Oct08 CN Imaging/Sketching Contest Winner!
Posted 16 November 2008 - 07:54 AM
Horsehead nebula in Orion
Taken from Farnsworth Ranch AZ on Oct. 25th 2008.
Scope: Astro-Physics 160 EDF + AP .75 focal reducer
Mount: Astro-Phyiscs 900 GTO2
Camera: Canon 350xt modified
10 x 12 minute / 10 darks
5 x flat / 5 x bias
Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker
Final processing in Photoshop 6.0, noise reduction with NEAT.
To all of you who took the time to stop by and vote for your favorite submission - thank you so much! Your participation really makes the contest!
To all the contestants - almost every comment entered in the poll thread this month says it - every one of your submissions is worthy of winning. Congratulations to all of you on a job done very well indeed!
cvedeler, congratulations on your win! Please contact me via PM with your t-shirt size and also the address where you want us to send it!
Posted 17 November 2008 - 04:09 PM
Posted 18 November 2008 - 08:11 AM
Congratulations on taking it all with a beautiful capture
Posted 18 November 2008 - 01:05 PM
I liked it so much, I made it my computer desktop!
Posted 18 November 2008 - 04:21 PM
Congratulations on winning the monthly sketching/astrophoto imaging contest. This is a A beautiful image and effort of the Horsehead and surrounding region of Orion.
I also want to thank those who voted for my lunar sketch although I did not think of it as one of my better efforts. I was surprised that it placed this month. I seem to attract some interesting responses and I think Erika said that I have placed first in sketching three times, although I cannot remember that I won one for sketching. I think I did once last summer. The moon seems to be the favorite subject of art for many sketchers. So I will probably send another this month. Problem is, the artists have to try to out-do the photographers in the same contest. Is that possible? The responses as to why some chose a strange surreal sketch of the moon over photographs made for some very interesting discussions about art vs photography in this last contest. (*See the archived posts for the October Contest Poll.)
Posted 19 November 2008 - 01:13 AM
Posted 19 November 2008 - 07:44 PM
Mark, one could argue it takes a lot more skill to make a good sketch than it does to make a good photograph.
Yes; I must thank you that you would initiate that. As I am sure that you know, there has been much discussion as to what sketch artists are doing with the artistic process starting entirely from scratch on a blank sheet of paper as compared to what a photographer is doing with a camera and mechanized technology in a computer. Also as mentioned before and in the Astronomy Sketch Book, the artist is learning something from intense observation to sketch and record in this process that is not present to the minds eyes in the same way with the photographic methods.
There was an interesting lecture here at the world famous Reed College in Portland Oregon a couple weeks ago with a famous abstract artist speaking. He mentioned that with all the digital photography today, it is putting a bright light back onto an appreciation for artists again. That is all he said about that. I wanted to question him about that in the large lecture hall as the audience asked questions, and I was the first but I commended his works and asked about something else instead.
This is not to say that although we have seen many photographs over the years of the Horsehead and surrounding region in Orion, and with all these in the web, it would be hard to find a photographers signature style that imparts a personal appearance to each and every photo; conversely every hand-sketch artist literally has his painstaking personal style in the brushstrokes or in this case, the chalk-marks on the paper that go down once and cannot really be erased or reworked much without showing the errors. Even the best artists will make an occasional error that cannot be denied or hidden. As an artist is in the spotlight of telling the truth and there is no faking this and no computer to refigure it by deleting a file into an instant automatic fix.
Even a Photoshop artwork may look like several other computer artists may have produced it as it may lack the fine and unique signature style of the chalk or paint brush strokes that develop over many thousands of hours of practiced skill and personal effort that cannot be duplicated by another; unless they try to copy it. (Hence, the adage, life imitates art.) Yet again this is not to denigrate the painstaking effort of the astro-photographer; I know, although I have never done any high end digital tracking with a camera attached to a telescope; as mine were all done with a 35mm old world wet film based process starting with the camera on a tripod and the standard lens only taking a single unique negative only- nothing mixed or double-exposed in the dark room, shooting into the sky with some foreground added features photo flashed.
I realize that you must have imparted many strained efforts to process and stack the photo images and use your photographic and computer expertise to achieve this beautiful photographic image and I commend you for your great efforts in this fine art photographic image.
As you saw many here in the contest polls comments mentioned that they thought that the photography was astounding this month but that they had to give the nod to the artist. I am not sure what to make of this as I had said that it was not my best effort this month; I guess that many of them are not familiar with the technical astro-sketch process. It says something, I think, of how our civilization views the old world artistic process as totally hand made effort and skill over the image from a technologically advanced machine employed product and that it is not conducive to comparing the two in a contest. This is, I am sure, why many have commented that they would like to see a separate sketch art and astro-photography monthly contest.
Personally, I have always been driven to imitate photography by producing a photo-realistic sketch or painting that will fool the world into thinking that it is a camera produced photograph! (;
Posted 20 November 2008 - 01:03 PM
I seem to attract some interesting responses and I think Erika said that I have placed first in sketching three times, although I cannot remember that I won one for sketching. I think I did once last summer.
Mark, I'm not sure how many times each sketcher has won in the actual sketching forum. But in the past, there have been two sketchers that have won first place in this overall imaging/sketching contest. One was myself with a sketch of a lunar crater, and the other was my dear friend Rich Handy with an amazing lunar sketch.
So yes, even the modest sketchers can once in a while win the majority vote in this contest.
You do amazing sketches, Mark, especially so with your true observation lunar sketches that you've been producing lately.
This forum is a wonderful tool for us to learn from each other and help share techniques and advice for the good of all the astro community. Both my husband and I (Paul is an imager) have learned so much with the help of others here and on the flip side, it's a fulfilling moment when we can help others along the way as well.
This contest is a superb tool to show what can be achieved or maybe spark some interest to those that may want to try their hand at it as well.
Great job all around, guys! And that was probably the most beautiful Horsehead Nebula and all its companions image that I've ever seen.
Posted 06 January 2009 - 02:25 AM
I've been looking at AP's and other such images for 30 plus years and each piece of art does have the artists signature within the piece. In this case, I've seen the horsehead and region thousands of times, however, Chris was able to capture something in his rendition of talent, both with the telescope and procesing that I have never seen to that extent. It's outstanding and I can assure you that the best piece of art wins these contests as Chris' did. It's difficult most times because you may get dow to two that are so good and unique that you have to stare at each for a long time before choosing.
The best part of these contests is that folks like Mark, Chris and the rest can show their own masterpieces and we are all fortunate to see them. They are all so nice, but like different perspectives of subjects. Thanks to all who participate, and remember, you're all winners.