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Astrophotography and Sketching >> Sketching

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Chopin
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Reged: 02/03/05

Loc: In the doghouse.
Jupiter 2012 12 04
      #5553596 - 12/04/12 09:09 AM

Yesterday the CSC showed both average seeing and zero cloud cover which would potentially continue until later this morning. Fail on both counts. The seeing just didn't want to cooperate with me last night on Jove. Likewise, waking up early this morning was futile, as my confrontation with the ringed planet was staved off by unyielding cloud cover. Saturn will wait for another day. Despite the atmosphere's lack of reciprocity I gave last night's Jupiter observation my best efforts, and decided to make "lemonade" out of the turbulent mess.

I began last evening by setting up the scope, just after sunset. This would give plenty of time for mirror "cool down", while also giving an allotment for equatorial alignment. I currently run my 110mm newt on an old Meade Starfinder GEM. The Starfinder (including 10" scope and original accessory box) was a $50 yard sale steal a few years back, and provides a fairly hefty mount for anything lighter than 25 lbs. Of course the adjustments are rather coarse, and there is no hand held controller nor AP friendly gear accuracy. But it tracks, and it was cheap...nuff said. So I spent a free hour last night aligning the mount (for the first time) to offer as little drift as possible. By the time I was finished leveling and shifting the pier, adjusting the EQ angle, and playing "trombone" with the counter weights, I could successfully keep my planet within the inner ring of my 100x illuminated reticle eyepiece for 10 minutes. Good enough for this bloke!

Once I finished puttering with the mount the skies had lazily shifted from A-V to A-IV. As I began sketching it became obvious that conditions were typical for this area. Unlike past sporadic sessions in such skies, however, was my ability to actually see things. I wouldn't accuse my details to be a revelation, although I can't say that I've ever recorded as much with such poor atmosphere between me and my subject. For that alone I was happy. Where more of my enthusiasm came from last night was my perception of colors. Given several recent discussions here in the sketching forum, I made an increased effort to concentrate on those hues, so delicately revealed in my 4" instrument. For the first time I saw a bluish-gray in the festoons. And once I witness the distinctly cool color the warmth of the other features became relatively more apparent. The equatorial band took on a hazelnut appearance, while the NTB offered a slight reddness, akin to chestnuts. The polar regions, along with the NTropZ glowed gently with what I would refer to as "eggnog". My old 12" dob (now in boxes awaiting a rebuild) could easily catch such pigments. It was, however, soulfully stimulating to decode such variations in my 4" for the first time. I appreciate the remarks form others suggesting that I should be able to see such variances with a smaller objective. I don't believe Jupiter will ever look monochrome to me again.

Regarding the details, I often feel uncertain about recording a number of features. But like I've said before, if I see it more than once I sketch it. The dark area in the NEB was confusing to me. It certainly could have been a play of contrast near the limb with poor seeing. So after verifying it over and over I penciled it in.

One last journal entry: this was my first sketch with new pencils. I have been frustrated with the limitations of the No. 2 pencil I have been using. In response to said frustrations I imposed on the drawing section of my local art and craft store. Once I finished amusing myself with the numerous levels of graphite hardness, I procured a trio of pencils befitting to my hand pressure style which, in theory, should improve my gradation in the field. I don't think this image does justice to demonstrate how much nicer it was to actually draw.

Enough of my rambling.


110mm Newtonian reflector
7mm Faworski Abbe ortho @ 129x
Seeing Antoniadi IV with possible moments of III
Transparency average



Edited because I initially marked "N" at the southern pole. New image shown.

Edited by Chopin (12/04/12 09:46 AM)


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frank5817
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Re: Jupiter 2012 12 04 new [Re: Chopin]
      #5553732 - 12/04/12 10:45 AM

Jason,

A fine looking sketch of Jupiter showing all the basic features and great looking festoons. I have not seen them in their true color this go around but I'm still trying.
Wonderful.

Frank


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Asbytec
Guy in a furry hat
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Reged: 08/08/07

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Re: Jupiter 2012 12 04 new [Re: frank5817]
      #5553759 - 12/04/12 11:02 AM

Jason, scrolling down the page, my heart sunk. You capture the moment beautifully.

My goodness, those darker caps along the NTB are amazing. I wish I had that view. The tawny NTropZ is spot on. And the festoons, well, I really like the way you present them.

I see you still have those stray pencil marks every where. Don't get me wrong, they do not detract from the view. I think they might be your signature.

So, how did the easel work out?

Been thinking about sketching, recently. You know, the art work is nice and beautiful. It's like a photo, really, it captures a moment beautifully. But, the point is, it captures the moment. It speaks to you with a silent voice. It's a voice we all have heard when we've seen Jupiter dressed in all her glory. That's the power of art, a common unspoken understanding of something wonderful. We all share it and experience it in our own way. It's that something wonderful, that moment sketching allows us to share.

Well done. I like this one because I can relate to it. Problem is, it's too good. I forgot to read your write up. Doing that now.


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Chopin
Canis Insanus
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Reged: 02/03/05

Loc: In the doghouse.
Re: Jupiter 2012 12 04 new [Re: Asbytec]
      #5553776 - 12/04/12 11:18 AM

Frank, thank you. I was fairly happy with this one, given the sky conditions.

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Chopin
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Re: Jupiter 2012 12 04 new [Re: Asbytec]
      #5553779 - 12/04/12 11:20 AM

Norme, you're actually planning on reading that seemingly endless memoir? Just be forewarned, it's 5 minutes of time you'll never get back.

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Asbytec
Guy in a furry hat
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Re: Jupiter 2012 12 04 new [Re: Chopin]
      #5553863 - 12/04/12 12:15 PM

I guess I better enjoy it, then.

Just getting back to it, got side tracked on a difficult discussion on resolution. Whew.


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Asbytec
Guy in a furry hat
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Reged: 08/08/07

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Re: Jupiter 2012 12 04 new [Re: Asbytec]
      #5553884 - 12/04/12 12:27 PM

Quote:

...eyepiece for 10 minutes.




What a luxury, and with an easel? You make this out to be easy or something. Clip board an un-driven (ie low carbon foot print and no reliance on unreliable grid.) That's work, uphill both ways.

Quote:

...my enthusiasm came from last night was my perception of colors.




If we were in the locker room, you'd get an crisp slap on the butt for that one. Well done.

Quote:

...The dark area in the NEB was confusing to me.




There are some up there, not sure what CM. See it, sketch it. You know, there was a very faint filament I glimpsed in the NEB. I KNOW I saw it, so it got sketched. It was amazing to find an image actually showing it. That was gratifying.

Thanks for posting.


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Chopin
Canis Insanus
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Reged: 02/03/05

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Re: Jupiter 2012 12 04 new [Re: Asbytec]
      #5553912 - 12/04/12 12:45 PM

Norme, the Starfinder mount is awesome for what it is. Reliable, if not perfect, visual friendly tracking. But best of all is that it runs off of 8x internal AA batteries. No wires. I've now used the mount maybe a dozen (?) times at an hour or two per clip since changing the cells last winter. I can't complain.

Thanks for trudging through the post. I tend to meander a bit as I write, so I imagine how difficult it must be to read my thoughts from the outside.

Yes, sketching is always powdered with some layer of guess work. In A-IV that means larger features like barges, festoons and ovals. In A-I it means pushing the limit into fine filamentary gradations and cloud swirls within the bands themselves. I think this is just starting to get really interesting for me.

As for my sketchy style with the visible pencil marks, I have only decided to post "as is" because of the honest appearance. I appreciate that you, and others, seem to enjoy that it is becoming my signature style. Believe me, I'd prefer to redraw the images at the kitchen table to present a more finished product. I am a bit "OCD-like" in many aspects of my life. I just think there are times that I allow myself to let loose. This is one of them.


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niteskystargazer
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Reged: 10/05/09

Loc: 41-43'-28" N 87-42'-39" W
Re: Jupiter 2012 12 04 new [Re: Chopin]
      #5554330 - 12/04/12 05:38 PM

Jason,

Good sketch of Jupiter .

CS,KLU,

,

Tom


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Asbytec
Guy in a furry hat
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Reged: 08/08/07

Loc: La Union, PI
Re: Jupiter 2012 12 04 new [Re: niteskystargazer]
      #5554628 - 12/04/12 08:51 PM

There are few more anal than myself. Probably to a fault. If it's not perfect, it get's trashed and I hit the shower to scrub down. You know, digital allows one to kind of back track and remove something that did not turn out just right, or close enough for excessively anal standards. But, you are developing a method that works, and not reading your thread violates anal protocol.

Absolutely, when better seeing is more prevalent one can easily fill up a sketch with this or that minute, fleeting feature. That's work, especially for those of us who have to squeeze everything possible from the view. This is what makes lunar sketching so difficult. There's so much, it overwhelms the observer inflicted with OCD. Never time to scrub your hands enough, or put the lens cap on and off several times while observing. (kidding.)

So, where was this going? Dunno, better delete and rewrite it to stay on topic. Just chatting, though.


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Special Ed
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Re: Jupiter 2012 12 04 new [Re: niteskystargazer]
      #5554649 - 12/04/12 09:09 PM

Nice work, Jason. The main thing is to sketch what you see with the seeing, magnification, and aperture at that moment and you've done that with this honest and well rendered drawing.

We use the best telescope we have for the job at hand--if it is not suitable for planetary observing, don't use it. My 4.25" short focal length reflector is very much not suited for observing planets and I never put it to that task. It is great for wide field views of comets so I generally reserve it for that purpose. Your scopes seem well suited for observiing planets.

As far as pencils--I think less is more. The 2B has a very wide range depending on how hard you press or how many layers of graphite you want to put on. The HB is useful for very light shading or outlining. 4B, 6B. or 9B can be useful if you're trying to show *really* dark features compared to other features.

Observing colors on Jupiter (and the other planets) seems to be very subjective--subject to the functions of the observer's visual color acuity, seeing conditions, and aperture. One observing session may not be as good as the next. The key seems to be to get in as many sessions as you can. Of course, that varies depending on your situation since we're amateurs.

Remember: the root definition of "amateur" means --"for the love of it".

Edited by Special Ed (12/04/12 09:17 PM)


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Asbytec
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Re: Jupiter 2012 12 04 new [Re: Special Ed]
      #5554749 - 12/04/12 10:13 PM

Quote:

Observing colors on Jupiter (and the other planets) seems to be very subjective--subject to the functions of the observer's visual color acuity, seeing conditions, and aperture. One observing session may not be as good as the next.




Yes, great point. That certainly rings true in experience. Sometimes I wonder if seeing affects color. Seeing does aberrate the incoming wavefront giving a less than perfect final image, but it does not change the frequency of the light (to my knowledge.) However, if the image is more mushy, maybe the saturation falls off dramatically, too.

Often we hear light pollution does not affect planets. No proof to the contrary, but some thoughts on that. It did seem when the moon was near Jupiter recently, color was a bit more difficult. I think this has to do with signal to noise ratio, with Jupiter's signal being made more noisy with stray photons (noise) from the moon scattered by the atmosphere. When the SNR falls off, resolution is lost, as I understand the concept. Maybe most of those photons were blue, so not sure how that would play over the entire spectrum. Just thoughts. But, sure, no doubt conditions do play a role.

The other trick is, IMO, to understand what seeing color feels like. It's certainly much harder to see than the florescent green of an emergency vehicle. It won't jump out at you, but Tawney is distinct from gray even at low saturation. I didn't read that anywhere, it just kind of hit me - for what that's worth.

There is a contrast test one can take (wish I had the link) where one puts soft colors in order of hue and saturation, like varying shades of pink merging into varying shades shades of purple or something similar. Most people can do pretty well on it. It's easy to separate the distinctly pink from the distinctly purple, but more difficult to distinguish between close shades of one color. It's interesting where the colors transition softly from one to the other, it can be done.

Interesting stuff, the amateur love of it all.

Edit: Here it is.
http://www.xrite.com/custom_page.aspx?PageID=77

And another more sensitive test:
http://snook.ca/technical/colour_contrast/colour.html

Edited by Asbytec (12/04/12 11:05 PM)


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Chopin
Canis Insanus
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Reged: 02/03/05

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Re: Jupiter 2012 12 04 new [Re: Special Ed]
      #5554826 - 12/04/12 11:11 PM

Thanks, Ed. I like how you bring "amateur" back into this equation. It's an important point to make, and one that I admittedly need reminding of myself on occasion. As a self accused perfectionist I often wrap myself up in accuracy of the sketch. But honestly I believe many of us simply enjoy seeing the artistic representations of others. Yet through our unique differences we may feel a sense of connection with remaining similarities. Even more so we can relate to each others stories at the eyepiece, with issues or emotions we've all had. Yes, indeed, for the love of it.

BTW, I never did divulge my pencil preference, but I tend to have a heavy hand, especially in the dark I have found. So I find a 5H works well for me when placing major structures. I follow up with an 8H for the subtle features, and an HB for darker regions. One thing I am considering is a paper with more tooth. The great thing about this is that I do it for myself, so experimentation is always in order.


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Chopin
Canis Insanus
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Reged: 02/03/05

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Re: Jupiter 2012 12 04 new [Re: Chopin]
      #5554846 - 12/04/12 11:20 PM

Norme, very interesting post regarding colors. I agree that subtle hues can be picked up, even at lower contrast. I suppose much of seeing it is learning to recognize it, as I'm now starting to realize.

Of course I'm at work right now and those links don't play nicely with my phone. I want very much to test myself. I'll give it a go when I get home in the morning.


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Dean Norris
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Re: Jupiter 2012 12 04 new [Re: Chopin]
      #5555882 - 12/05/12 03:43 PM

Jason,

Great sketch of Jupiter. The bluish festoons, the dark brownish red barge, and the yellowish NTrz are all beautiful colors well rendered.

Thanks for posting. Dean


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JimPie
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Reged: 11/10/07

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Re: Jupiter 2012 12 04 new [Re: Dean Norris]
      #5556738 - 12/06/12 12:50 AM

Jason.
Very nice capture of Jupiter.


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stray1
sage


Reged: 09/03/12

Loc: SW Ohio
Re: Jupiter 2012 12 04 new [Re: Chopin]
      #5556889 - 12/06/12 04:47 AM

Jason,

I want to draw pictures like yours when I grow up.

It is art!



-stray-

Ps--your "stray" pencil marks add nothing to but character to your work, ya bloke.


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Chopin
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Re: Jupiter 2012 12 04 new [Re: stray1]
      #5557164 - 12/06/12 09:51 AM

Jim, thank you.

Mark, don't ever grow up. I gander it will be best to die young. And thanks. I think those lazy hatching marks come from my far past teenage years of comic book style illustrations. I believe they are now part of my "finger memory".


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Chopin
Canis Insanus
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Re: Jupiter 2012 12 04 new [Re: Asbytec]
      #5557198 - 12/06/12 10:12 AM

Quote:

There is a contrast test one can take (wish I had the link) where one puts soft colors in order of hue and saturation, like varying shades of pink merging into varying shades shades of purple or something similar. Most people can do pretty well on it. It's easy to separate the distinctly pink from the distinctly purple, but more difficult to distinguish between close shades of one color. It's interesting where the colors transition softly from one to the other, it can be done.

Interesting stuff, the amateur love of it all.

Edit: Here it is.
http://www.xrite.com/custom_page.aspx?PageID=77




I scored a "12". Not bad, I guess.


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Asbytec
Guy in a furry hat
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Re: Jupiter 2012 12 04 new [Re: Chopin]
      #5557207 - 12/06/12 10:16 AM

Forgot what I scored, gotta redo it and see. But, I think a low score from 0 to 100 is very good.

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azure1961p
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Re: Jupiter 2012 12 04 new [Re: Asbytec]
      #5558556 - 12/07/12 12:31 AM

Jason,

It's clean and smooth with a very close match on hues. Very nice bright image. That you got that with a newt half my reflectors size is wild. This is a very pleasing rendering .

Pete


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astronz59
sage


Reged: 09/15/10

Loc: Auckland, New Zealand
Re: Jupiter 2012 12 04 new [Re: Chopin]
      #5560415 - 12/08/12 05:22 AM

Jason, another great triumph for patience, keen eyesight and modest equipment! I like the festoons a lot!!

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stray1
sage


Reged: 09/03/12

Loc: SW Ohio
Re: Jupiter 2012 12 04 new [Re: Chopin]
      #5563508 - 12/10/12 03:06 AM

Quote:

I think those lazy hatching marks come from my far past teenage years of comic book style illustrations. I believe they are now part of my "finger memory".




I thought that style looked familiar. I used to do some "comic bookin' " too...way back in the day. Now, if I can only get my fingers to remember...



-stray-


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