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Astrophotography and Sketching >> Astro Imaging/Sketching Contest

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Charlie HeinAdministrator
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Re: Imaging/Sketching Contest Discussion new [Re: SL63 AMG]
      #4852765 - 10/09/11 08:33 PM

Quote:

No matter what decision you arrive upon, one thing is for certain. Operating from a fixed observatory, whether remote or at your house, is a huge advantage over setting up a "portable" system, whether in your driveway, or at a remote dark site.

In my opinion, if there is any distinction in categories, it should be between permanent and portable imaging, rather than remote and local imaging.

Dave




Dave,

I was reading through the thread again just to keep things fresh in my mind, and this is a good enough point to repeat just so that we don't forget about it. Thanks for bringing it up.

Charlie


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Nebhunter
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Reged: 10/04/03

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Re: Imaging/Sketching Contest Discussion new [Re: Charlie Hein]
      #4852828 - 10/09/11 09:06 PM

I've managed thru some connections to book some time on the 70" mirror. lol And I'm not kidding. Would that qualify as remote?

If you notice - or give a flying pickle - that the film guys rarely bother to enter the contest. If it's 35mm - it can fit the old guidelines. But to those who use the full potential of the medium and large format cameras it's just not worth the effort once you seen the compressed image. The new guidelines will help - but still not much help unless we crop out 60% of the image - or more.

I just do not understand why a link cannot be used to a webpage where the image can be displayed in hi rez and full size? Simple, and use CN to post the comments and thumbnail.


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Charlie HeinAdministrator
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Re: Imaging/Sketching Contest Discussion new [Re: Nebhunter]
      #4852857 - 10/09/11 09:19 PM

Quote:

I've managed thru some connections to book some time on the 70" mirror. lol And I'm not kidding. Would that qualify as remote?

If you notice - or give a flying pickle - that the film guys rarely bother to enter the contest. If it's 35mm - it can fit the old guidelines. But to those who use the full potential of the medium and large format cameras it's just not worth the effort once you seen the compressed image. The new guidelines will help - but still not much help unless we crop out 60% of the image - or more.

I just do not understand why a link cannot be used to a webpage where the image can be displayed in hi rez and full size? Simple, and use CN to post the comments and thumbnail.




I can't really remember why it was voted to specifically disallow links to the "full size" version of an image. This happened several years ago. If I had to speculate I'd say that the thought was that it would level the playing field a bit if everyone was constrained to the same dimensions. That's why I'd really like for those folks who raised the issue originally to chime in. It could be that they feel the same way and can remind me why it was important. It could be that it doesn't matter as much to them now. Could be that the prevailing view wants the rule changed (that's what I'm seeing right now). In any case, it would be good to hear from someone who disagrees with removing the rule restricting links to full size versions of entries.

For the record, I am keenly aware of the situation in Film Astrophotography. I'd like nothing better than to have more participation from you guys.

Charlie


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ldesign1
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Re: Imaging/Sketching Contest Discussion new [Re: Charlie Hein]
      #4852947 - 10/09/11 10:10 PM

Quote:

No matter what decision you arrive upon, one thing is for certain. Operating from a fixed observatory, whether remote or at your house, is a huge advantage over setting up a "portable" system, whether in your driveway, or at a remote dark site.

In my opinion, if there is any distinction in categories, it should be between permanent and portable imaging, rather than remote and local imaging.

Dave




I don't think that the portable vs. fixed is a fair way to go either. I'm one of those few amateur astrophotographers that work 3rd shift six days a week, while most of you are out imaging. That leaves me Saturday to attempt a full night imaging session (weather permitting). We all know that an entire month can go buy without a clear weekend. Therefore, when I know that there will be a clear night, I rush home after work to catch the last hour or two, at most, before twilight, to do some imaging. That is why built a backyard observatory. Otherwise, the only hours I have to image during the week would be spent on setting up.

I consider myself to own a modest set of equipment which I have acquired over a 17 year period by trading up every so many years. Eventually I'll own dream equipment but until then, I make do with what I have. It's a slow climb up but I am learning a lot every day that passes. Every year, I review the previous years images and notice how much I've improved in both processing skills and imaging techniques. Though I'm not winning the contest every month, I always believe that I have an equal chance. Those of you who are really good, live under perfectly dark skies and enjoy exceptionally clear skies 6 days a week can only win three times before you are move up to higher level. Leaving the beginner contest to those who are still progressing.

So I think it's fair enough the way it is set up. I do like the idea of a larger file size limit. As far as link to a higher resolution image, I thought we've been doing that already. Am I missing something? "CLICKABLE LINK"

Quote:


3. Images to be considered for entry to the Challenge must be limited to a maximum of 100k in file size, a maximum of 800 pixels square. Entrants may elect to set this "entry image" up as a "clickable link" to a higher resolution image if they so desire, and entrants may also elect to instead provide a separate link to such an image if they so choose. If the entrant provides a legally sized and working "clickable link" as their "entry image", that "clickable link" will be included in the polling thread so that voters can examine the high resolution image before voting. However, any "entry images" displayed on the CN site that do not meet the file size and pixel dimension requirements stated above will subject the entry to disqualification. Any questions on this rule? Just ask.




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Charlie HeinAdministrator
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Re: Imaging/Sketching Contest Discussion new [Re: ldesign1]
      #4852956 - 10/09/11 10:16 PM

Hi Ralph. For the Challenges, links are allowed. For the site wide imaging/sketching contest, they're specifically forbidden by rule #7:

Quote:

7. In order to provide a level playing field, links to any other versions of contest entries are specifically restricted and will subject the entry to disqualification if included. It is the contestant's responsibility to ensure compliance with this restriction - although a moderator or administrator may alert a contestant to a possible problem in this area they are not bound to do so.




I definitely see your point about fixed vs. portable setups. It helps to see these things from different perspectives.

Charlie


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Bill Snyder
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Re: Imaging/Sketching Contest Discussion new [Re: Charlie Hein]
      #4858557 - 10/13/11 12:00 AM

I'm all in favor of raising the limit for the images to 200K
Also allowing link to a high rez image from the winners circle.

As for rule 9
I have to say a lot of people could be looking at a remote observatory option due to light pollution etc. Most remotes are owned by more that one individual, or have some kind of partnership involved. A remote site with good skies could produce more data than one person can process by themselves.
I'm all for adjustment of rule #9. I don't believe the pay for play should be allowed, I think you should still have to operate the equipment. A remote defiently has it's advantages,But when there is a problem... it's not in your backyard, it could be 3000 miles away:-)
Bill


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lacomj
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Re: Imaging/Sketching Contest Discussion new [Re: Bill Snyder]
      #4858967 - 10/13/11 10:26 AM

It seems that the issue of remote observatories is a bit complicated. Not all observatory operations are equal. Remoteness isn't the issue...the issue that we seem to be agreeing on is that the entrant should have a non-trivial amount of setup and operation of the observatory equipment.

If I buy into an existing co-op and don't have much to do with the assembly, maintenance and upkeep of a shared facility (just log in and use it), how is that any different than a Pay-for-Play service (which so far, there appears to be a consensus as being "too much")?

It seems that the criteria should be phrased in language that remote observatories are acceptable if the entrant plays a meaningful part in the maintenance/upkeep/operation of the equipment.


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zerro1
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Re: Imaging/Sketching Contest Discussion new [Re: lacomj]
      #4859050 - 10/13/11 11:17 AM

Quote:

remote observatories are acceptable if the entrant plays a meaningful part in the maintenance/upkeep/operation of the equipment




but there is always another consideration:

I feel that "physical limitations" must be thought of as an example of extenuating circumstance's.

I just think this needs to be kept in the dialog and be part of any rule changes...


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Jared
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Re: Imaging/Sketching Contest Discussion new [Re: Charlie Hein]
      #4861080 - 10/14/11 03:35 PM

Glad that we have the rules change for the file size limit.

As far as rule #9, I don't see a problem with allowing remote observatories that were setup by a third party or a partner. Frankly, anyone with a remote observatory (either wholly or partially owned) is likely to already be competent to setup and polar align a scope, so they aren't really gaining a competitive advantage because a third party took care of this part of the process. If they aren't gaining an advantage from the fact that someone else did the setup, why restrict them? This would be true for someone with physical disabilities as well.

I would recommend we keep the requirement that the equipment be owned by the contestant, but would remove any restrictions regarding setup. Data should still be acquired and processed by one person. Rent a scopes and club scopes should continue to be prohibited.


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Don66
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Re: Imaging/Sketching Contest Discussion new [Re: Jared]
      #4863885 - 10/16/11 10:06 AM

I'll jump in regarding the Rule #9 change. Due to injuries/disability from Iraq, I am not able to physically set up even my modest system. I have to have friends come over just to switch out OTAs. As the observatory becomes closer to reality, I will be doing none of the work on it. I will however be the one designing every part of it. Once a new (Goto) mount is acquired, someone else will be installing it on the pier, and turning the knobs as I direct for polar alignment. I have chosen not to participate in the contests due to this factor. It would be nice to be able to.

Regarding the file sizes and which version of the image is used for judging, I feel that the full-resolution image should be the one judged. I can absolutely hide a multitude of sins when I reduce to 800x800 px and 200k. Shoot, I do that on marginal images when a family member wants a print to make them look much better than what the image really holds...
My $.02


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avdhoeven
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Re: Imaging/Sketching Contest Discussion new [Re: Don66]
      #4867667 - 10/18/11 12:16 PM

I would like to make a stand for larger images or linked images. For example I will never submit one of my solar images at this moment because when I reduce them to 800x800 they will loose all granulation, so it becomes a big white bal. I think that should not be the goal of this rule.... I understand the idea to make equal competition, but make than a limit of 2000x2000 and 500k or so, so that more is possible...

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Charlie HeinAdministrator
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Re: Imaging/Sketching Contest Discussion new [Re: avdhoeven]
      #4871669 - 10/20/11 08:13 PM

Andre: Please have a look at the new site wide image posting policy. With this new technology in place, the end users themselves can now control the dimensions of the images they see on CN, so we no longer need to enforce a dimensional limit. You can go into your display preferences in "My Home" and remove any limitations in image dimensions or set your personal preference as you like.

However, we are still enforcing a 200 KB maximum file size limit (on a trial basis) for the reasons discussed in this earlier post. Because of these real usability issues it is pretty unlikely that we'll see a half megabyte limit on CN any time soon.

It bears noting that since the end user now gets to set the dimensions of the image they see (with a default of 800px on the longest axis), it may not matter what size your image is in actuality. Your entry could well be judged on the way it looks on the user's screen. This is another argument in favor of allowing links to "full size" versions of an entry. If links to "full size" versions are allowed in the contest then instead of the end user needing to go back into their display preferences to remove the scaling factor, they can simply click the link to launch a full sized version of the image that is not governed by the display preferences.

Charlie


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lacomj
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Re: Imaging/Sketching Contest Discussion new [Re: Charlie Hein]
      #4876414 - 10/23/11 06:50 PM

Food for thought...
Why is there a rule that says we must own the equipment we are using? What about those who use or borrow their club's equipment, or borrow a scope or camera from a friend (for example)? It seems that so many of the rules are arbitrary. What is the intent behind them? Are we trying to prevent entries from people who aren't "serious enough" to buy their own equipment (rhetorical)?

The more I think about this, the more I think most of the rules should be scrapped for the site-wide contest, and just let the best images win? The images should be both captured and processed by the entrant, but where the equipment is located, who owns it, or whether they rented time on a scope really seems far less relevant when we are actually looking for the best image site-wide.

Just a few thoughts.


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tjensen
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Re: Imaging/Sketching Contest Discussion new [Re: rigel123]
      #4889915 - 10/31/11 08:41 AM

I don't like the idea of external links. Images to be judged should be the same dimensional size... upping the file size to 200 Kb is great though. 800x800 pixels is plenty big to judge. External links to show off the winner would be fine.

Definitely no pay by the hour online observatories. If the owner has been able to set up a remote observatory, then more power to him/her. I have a friend that has $65000 invested in astrophotography equipment. I don't have that kind of money. But it isn't the equipment... it's the skill you apply to it. I think the idea is to get the most out of what you have... and have fun doing it. If anything... subcatagories could be added... so the 2" Tasco isn't competing with the 16" RC.
Let's not get too caught up in the "competition side" Let's have fun, learn from each other, and enjoy each others work


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PGW Steve
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Re: Imaging/Sketching Contest Discussion new [Re: Don66]
      #4907553 - 11/09/11 09:42 PM

Quote:

I'll jump in regarding the Rule #9 change. Due to injuries/disability from Iraq, I am not able to physically set up even my modest system. I have to have friends come over just to switch out OTAs. As the observatory becomes closer to reality, I will be doing none of the work on it. I will however be the one designing every part of it. Once a new (Goto) mount is acquired, someone else will be installing it on the pier, and turning the knobs as I direct for polar alignment. I have chosen not to participate in the contests due to this factor. It would be nice to be able to.





Thank you for your service I don't believe the rule should in any way prevent you from participating. I don't think there is an imager on here that wouldn't be honoured to come in second to you.


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Charlie HeinAdministrator
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Re: Imaging/Sketching Contest Discussion new [Re: PGW Steve]
      #4922270 - 11/18/11 09:17 AM

Okay folks, based on this discussion I think that it's time to put three rule changes to a vote...

  • Strike Rule number 7 altogether and allow links to "full size" versions of the entry in this contest.
  • Change Rule number 9 as follows: "You must be the owner or co-owner and sole operator of the equipment used to create the image/sketch. Doesn't matter what it is. 20" RC, ETX70, 2" Tasco or an 8" TMB. (ADD: Doesn't matter if the equipment is local to your location or remotely operated. No images from club owned equipment will be allowed.) No pay by the hour rent-a-scope images will be allowed."
  • Change Rule number 10 as follows:"Entries must represent the work of a single individual. You must (REMOVE: setup and) operate all equipment yourself, capture all exposures (or perform any sketching) yourself and process the resulting entry yourself."


At this point the floor is certainly open to further discussion. I'm particularly interested in tweaking the wording and nailing down the intent of these changes before putting each change to a vote. If you are just coming into the conversation, please take a moment to review the comments that have been made so far.

In order to move this along (for example, the discussion on the rule change on remote operation has been out there for a few months now and I would really like to have the revised rules in place for the December submissions) I'm going to close the window for additional comments on Monday, 11/21 and post the polls based on what we have then. The polls will run for three days (ending on 11/24 at midnight ET) in order to give us some time to hold a run-off poll in the event of a tie in one or more of the polls. If run off(s) are necessary, they will run from 11/25 until 11/28 at midnight ET.

Charlie


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Jared
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Re: Imaging/Sketching Contest Discussion new [Re: Charlie Hein]
      #4922897 - 11/18/11 03:07 PM

I like it, Charlie. Takes care of situations where someone is physically not able to setup a scope. Allows people to present their work at its best (with the links). And allows remote observatories (for those lucky enough to have them).

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Charlie HeinAdministrator
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Re: Imaging/Sketching Contest Discussion new [Re: Jared]
      #4923920 - 11/19/11 07:36 AM

I'm on board for most of the changes personally, but I'm not sure that I'm a fan of restricting images from club owned equipment. We allow folks who are "co owners" of equipment to submit images, this is in the rules already. This allows families and folks who are "co-op" owners of a remote observatory (under the rule change) to participate. You could make the case that a member in good standing of a club could be considered a "co owner" of the equipment the club owns. I'd certainly support that viewpoint as I don't see how it gives the club member an advantage over any of the other folks who would be considered "co owners" of the equipment they use.

Charlie


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Charlie HeinAdministrator
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Re: Imaging/Sketching Contest Discussion new [Re: Charlie Hein]
      #4923929 - 11/19/11 07:46 AM

I just realized that with regard to rule #9, we have two changes to consider:

  • "Doesn't matter if the equipment is local to your location or remotely operated."
  • "No images from club owned equipment will be allowed."


These will be polled on separately. That makes a total of four "amendments" to the rules that we'll be addressing.

Charlie


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Charlie HeinAdministrator
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Re: Imaging/Sketching Contest Discussion new [Re: Charlie Hein]
      #4933998 - 11/25/11 10:01 AM

Hi Folks,

The results of the four amendment polls are:

Remove Rule #7 (allow links to full resolution versions of entries)? - YES

Allow Remote Operation? - NO

Disallow Use of Club Owned Equipment? - YES

Remove requirement for contestant setup? - NO

I will modify the rules accordingly. Thank you so much for your consideration and participation.


Charlie


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