Digiscoping: From Start to Print - 30 Aug 2020

You may have been wondering where I've been all summer. Well, I've decided to write a book and create a video course on my favorite hobby of Digiscoping! After almost 3 full months of writing and recording I am proud to announce the launching of Digiscoping: From Start to Print. This 196-page eBook is the companion guide to a video guide that I launched through Teachable.com (now closed for 2020)

Digiscoping: From Start to Print is geared for beginning and intermediate photographers interested in the art and science of digiscoping. As a blogger for 13 of my 18 years of digiscoping I’ve written many articles and reviews of equipment and shared my thoughts on technique and field experience. I have now compiled this information along with research of birding and digiscoping forums to create a 1-stop resource for the digiscoper.

I cover the history of digiscoping and answer the basic question of “why do we digiscope?”. I then dive into equipment; here I cover spotting scopes and eyepieces and cover the critical factors that are necessary to evaluate when purchasing a scope that will be used for digiscoping. From there I cover tripod heads and tripods; did you know that the head should be the first thing to consider when buying a new tripod? I provide links to all of the manufacturers and include reference articles and videos that discuss what to look for in scopes, tripods and heads.

I cover the history of digital photography and how it has evolved to give us classic digiscoping cameras. I discuss the pros and cons of P&S vs. M43 vs. APS-C vs. FF cameras and what are the critical elements that are needed for digiscoping. Lenses are the deal breaker for all digiscoping rigs, and I cover what to look for when selecting a lens for digiscoping. Also included are lists and links to lenses that are compatible with scopes and scope eyepieces.

Digiscoping adapters? Perhaps the lynchpin in the whole setup. I’ve gleaned the digiscoping forums for home-made DIY adapters and provide a history of adapters shared by fellow digiscopers all over the world (include one made from a used (but clean) urine bottle!). I’ve made several types of adapters over the year, and for pennies, so if spending $$ on a commercial adapter is not desired, then you can see many examples of DIY types. If you are looking for a commercial adapter, I’ve researched all of the manufacturers and provide links to their adapters, so you don’t have to waste time searching the internet. 

There is a section on accessories. I then dive into Technique. Then camera settings; many digiscopers know the importance of shooting wide open using Aperture-Priority, but why? I cover this topic with examples and field tests to show the effects of aperture and metering on image quality and depth of field. 

I cover the post-processing of digiscoped images. What are the best commercial and free software options in 2020? I have lists and links to all of them. I also walk through my post-processing workflow using Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop with references and links to individual processing steps like Histograms, Vibrance vs. Saturation, etc.. Noise reduction? I review noise reduction types and available software and how to properly use it (as well as sharpening masks). 

Finally, I include useful links to digiscoping communities and acknowledge those who have influenced the sport.

This is a path-to-success course. The goal is not to answer what scope or camera or adapter should I buy, but rather a resource to help you answer those questions for yourself. Please know that I consider myself an ambassador to digiscoping. I have ties to neither manufacturer nor brand. Any recommendations made are based on experience and handling, so my objective was / is to remain as unbiased as possible. 

I hope you’ll take this path with me!

I have also migrated my original blog site (jerryjourdan2.blogspot.com) to my new website called alphadigiscoping.com. Why Alpha Digiscoping? Alpha is the line of Sony cameras that I digiscope with, and I hope that this will be the first site you go to when you think digiscoping! Please check it out! 

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