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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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Escher
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/30/07

Loc: Fenton, MI
Re: Anyone else abandon visual for AP? new [Re: careysub]
      #5720341 - 03/08/13 11:38 AM

Quote:


Unless you are quite wealthy and persistent any AP image you produce will be far inferior to the work of thousands of others, easily obtained over the web, and even those pale next to the work of professional instruments.




While I used to think the same thing as well, and while it is *technically* correct...

For me - even though my images may not even be *good* by most standards, they are my record of having "been there"... It like taking a picture of the grand canyon - there are thousands of pro shots that you could never even come close to replicating, but you take the picture anyways - because its your proof that you were there.

I need a tangible thing - and thats just the way I'm wired... even if its not a great image - I can look at it and remember that I saw it.

And I wont abandon visual, I may have said this before, but that was too strong of a word...


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microstar
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/05/08

Loc: Canada
Re: Anyone else abandon visual for AP? new [Re: careysub]
      #5722339 - 03/09/13 01:27 PM

Quote:

I was always fascinated by the night sky even as a very small child - my attraction to astronomy is the wonder and amazement that fills me when looking up at a dark sky, even with the naked eye - a feeling that has never left me.



Astrophotographers feel that too!

Quote:

Unless you are quite wealthy and persistent any AP image you produce will be far inferior to the work of thousands of others, easily obtained over the web, and even those pale next to the work of professional instruments.



But they are your pictures! There are millions of children and any one you produce will be inferior to the ones you see on TV - so is it a waste of time to have children?

Quote:

But you can only see the sky with your own eyes, sharing the experiences of Galileo, Messier, and Herschel.



But even if its on the computer screen you are seeing it with your own eyes...

Quote:

It is a lot like the difference between going on a trip to see an unspoiled part of nature for yourself, and simply looking at photographs of the same thing.



Now here's where I really have to take exception - it's not like this at all! It may seem that way to a visual observer because you are only ever seeing other people's pictures. When you make your own image you are spending hours and hours collecting the data, calibrating, stretching, color-balancing and enhancing. For the astrophotographer I'd say that relationship to the picture transforms it in a way that no one else can experience. Using my children analogy again - to everyone else your kid is just that, but to you that child represents a lifetime of care. They simply cannot be perceived in the same way.

Quote:

With a visual telescope you are seeing the very same photons produced tens and hundreds of millions of years ago (even billions of years if you go quasar hunting).



And I'm pretty sure those photons are the siblings of the photons that you collect on your CCD and see transforming your computer screen.

Quote:

I will never forget seeing the Whirlpool Galaxy for the first time in a 17.5" Coulter homemade Dob in 1982, it was a magical experience no image could ever match.



No image that someone else made could ever match...

Quote:

(BTW - I am a software engineer and I spend my professional life in front of a computer screen, and much of my private life as well. I am eager for the chance to get away from it.)



To each their own. Lets not create artificial divisions here over what is "better". Astrophotography isn't for everyone, but neither is visual observing. But we are all looking and wondering at an astonishing universe that reaches into the core of what it is to be human. We just have different ways to experience it.
...Keith


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JMW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/11/07

Loc: Nevada
Re: Anyone else abandon visual for AP? new [Re: microstar]
      #5722494 - 03/09/13 03:29 PM

Most of the scopes I have serve well for both. If I am going to a dark site for multiple nights, I will bring my trailer and enough equipment to do both. Once you start an imaging sequence there is plenty of time for observing. I can't imaging ever giving up observing when at a dark site. At home I often image more than observe do to the local light pollution.

Tonight I am going mainly to observe but I will bring the DSLR and a few lenses along to do some wide field imaging on a SkyTracker.


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Mta472
super member


Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: CT
Re: Anyone else abandon visual for AP? new [Re: Escher]
      #5724140 - 03/10/13 03:28 PM

HECK NO!!!!!!!!

If I want to see the BEST in AP's I get out eg my Hubble book.

I have a 12 inch SCT and saw 141 different galaxies from CT WITH ME OWN 65 Y.O. EYES!

To each his own??????

Keep LOOKIN up....... ole mike +


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tomcody
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/06/08

Loc: Titusville, Florida
Re: Anyone else abandon visual for AP? new [Re: Escher]
      #5726044 - 03/11/13 03:00 PM

Quote:

Seems like now that I can "see" so much more via AP I have really not much interest in visual observing except for planetary.

I'm not a very good imager yet - but even raw/unprocessed shots can show so much more than a visual observation...

Am I alone here in not really having a desire to go back to visual?

Just curious if this is common..



I got into AP for those very reasons and left it for visual after about 14 years because it took too much time away from enjoying the sky (for 8 years I did not even look through one of my scopes, just captured images). I felt I was missing out on the enjoyment and spending too much money to keep up with changes in technology (that first $4K camera became a $8K camera, the $3K mount became a $8K mount and there was no sign of an end to the spending).
Now I just do visual and enjoy my evenings under the stars. With all that said, If I went back to AP, I would use a rental site like ITelescope (the old GRAS site). WHY? I used GRAS for three years before investing in my last imaging setup and was able to take thousands of raw images using scopes all over the world at almost any time of the day or night. No equipment purchases, no maintenance, no local weather problems, no hassle! at all. I paid a $250 month fee and had hours of imaging time that rolled over from month to month, when I needed more time I just bought a block of time to supplement as needed for big projects. $3K per year may sound like a lot for imaging time but it would take 8-10 years of imaging to equal one average backyard setup and remember, you can use the site almost any time as its always dark some place on the planet. So I say, get a nice visual scope and mount, enjoy them on nice nights and rent to image when you want to. One last thing, I used to work the night shift and it was amazing to come home and image at 9AM eastern time using scopes in Australia, can't beat that!
Rex

Edited by tomcody (03/11/13 04:28 PM)


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John Lacey
member


Reged: 03/12/08

Loc: Central Coast, CA
Re: Anyone else abandon visual for AP? new [Re: careysub]
      #5727354 - 03/12/13 02:27 AM

Quote:

(BTW - I am a software engineer and I spend my professional life in front of a computer screen, and much of my private life as well. I am eager for the chance to get away from it.)




Same here. I have a no electricity rule, though I bend that for a GLP to use with my son, and I'm thinking of trying an RDF. But my patience for dealing with problems with electrons is zero. I like sitting out under the sky with some metal and glass, taking in the Universe.

I have no interest in AP. I don't want to take the pictures, and I sure don't want to work on a computer processing them. Heck, I don't even do anything with the ordinary snapshots I take. I tried organizing them in an online album once, and it wasn't how I want to spend my time. ;-)

On the other hand, this is absolutely not the only way to do it. I think APers are amazing, and their pictures are amazing. Find your passion and your patience, it's different for everyone.


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Escher
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/30/07

Loc: Fenton, MI
Re: Anyone else abandon visual for AP? new [Re: John Lacey]
      #5727695 - 03/12/13 09:14 AM

Its funny, my wife makes the same comments about computers...

I'm a CAE engineer - I literally am on the computer all day, designing, processing, coding and analyzing Automotive Seals... Then, I go home and sit on the computer on Forums, Email, and other sites...

I can see how folks would want to "unplug".. and I do occasionally... but the computer is my main communication tool via forums, email and messages.. I think I tend to look for ways *TO* use the computer in my hobbies, not the other way around...


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tomcody
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/06/08

Loc: Titusville, Florida
Re: Anyone else abandon visual for AP? new [Re: Escher]
      #5727801 - 03/12/13 10:21 AM Attachment (6 downloads)

I understand your desire to integrate hobby time into your computer time. I used to enjoy getting home and using the computer for my enjoyment after sitting in front of it for hours at work doing reports and payroll stuff. I think you would really enjoy the rental site I mentioned in my last post. You could be signed up, on-line with such a site in 10 minutes and imaging. The only additional costs other than imaging time rental, are the costs for image processing programs to process your raw images at home. The freedom to choose from dozens of different scopes and at least two ( I think three now) different world sites is very conductive to imaging to your schedule, not natures.
A couple of images as examples:
The horse head with an FSQ106 & SBIG STL11000:
(not finished image, some satellite tracks still in there)


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tomcody
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/06/08

Loc: Titusville, Florida
Re: Anyone else abandon visual for AP? new [Re: tomcody]
      #5727803 - 03/12/13 10:23 AM Attachment (5 downloads)

And switch to a 16" RCOS and FLI camera for a close up.
All with the click of a mouse
(note raw red image, not processed in any way)


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Escher
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/30/07

Loc: Fenton, MI
Re: Anyone else abandon visual for AP? new [Re: tomcody]
      #5727834 - 03/12/13 10:40 AM

very cool...

I just registered - I'll play with the demo account a bit.


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