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Astrophotography and Sketching >> Sketching

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Michael Rapp
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/27/04

Loc: Dickinson, TX
About the only thing good about light pollution...
      #6278130 - 12/28/13 10:03 PM Attachment (11 downloads)

...is that it does make sketching open clusters a little easier. Here's my layout as I sketch NGC 1647 in Taurus this evening.

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Asbytec
Guy in a furry hat
*****

Reged: 08/08/07

Loc: La Union, PI
Re: About the only thing good about light pollution... new [Re: Michael Rapp]
      #6278157 - 12/28/13 10:24 PM

You have a nice set up, Mike.

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Michael Rapp
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/27/04

Loc: Dickinson, TX
Re: About the only thing good about light pollution... new [Re: Asbytec]
      #6278305 - 12/29/13 12:10 AM

I'm still refining my set up, but after a year of working on it, it has really begun to come together for me.

Comfort, as I came to discover, is key. If I am not comfortable making a sketch, I either rush the sketch or just give up. This is one reason I really like my Dob with the rotatable tube. I can get the eyepiece to a good angle that allows me to have feet-on-the-ground. The Starbound chair allows me to get my eye just at the right height to the eyepiece, so I'm not straining or hunched over.

The TV tray is one that I ran into at Target and has turned out to be really nice. It's big without being overly large and fairly solid.

Moreover, everything has its place on the tray. Fumbling for and with things in the dark just zaps the fun for me. I have a clip on light that is diffused with wax paper for my sketching clipboard. (I'm left handed, so the light and clipboard clip don't get in my way.) You can't see it, but just above the clipboard is my sketching supplies in one of those roll-up pouches that has sleeves for each pencil. They are always put in the same order so I can pick up a pencil by feel and counting from the left: stick eraser, 2H, 2H, HB, HB, paintbrush (for flicking off eraser bits), and 4H.

To the left of the clipboard is my logging notebook, which gets rotated under my Pocket Sky Atlas. Between the PSA/notebook and clipboard are the pencils and pens that I am using for the active sketch.

As I move around the sky, the tray is easy enough to pick up and move around with everything on it. I do have two rules with myself: no eyepieces or drink cup on the tray. I just know I'll go to move the tray and have those things roll right off!

You can't see it, but my eyepiece case is on the ground to the chair's right, so my eyepieces are in easy reach.


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Asbytec
Guy in a furry hat
*****

Reged: 08/08/07

Loc: La Union, PI
Re: About the only thing good about light pollution... new [Re: Michael Rapp]
      #6278378 - 12/29/13 01:28 AM

Yes, comfort is so very nice. For me, that usually means a good eyepiece angle, as you say, and a comfortable posture. You look like you have both. I keep my sketch board on my lap, though.

Fumbling is made easy for me only having a flashlight, pencil, and paper...and glasses on and off. Meh! Could be better. But, excellent point on fumbling and rushing. Don't rush.

Ah, you carry an assortment of pencils. I use just one, the sketch is more for note taking than finishing real time. That's kind of tough with Jupiter, anyway.

Ouch, yea, no eyepieces or coffee. Mine are either in the eyepiece tray or in their case. Only once did my HD Ortho find it's way onto the concrete.

Hey, gotta post a final sketch. Later, Michael.


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Chopin
Canis Insanus
*****

Reged: 02/03/05

Loc: In the doghouse.
Re: About the only thing good about light pollution... new [Re: Asbytec]
      #6278790 - 12/29/13 10:01 AM

Michael, great setup. I especially like the TV tray idea.

I agree that comfort is key. I've been there, done that. Owned everything from low end optics to premium optics, both on the scope end and the eyepiece end. I'd give up my optical quality in a second if it meant I could only keep my stable mount and my comfortable observing. Shaky views and cramped muscles are where I throw in the towel.

At any rate, great post. I enjoy seeing where some of the brilliance on this forum comes from.


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PeterDob
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 07/29/05

Loc: CarĂ¹, Italy
Re: About the only thing good about light pollution... new [Re: Chopin]
      #6278821 - 12/29/13 10:16 AM

Well??? Where is the sketch?

I don't know about the light pollution, though. Even at my remote mountain spot it gives me the shivers looking at all that grey on the horizon coming from the cities of Parma, Reggio and Modena, 60km away. So even here I use a hood or a piece of cloth to hide under when observing in order not to miss the tiniest details. Then again, during winter this makes my eyepieces fog up very quickly. Ohhh... how I HATE it!!!

Peter


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frank5817
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/13/06

Loc: Illinois
Re: About the only thing good about light pollution... new [Re: PeterDob]
      #6280146 - 12/29/13 10:38 PM

Michael,

Nice telescope.

Frank


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Michael Rapp
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/27/04

Loc: Dickinson, TX
Re: About the only thing good about light pollution... new [Re: frank5817]
      #6281942 - 12/30/13 07:39 PM Attachment (5 downloads)

Okay, here's the sketch. NGC 1467, open cluster in Taurus. Now, it looks like I didn't sketch anything , but I used a 2H pencil for the stars and they came out very, very light.

I need to work on darkening them at the eyepiece, perhaps with an HB pencil. What tricked me into thinking they were darker than they were is that when I make a star with the 2H, it puts an indentation into the paper. At the angle my red light shines on the paper, this creates a very small shadow, tricking me into thinking my stars are darker than they really are.

What is really fun about starting out sketching is that every night I learn some way of improving my sketches.


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