We choose to do this, and do the other things,not because they are easy, but because they are hard.

Some types of astrophotography are easier to do than others. Narrowband work is one of the tricker things. Why do we do narrowband astronomy?

The simplest type of astrophotography probably starts with laying a camera flat on its back and taking a long exposure of the sky as it passes across. This produces a pretty pictures of star trails with probably some hint of the constellation shapes in amongst the streaks. Soon the astronomer will progress and put the camera on a tripod and angle the lens to point at the pole star so the trails are centred around a pleasing hub.

Before he knows it , a telescope and a mount are added and a whole range of interesting worlds open up. All astrophotographers head off down different paths at this point. Some do planetary world (strange people) and some do widefield RGB work. One route the claims a fair few victims is Narrowband imaging. This avenue needs long exposures, perfect guiding and very very long integrations. The rewards are huge: Light pollution becomes a non issue. Boring images are a thing of the past, wonderful structures are revealed in a range of jangling colour palettes.

Narrowband astronomy is very difficult. The guiding and so forth must be perfect. The CCD cameras are not at their most sensitive in the deep red end of the spectrum where a lot of this work is done. So few photons are captured that any flaw or problem in the equipment or camera are quick to ruin an image.

The integration times must be huge. The tiny singles require many hours of integration time. With some types of astrophotograhy, you can turn out a couple of images on a clear night, but with narrowband, it is quite easy to spend 3 or 6 or even more nights patiently collecting photons to produce one masterpiece.

We do narrowband imaging because it is so very difficult. Once you get it right the results are staggering.