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M42 with 17.5" from Sydney

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#1 maroubra_boy

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:49 AM

Hi all,

Tonight conditions were much cooler than a few days ago. And I was in for a big surprise. While I would have prefered to have sketched M42 from a dark site last new Moon, conditions weren't condusive to using much magnification. Even at low power, M42 from a dark site is a totally different beast than when viewed from home.

As the sketch progressed, seeing improved. To the point that not only was able to seen Trapezium E & F, but other component stars that are even fainter! Truely remarkable! While I've seen Trap' E & F before, tonight I could count a further 6 additional stars around the Trapezium.

The second attached image is a close up of the Trapezium.

Tonight I added tha circle of death to the sketch to give the piece a little more context on what I could see though the eyepiec.

Object: M42 & M43
Scope: 17.5" f/4.5 push-pull dob
Gear: 13mm modified Hyperion, 153X, OIII filter
Date: 15th Jan. 2013
Location: Sydney, Australia.
Media: Soft pastel, chacoal & white ink on A4 sized black paper
Time: Approx 2.5 hrs.

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#2 maroubra_boy

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:50 AM

Trapezium close-up:

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#3 JeanB

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 10:32 AM

Quite impressive, Alex. I like the details in the trapezium.

Jean

#4 Chopin

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 10:53 AM

Wow, I can't say I've ever put that much effort into the Trap before, but your results are incredible, Alex. Nor have ever spent 2.5 hours on a single sketch. That is a measure of perseverance. Beautiful sketch...even if accompanied by the "circle of death". :lol:

#5 rolandlinda3

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 11:59 AM

Nicely done and always a wonderful target.

#6 PeterDob

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:01 PM

Just beautiful!!! When I made my drawing of the "Sword of Orion" I could only distinguish 4 stars in the Trapezium, although I thought to have seen the E star. But as I wasn't sure I left it out. Then again, this was made at only 85x and on a humid night with mediocre seeing so probably that are the reasons why you saw the Trapezium's "little ones" and I didn't. Again, I must say that I admire how you succeed in making such realistic drawings just with ordinary pastels and charcoal, whereas I have to revert to digital tricks to get a more or less decent result. Hats off for that! :)

Cheers,

Peter

#7 Andrev

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 02:29 PM

Alex.

Wow, so amazing. This a real delight to look at your sketch. So much details and exactitude. Beautiful.

Congratulation my friend.

Andre.

#8 Ed D

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 03:38 PM

Alex, your sketch of M42 is upsidedown. :lol:

Seriously, your sketches are simply amazing and in a class of their own. The E and F stars are very nice. :bow:

Ed D

#9 niteskystargazer

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 05:02 PM

Alex,

Very nice sketch of M-42 & Trapezium :).

CS,KLU,

:thanx:,

Tom

#10 maroubra_boy

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:29 PM

even if accompanied by the "circle of death". :lol:


I STILL don't like it. Blasted thing cramped up M42, :mad:

I normally don't use it, so I find it difficult to scale my work to it. Oh, well.

Thanks all for your comments. One day, :rolling: , I'll get to do M42 from a dark site - it shows so much more detail & faint hints of colour, even some dusty brown in the dark pillar - well, to my eyes anyway.

#11 Aperturefever

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 11:39 PM

Geez mate you're on fire this new moon!
That LMC grab really shows how sketching improves your observing skills and how much you see. I really like how you've caught the mottling in M42-43 here. 2.5 hours from the backyard ... from a dark sight you'll be there all night! :grin:

#12 maroubra_boy

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 12:00 AM

2.5 hours from the backyard ... from a dark sight you'll be there all night! :grin:


Yeah, I know! :bigshock: :drool: :blackeye: :foreheadslap: :undecided: :dabomb: :yawn: :gottahurt: :bangbangbang:

#13 Jef De Wit

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 04:33 PM

:applause:

#14 frank5817

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 06:54 PM

Alex,

You continue to outdo yourself. Absolutely beautiful sketching. Picking up all those stars in addition to the usual 4 stars of the trapezium plus E and F is fantastic. A little darker site and you would have at least one more inside the trapezium. Excellent.

Frank :)

#15 JayinUT

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 01:14 AM

Alex,

You and Scott rescued me from the circle of death and I won't use it. I have found that by not using it I don't look for it at the eyepiece. I do strive to keep the distance but the circle I find limiting. Just had an idea. Perhaps I'll make a mask with a circle the right diameter and tape it down on the paper to maintain the circle without the horrid white line. Something to do tomorrow. It works with my oils and watercolors so it should here.

#16 astronz59

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 12:02 AM

Two words: BLOOMIN'GORGEOUS!!! :refractor: :applause:

#17 mike73

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 02:15 PM

Alex / Jay

Could you explain why you prefer not to use the 'circle of death'?

I've always thought that sketches look better without it but dont you think you need something showing the EP field stop in order to show some scale?

How about doing the circle in graphite pencil which would 'just' be visible?

Interested in your thoughts on this. :)

Mike

#18 JayinUT

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 12:10 AM

Mike,

I can't speak for Alex but I'll share my thoughts. First the Circle of Death I have found limits me as a sketcher. Scale is important, and yes, I try to keep scale, but with that circle in place I find I am more worried about the circle than about actually sketching and thus the sketching suffers. For a new sketcher learning techniques, I think they need to focus more on technique and mastering them rather than on perfect accuracy. The reality is of the couple of thousands of sketches I've made, most are for my enjoyment and to show me that I have actually improved in my sketching efforts.

I also find that even a thin line impacts the view of the sketch. I simply think the sketch looks better without the border. I did make my mask and will be posting it on my blog in the next several days. In addition I am going to make a couple of practice sketches with it to see if I like it.

Finally, this is my opinion. I think there are two views of sketching. One is where the sketcher really, really wants to be accurate for a study or some other project. Then a circle or a mask can be very helpful. You can see this in this link to Stephen Waldee's article on sketching the horsehead that I did (near the bottom). Here the circle helped me to create an accurate sketch. The other view is where a sketcher wants to capture an object, an observation and wants to objects to close in accuracy but it doesn't have to be perfect or even close. Here a sketcher doesn't have to use a circle and can focus on sketching and on the sketch itself. Often that leads to a greater enjoyment of the process. Sketches for contests, sketches for articles and such need to be as accurate as possible. Sketches to record an observation, an experience, a point at time at the telescope can be accurate, but often it is the experience that matters most. I do both and enjoy doing both and I personally believe if one really tries, without a border circle, one can still be really close in accuracy and it leads to a better view. As I mention, if I sketch without the border, I don't really notice the field stop and I focus on the object I am sketching and keeping it centered and for me, and only for me, I enjoy that experience a LOT more. I hope I answered your question while providing options for others to decide which way they like to sketch. I don't think there is a right way or a wrong way, there is a way that works for the sketcher.

My personal goal if this two and a half month weather pattern of clouds will ever clear up is to go after a few well known objects and then on my blog I'll post a comparison of true field of view and alignment of stars and of the object without a mask or border. I think that will be a very interesting study to do and I have to thank you for the idea.

Edit: I almost wonder if this shouldn't be its own thread as I don't want to distract from Alex's beautiful work.

#19 mike73

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 11:42 AM

Thanks Jay

That makes alot of sense and like you say I guess alot comes down to the reasons you sketch.
I'm going to give it a go without the circle and see what happens, I stick my hands up and admit that once or twice I have lost the scale in my sketches because I had to fit it all in that circle.
Will be interesting to see how the template idea goes, I'II keep an eye on your blog. ;)

Thanks again

#20 maroubra_boy

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:15 PM

First the Circle of Death I have found limits me as a sketcher. Scale is important, and yes, I try to keep scale, but with that circle in place I find I am more worried about the circle than about actually sketching and thus the sketching suffers.


This too is my primary thinking, Jay and Mike.

The above sketch is a victim to the "Circle of Death". The lower half nebulous extensions are cramped in order to get them to fit inside the circle to match the view in the EP. I started at the centre, but the scale is always challenged when doin a sketch freehand. A few more 'test' brush strokes may have solved this before the sketch became more solid, shall we say. But hind sight is a wonderful thing!

I normally don't use a circle, but there are occasions where it has its place.






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