Malaysian takes photos of planets using a smartphone

Malaysians are truly gifted souls who can oftentimes take people by surprise with their incredible talents and skills. Last month, we saw a Tiktoker go viral, winning the hearts of many for creating stunning portraits using hundreds of Rubik’s Cubes.

This time, another man is going viral on social media for taking photos of planets using a smartphone, something many of us could only dream of. He even spared the time to explain to The Smart Local Malaysia what it takes to create those photos.

Taking photos of planets Jupiter & Saturn

Smartphone and telescope photography
Image credit: Encik Li

On Monday 6th September 2021, netizen Encik Li who also goes by the name Muhammad Fadzli Sidi Omar posted pictures of his artwork capturing solar planets Jupiter and Saturn using his Redmi Note 10 smartphone and the Skywatcher Skymax telescope on the Facebook page Smartphone Photography Malaysia.

In the viral post which has garnered over 4,700 reactions and more than 1,500 shares, Fadzli said that with the help of today’s technology, a lot of things can be explored such as seeing solar planets from one’s own home.

Netizens left comments complimenting Fadzli’s works and at the same time, posted questions to know more about how he managed to get those photos. In an attempt to find out more about the process involved to produce these pictures, The Smart Local Malaysia reached out to Fadzli.

Speaking to us, the 35-year-old school teacher from Perak says he has just started this hobby two months ago out of passion and that he is still learning to improve his skills. He says the photos that he has taken are not obtained directly but are derived from video footage via a complicated process that takes up to three hours of editing and processing.

Man takes photo of solar planet Jupiter
Image credit: Encik Li

“We can’t simply take photos of planets because it’s not bright enough and we won’t get the details. So, we would record a video. I normally record a long video to get about 1,000 frames of the planets. I’d use a software called Autostakkert to convert the video into image files. Then, I’d use another software called Registax to get more details. From there, I will get one final image with all the details,” he explained.

Fadzli admits that a lot of people who responded to his post and messaged previously had assumed that the photos were taken directly using a smartphone and a telescope.

“Actually not many people know about processing. So, when people saw my post, some contacted me and when I explained the process to them, they were a little shocked,” he told The Smart Local Malaysia, adding that it took him about four months to study the technical details, types and pros and cons of telescopes before investing in one to pursue his hobby.

Fadzli also advises those who are interested in capturing photos of solar planets like him or planning to get a telescope, to really study it first before buying it as it may not be suitable for everyone given that it easily costs a thousand ringgit or more.

Shooting solar planets using a smartphone

Kudos to Fadzli for his incredible passion for taking photos of planets using smartphones. We hope his story will inspire fellow Malaysians to never be afraid to try something new in life. The technological advancements that we have now are indeed amazing.

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Cover image adapted from: Encik Li, Encik Li and Encik Li

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