151: Astrophotography Breakdown with Andrew McCarthy

April 22, 2021



He is literally shooting out of this world pictures, but still considers himself an amateur in astrophotography. Andrew McCarthy is an astrophotographer who has combined amazing skills with a lifelong passion to create truly awe-inspiring works of art.


Listen as he shares more about his process and what it takes to create his viral images. 


As long as he can remember Andrew has been fascinated with cosmic bodies. He remembers looking at the night sky through his father’s telescope and how much he loved seeing far off bodies become more and more clear. 


Then in 2017 the Great American Eclipse was set to happen and he knew he needed his own telescope to see it all. After trying to capture images with his iPhone and getting terrible results, he decided he wanted to know how it was possible to capture images in space. 


That curiosity led him down the path of learning all the intricacies of astrophotography. He recently had an image of the moon go viral that required layering over 50,000 images and a ton of time, but the result was incredible. 


He shares his gear, technique, and some of what he has learned about generating the clearest images in astrophotography. But more importantly, he shares how he’s set himself apart within and outside of his niche through targeted social media strategy. 


Andrew is anything but an amateur astrophotographer, but his belief in that status keeps him learning, keeps him growing, and keeps him creating wonderful images.


You definitely won’t want to miss out on his perspective of the craft.



In this episode: 

[01:31] Welcome Andrew McCarthy, a well respected astrophotographer.

[02:30] How he got started in astrophotography.

[05:10] Was he already into regular photography or did he start with space? 

[07:03] Andrew shares the differences between cosmic and standard photography.

[08:20] Why any movement near the camera is problematic. 

[10:46] Lucky imaging and why good software is required for astrophotography.

[11:57] Andrew breaks down his camera bag.

[16:44] How do long exposure times not result in super blurry images? 

[19:22] He shares how he makes money as an “amateur” astrophotographer. 

[24:23] Why his viral moon photograph required over 50k images.

[30:10] Andrew chats about getting over 100% engagement and why it’s important to get those likes. 

[32:02] How does he use Reddit in his social media strategy? 

[34:43] Listen as he shares his posting strategy for Reddit.

[38:32] What is his advice for people trying to start doing astrophotography? 

[43:31] Learn more about how you can take pictures of a galaxy.

[45:00] Andrew describes his stacking process for creating his work. 

[48:23] Does geography matter when you’re shooting the galaxy? 

[51:50] Connect with Andrew.


Links and Resources: 

PhotoPills App



Connect with Andrew: 

Andrew’s Website

Andrew on Instagram

Andrew on Twitter

Andrew on Patreon


Connect with Adam: 

Adam’s Website

Adam on Instagram

Adam on Facebook

The Bearded Tog on YouTube

The Bearded Tog Patreon Group