1. Make sure your camera settings are right. Mine was set to iso 400, and the first 2 days were almost spoiled because of it.
2. Image deep. Keep the shutter open a long time. This requires an autoguider, which I dont have. I'm not going back there again until I have one.
3. Use a high iso. I found that iso 1600 on my digital rebel did a fine job. I've never imaged at 1600 with that camera before because it was maxxed out at that setting.
4. Darks, Flats and Bias frames matter even more under dark skies. Take a good set and use them!
Now I imaged about 15 or so objects, and because of stupid mistakes, some didnt come out too good. I did have some good pictures though, and I'll post the best ones here.
Although I've seen wide field images of the Milky way that are far superior to mine, I thought mine came out pretty decent, as I've never been able to really image it before. Here's mine, looking at the core of the galaxy.
Next is the Deer Lick Galaxy Cluster. I used the 1100D on both this and the Milky Way above.
I also imaged the core of the Andromeda Galaxy, which I'm not sure if I like or not, but I'll post it anyway...
Now the next 3 images made the trip worth while. First is the Helix Nebula, which I doubt I'd be able to get nearly this good from home as it is so low in the sky.
The Pleiades is incredible from Cherry Springs!
And then, theres the Horse Head and Flame Nebula, which I've tried to get last year, but this one rocks in comparison...
Last but not least, I also imaged the Trifid. It is about the same as the one I took a couple months ago...
So, did I waste my time? I dont think so. After fixing some stupid mistakes, I got some decent images. Next time however, I'll be guiding, and I'll also get deeper and more numerous frames of each object. Trouble with going to a site like that is that you want to get as much as you can, trouble is, one can easily get ahead of himself and try to do too much. I believe if I had gotten say 50 frames of each object, my images would have been far better.
Also, I have to mention, they had a star party there the weekend we left. Participants came early, and was kinda crazy. I didnt know about the star party or I would have registered, therefore, I didnt attend the event.