP Introduction Introduction to PHP, the computer language used by web hosting sites. This is for getting into the process of making a webpage and then interacting with it from the server side. For example if you create a form on your webpage that asks for someone's name, email and address, you need to gather that information and store it in a database. This is all done from the web hosting service that your webpage is on and it is written in PHP. You can make your own 'virtual' web server on your computer without ever going on the internet with programs like XAMPP. This mini-tutorial gets you started with XAMPP, a free download, and PHP.

Electronics Basics This is pretty self-explanatory. Since I am your typical 'geek' I experimented around with radios, amplifiers, microprocessors and other Arduino type projects. This is basically for my own electronic formulas reminder but shared here also.

GIMP From the introduction paragraph: You can think of GIMP as a poor man's PhotoShop, except GIMP is anything but poor. It is free, but apparently it comes close to rivaling PhotoShop. I've made a short basic tutorial for myself as I've been learning it and now posting it here.

Make A Gif This is for showing you how you can make one of those 'action' pictures. It's not really a video but it does show a short repeating action. The clock pendulum on my webpage is a gif using this process.

SQL SQL is another computer language used in making and interacting with databases. This is just a taste of what it is like to use SQL. The normal everyday person won't be working with SQL unless they do have a website for perhaps a business they own and they are keeping records of products or their clientele. Or, you work for a company that needs someone in charge of their records. I use a database to keep track of game scores from my 'Todaze Fraze' game so it's good to understand the basics of SQL.

Ham Radio License Study the questions, take the test, pass the test and get your ham radio technicians license. There's a guide for your general radio license also.

Astro photography - I will share what software I use for my photos but there are several out there and the ones I use may not be the ones best suited for you. Experimenting is the key. There are two different routes to go depending on whether you are photographing planets or deep sky objects. Deep sky objects are considered your nebulae and galaxies.

For planets, they are usually processed from a video rather than individual photographs. If you are using a DSLR then the main thing you want to do is focus and then adjust the exposure so that you can see detail on the planet. For example, Jupiter has different shades of bands that you can't see if you have the ISO too high or your shutter too slow. You don't necessarily need to track planets with a tracking mount. Just take a video of the planet while it moves across your screen. You will load this video into software that will stabilize and center the planet in the video such as PIPP, a free one that does this. Do a Google search and download PIPP from the internet. Watch a tutorial on Youtube on how to use PIPP. I plan on making a mini tutorial when I become more familiar with it myself. PIPP will produce another video with your planet centered and stabilized, which you will now load into Registax which is another free download. Registax is a little more involved so again, there are tutorials on Youtube to show you how to use it. You will probably have to watch more than one tutorial on Registax as some are better than others. Get the one that helps you to understand it the best. Registax is pretty amazing on how it can take a blurry looking blob and bring into focus details of the planet.

For nebulae and galaxies, the process is a little different. You will be using a tracking mount for your telescope or camera. You will be taking 'long exposure' photographs so you need a good tracking mount to follow your object to keep from getting trails, and not just any tracking mount. You need an equatorial tracking mount that has to be polar aligned. I haven't done any tutorials on this as I'm still learning myself but there are several tutorials on Youtube. You will probably be using a DSLR mounted to your telescope or a dedicated astrophotography camera such as the popular ones made by ZWO. With a DSLR it's best to use a remote conrol such as an intervalometer timer, (fairly inexpensive on Amazon). The idea is to take any where from 20 to 100 long exposure photographs. As they say, the more the merrier. If you're using a dedicated telescope camera, like a ZWO ASI585C, then you will have it connected to your laptop and running the software that came with your camera or a 3rd party like Sharpcap. Sharpcap is fairly popular and they have tutorials on Youtube. Again, the idea is to take a bunch of photos of the object you want to produce a nice final image of.

Now, another thing that needs to be done is taking what they call darks and flats. The pictures you took of the celestial object are called lights. Flats are pictures taken with something translucent over the end of the telescope such as a tshirt. The idea is to get a picture of any natural variations of the camera sensor or light coming through the telescope. Darks are pictures taken with the lens cap on at the same ISO and shutter speed of the lights. Again this is to judge any variations of signal on the camera sensor. All these pictures, the lights, darks and flats will be loaded into the stacking software you will be using. There are several different ones, I use Deep Sky Stacker (free). Again, download it and follow the Youtube tutorials. The TIF image produced by this software is still not the final image. This image must then be loaded into either Photoshop or Gimp or other similar software. You will need to adjust the contrast, the color levels, exposure, curves, filters, etc to bring out the details of the object you were photographing. Sometimes this is fairly easy, other times it is tedious and complicated to bring out faint details of your deep sky object. Many of these objects are not visible to the naked eye and require long exposure photography to even barely begin to see them. But then, many amateurs find it quite rewarding to be able to produce a note worthy image of one of these seemingly invisible deep sky objects.