Astrophotography – Presentation by Barry Ollikkala and Jim Sykes – February Education Night

We have all seen those great images of the moon and the Milky Way. Some of us have had the opportunity to try our hand at it. Now, Barry and Jim are coming together to give us some of the basic knowledge and techniques to get us all out there shooting the night sky. Join us for a Zoom presentation on Friday, February 25, 2022 at 7 PM.

Multiple Sky Features by Jim Sykes

Our Presenters

Barry Ollikkala, a recent new member of TBCC, is a professional astrophotographer and has taught astrophotography on the university level.

Jim Sykes has been shooting the night sky for quite a while but has recently been shooting it using a star tracker to get even more accurate images of the Milky Way and other night sky features.

Milky Way by Jim Sykes

Presentation Summary

Barry and Jim will give us some of the basics of astrophotography, ie: equipment, finding your subject, how to expose for your subject, and some post-processing) and then get into some details on shooting the moon (see Barry’s Image above ) and using night sky time exposures to get images of the Milky Way, stars, constellations, and galaxies.

Don’t be afraid of that long word, astrophotography. You can get some great images with some basic knowledge, your camera on a tripod, and a telephoto or wide-angle lens! Jim and Barry will get you out there shooting the night sky!

Meteor by Jim Sykes


We will send the Zoom invitation to all current (2022) members a few days prior to 02/25/2022. If you have not renewed for 2022, please click on this link to complete the renewal info and pay your dues:

Non -Members – If you are interested in joining us to see what we are all about, we will send you a Zoom Invitation for our Competition Night only. Please send your Name and Email address with the Subject line “Zoom Invite Needed for MEETING on (appropriate date)” to so we can get the invitation to you.

We are all fascinated by the night sky, so sit back and see some beautiful images of the night sky! Jim and Barry will be happy to answer any of your questions. We will be recording this presentation so please just watch, don’t take notes! You can go back and review it as many times as you need.

This presentation is to get you ready for a possible special TBCC outing later this year! So listen, enjoy, and learn about astrophotography.

Hope to see you at our Competition Night on Feb 18th and for this Education Night on February 25th.

Lynn Wiezycki, TBCC Pres

M31 Galaxy by Barry Ollikkala (this is advanced astrophotography using stacking – maybe a subject for a future Education Night)

Are You Ready for an Outing? Our next one is Saturday, February 26, 2022 at Circle B Bar Reserve, Lakeland, FL


Your Invitation

Our next in-person outing will be Saturday, February 26th at 8AM at the amazing Circle B Bar Reserve in Polk County. (Google Map Below)

Please join us as we explore the trails along the waterways of Circle B. This county water management area/education center is one of the premier birding locations in Florida. There are a number of species of birds that can be found here all year round but at this time of the year, the migratory birds are coming through so you never know what you will see.

There is also other non-bird wildlife such as alligators (Circle B is too famous for its gators), otters, bobcats, rabbits, insects, snakes, turtles, lizards, and who knows what else. There are a lot of people as well!

What to Expect (Maybe)

So, normally, there is a lot of walking but you can find a likely spot not too far from the parking lot and take a seat and see what comes your way OR walk the various trails to see what you can find. I usually do a combination of both. I am much more inclined to stop and take in everything these days. I have often stopped for a landscape shot, a common bird doing a behavior, or to just rehydrate and suddenly some unusual critter comes by or appears out of the water or does something spectacular! I try to always be ready to shoot one of my cameras. Oh yes, I carry 2 cameras, one with the 200-500mm lens and the other with a wide-angle lens. Sometimes that wide-angle is on my infrared converted camera.

Landscapes are possible here with my favorites being made when there are clouds in the sky.

Disclaimer: Since we are dealing with unknown weather and very unpredictable critters we cannot guarantee anything except a fun time with your fellow TBCC members, a little Circle B-oriented education, and MAYBE some awesome images!

What to Bring

I would recommend that you bring your longest lens and a teleconverter to get even more reach. Also, bring a wide-angle lens for landscape shots. If you have one of the zoom lenses that go from 28-300mm or more, that will work! If you just want to “see” the critters, bring a pair of binoculars.

Put on some sunblock, wear a hat, bring some water and bug spray in case it is warmer that morning. Bring a lightweight stool or chair if you want to stay at one spot. If it rains, we will wait it out and take a shorter walk.

Getting the Most Out of the Outing

While you are walking through Circle B, please be mindful and try to take in as much as you can. I usually visit this place by myself so I can be totally in the moment, not thinking about anything else but looking for something interesting to make an image of. We don’t have epic landscapes here but you can still approach what we do using the ideas and principles that Colleen Miniuk and some of our other presenters have enlightened us with.

The (Tentative) Schedule

Drive to the parking lots that are adjacent to the Education Center. We will meet at the pavilion near the PortaPotties at the edge of the center back parking lot at 8 AM. We will spend a few minutes talking about Circle B and reviewing what we will be doing. We will be spending a couple of hours as a group on this outing. If you want to stay longer or come earlier you are certainly welcome to do that!

Let’s Do This!

I hope to see many of you at this outing! We have to fit in as many outdoor outings as we can before it gets too hot and buggy!

If you have any questions, let me know. Please Email me at

Lynn W

Map to Circle B Bar Reserve

Map of the Circle B Trails