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What do you do, or hope to do, with your images?

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#1 RMM

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 02:15 AM

Hey, I'm curious as to what people do or hope to do with their astrophotography images?

I recently bought my first 'serious' telescope, I've been a keen photographer for most of my life and astrophotography has always been very alluring to me. However in the end the cost of it put me off and I've decided to go down the observing only route (for now) with a 10" dobsonian. But the incredibly high cost got me wondering what people do with, or hope to achieve with their astrophotography? Do you print the photos and frame them for your walls? Do you sell them? Do you hope to contribute to scientific research in some way? Or do you just want to catalogue the sky? Or do you just enjoy the challenge?

 

I'm definitely not suggesting that the hobby is not worth the investment I'd be joining you all in a heart beat if I had more disposable income, and for me I'm mostly interested in the challenge and the science of light.


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#2 idclimber

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 02:32 AM

I am not nearly as interested in the result as I am in the journey. Nothing I have tried has been as hard or as rewarding. 


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#3 james7ca

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 02:53 AM

The journey is the reward, at least for me. Well, that and my awe of the universe (the images never get old and it amazes me what can be done with today's technology). However, I do get some notice for my images, from family, friends, and on the social networks.


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#4 sg6

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 02:54 AM

Absolutely nothing.

I only image occasionally almost just so I know what is involved - people ask questions, nice to be able to answer. So I "image" but never seriously and as said more so I know and/or half understand the steps.

 

Have had the idea there are maybe 2 types:
People that want to produce ever better images, and lazy ones like me that just do a little imaging.

 

The ever better means greater expense, that small percentage improvement is often costly. If you are 96% perfect then there is only 4% left and so an overall 1/2% improvement is 12.5% of what is left. It can also be expensive to find out if that new item actually makes an improvement.

 

So I am happy to use an EQ5, a 80mm apo, flattener (when I find it), and a DSLR (it has limitations).

That is likely the lower limit for half reasonable imaging. Does need some thought applied at times, and all is in effect manual.

 

People need to be realistic in many instances. On the "you need to buy this" side, and on the "I want to get images" side.



#5 SonnyE

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 02:54 AM

Well, just looking at a static image is kind of boring to me.

So I like to make video presentations with mine.

 

Like Dave, getting there is more the fun. And it can be very challenging.

But now and then, all the elements come together and a great picture comes through.

 

But I seem to take more picturds, than good ones. fingertap.gif


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#6 endlessky

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 03:17 AM

I personally do it mainly for myself. I find it very hard to explain people that are not in this field what it is they are seeing, how hard it was to capture, how difficult to pull the tiniest nebulosities from the background sky. To them, it's just a pretty picture with cool colors. Even my spouse, that has been with me for part of this journey and see first hand my results, my pre and post-processed images, the sky through the naked eye, visually through my telescope and ultimately on a 4 or 5 hour worth of integration time on the computer screen, has a hard time giving value to what I do or appreciating what it is she is seeing.

 

So, I do it for myself and for people that can relate. To me it is a journey that started since I was a kid, I know more about Astronomy than I do about anything else, even if my field of study was Mechanical Engineering. I have enjoyed every minute of it, whether it was reading books about it, watching videos or documentaries, visual observing through my various telescopes, taking images with film (up until the late 90's) or picking back up astrophotography with a DSLR at the beginning of this year.

 

To me the Universe is the most interesting thing there is, it really puts us in perspective, a mere grain of sand in the grand scheme of things. Being able to take advantage of optical, mechanical and photographic equipment and their increasing developments in technology over the years to get glimpses of the absolute beauty that is there in the sky is absolutely amazing and rewarding in itself. I don't need to do anything with my pictures, I want to see what's out there. Seeing through something that I did, knowing the ever-growing difficulties and the ever-growing skills needed to counter them, is what makes this journey even more special and personal.


Edited by endlessky, 08 July 2020 - 03:19 AM.

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#7 mackiedlm

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 04:58 AM

Thats a really interesting question. I am pretty new to it so for me it is about the challenge of learning something new, something that is intrinsically very difficult but which, when it comes together, is very rewarding. Its pretty much for my own satisfaction but its nice to have family and friends appreciate the nice picture and also to get some level of encouragement from places like CN. I'd love to be able eventually produce something that could be printed and put on my wall but thats way off.

#8 Bean614

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 05:11 AM

Hey, I'm curious as to what people do or hope to do with their astrophotography images?

I recently bought my first 'serious' telescope, I've been a keen photographer for most of my life and astrophotography has always been very alluring to me. However in the end the cost of it put me off and I've decided to go down the observing only route (for now) with a 10" dobsonian. But the incredibly high cost got me wondering what people do with, or hope to achieve with their astrophotography? Do you print the photos and frame them for your walls? Do you sell them? Do you hope to contribute to scientific research in some way? Or do you just want to catalogue the sky? Or do you just enjoy the challenge?

 

I'm definitely not suggesting that the hobby is not worth the investment I'd be joining you all in a heart beat if I had more disposable income, and for me I'm mostly interested in the challenge and the science of light.

This is an excellent, serious, probing, revealing, question, and it's about time someone actually asked it!  And, thanks are to be given to those who answered, and are answering, honestly(!), which is quite refreshing.  Actually, to say the answers have been 'revealing' is an understatement!



#9 BQ Octantis

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 05:59 AM

Since last Christmas, I've printed three books and given them away as gifts. And I'm now pondering a megaposter…

 

BQ


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#10 meegja

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 06:02 AM

For me it's in the first place to be in awe about the universe. Sure, there are Hubble captures and other extremely clear and beautiful captures. But the captures I make, are captured by me, are observed through my own eyes. The feeling when something is emerging and becoming clear before my own eyes is indescribable: an object so so far away, formed in the most awesome ways .....

 

Second, or maybe even equal, it's the challenge, the experimenting. Some people prepare a lot, looking for info on how to do the best captures, reading articles, watching videos. I go in oblivious with only the basics. Learning on the way from my errors and successes. Trying things by thinking outside the box. And the feeling, the award, when it (finally) succeeds is so good. Like james7ca described: the journey is indeed a big part of this all.
Sometimes I just align my scope and then slew it to a random part of the sky and start wandering around until I find something and then capturing that. Or just even a random slew and start capturing without knowing if there is something interesting. 

 

And what do I do or hope to do with the end results? In a practical way: nothing. I want to build my own library and experience again the sensation of that night when I watch it. Plus, I share: I am just a big, enthusiastic, 6 ft 7, 250 lbs guy and I share my journey in a kind of "childish" way, I tell my story, my journey. Some find that irritating, others like it. Both fine by me smile.gif


Edited by meegja, 08 July 2020 - 07:01 AM.

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#11 BQ Octantis

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 06:15 AM

Last year, even with my then-meager processing skills, I participated in the observation of a really active GRS. And when AstroEthan observed the 2019 bollide impact on Jupiter (and first reported it on CN), I was the first to follow up with an image (just two revs later) to assist in the search for any sort of remnant. So there's a geeky astronomy element to what we do. But I'll have to quote myself as to why I do AP at all:

 

"For me, it's an expression of my humanity to give existence to little effigies of things that no one can actually see—and that no other life form on this planet can begin to comprehend. And it's an expression of my epicureanism to share it with those who appreciate it. But I think it's the universe itself that compels us to give it continued self-awareness through our collective efforts…"

 

BQ


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#12 OldManSky

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 06:26 AM

I'm a contributor to Getty Images for stock photography.  I've got a number of images there, that get used for all sorts of things.  I put several of my best astroimages there as well, and they make me a little money (around $500 a year or so) that I use to buy more astronomy stuff.  Sometimes how they get used is fun -- one of my images was used a while back in an episode of Stargate:Atlantis (that was a nice payday!).

 

I also print them.  Big.  My office has several prints on the walls, and I change them around now and then.  Everything from a 20x24" print of the Andromeda galaxy to a 60" x 20" wide panorama of the milky way I did up at Mt. Lassen a few years ago.  My wife (lucky me!) likes me to make nice big prints and put them on the walls at home, too.

 

About 1 in 50 goes to Getty.  About 1 in 20 gets printed for office or home (or as gifts sometimes).  The rest are for me, and to post here to show how cool this hobby is, and hopefully to encourage other people to take it up or keep at it! :)


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#13 OhmEye

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 06:45 AM

Like many others have said, for me it's not about the end product. The joy is in the doing. There are far more expensive hobbies, many people spend a considerable cost for hobbies and activities. I know people whose annual bar tabs exceed what I spend on AP, and friends who enjoy their expensive car, or wristwatch collection, or pinball machines, or golf course membership, the list goes on forever. Actually, AP can be done at a much lower cost than many popular hobbies, I have friends who spend far more on their boat per year than I have spent on AP since I began!

 

I do it for the fun of it. I rarely even really publish my images anywhere. I enjoy the process or learning and improving and discussing with others.


Edited by OhmEye, 08 July 2020 - 06:46 AM.


#14 kathyastro

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 07:32 AM

It's a hobby.  I do it for fun!  That's all.  I enjoy the challenge of mastering the technology.

 

I post my images online.  Occasionally, I enter one in a competition.  Once in a while, one might earn some recognition that is quite gratifying.

 

I have no purpose other than to have fun.


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#15 DeanS

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 07:52 AM

I was asked about displaying some images at our local library so just started to print them out.  Walmart offers a decent print job on poster board and depending on you chip size they look pretty good.   With my 8300 chip I print 16 x 20 for just under $20.  With a 4020 chip I print 11 x 14 for even less.   I usually can get them within an hour or so and if they don't look good they will redo them.  Also can get cheap black frames for a couple $$$ too.  I now hang them in my basement game room and a couple at my office.

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#16 vio

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 08:22 AM

As for many here, it is one of my hobbies, and the reward is in the activity, not the end result. Shared a few with friends on FB, mostly for those that have an idea why Hubble is on different level.


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#17 klaussius

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 08:47 AM

I image to explore the sky.

 

I can see in an image far more than I can see visually. I enjoy visual astronomy, it has its own allure, but I cannot beat visually the reach I get with AP, even with modest equipment. Not from my light polluted "backyard" (read: roof).

 

You'd think I'd do EAA instead. It interests me indeed, and I hope to build a good EAA software suite some day, but I enjoy the AP process, so I do AP for fun. Also, the distinction between EAA and AP is thin, and I hope to blur it a bit more by making AP easier to accomplish with said software.

 

I also hope to find something new in one of my images some day. I hope to build an automated observatory that lets me do this effortlessly,constantly, and at scale. At least to the limit allowed by my own limited budget.

 

And I hope to build it all myself, because I enjoy doing that. As many have said, I'm in for the journey. But I do have a destination in mind as well.

 

It would be nice to make money with all the side products, but it's not the main objective, and I'm far from it.


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#18 Gipht

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 08:59 AM

All my good friends are at a distance now.  I enjoy sending them a picture by E-mail and a note.  My screen saver is fixed to rotate  between images randomly.  The pictures include the good, the bad, and the ugly.  That helps me see what needs improvement and what worked.


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#19 jerobe

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 09:24 AM

I image so that I can see the sky. My eyesight isn't as sharp as it once was and doing visual observing can be frustrating so I image with my DSLR and various lenses from 18 mm to 200 mm FL.  I can then compare those images to my star charts and see the sights!  It's fun to look for double stars, asterisms, faint galaxies, dark lanes, etc.


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#20 Narrowbandpaul

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 09:35 AM

I meet a lot of people and if they show any interest in astronomy I can show them pictures and talk about the science. I hope to encourage more people especially young people in to astronomy
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#21 diggy

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 11:14 AM

I make a  annual calendar with the best of the past year's images and give it to relatives and friends. 


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#22 nimitz69

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 11:21 AM

The end result for my images is large format prints and I also include some of them in my cruise ship lecture series. I have an Astrobin account but don’t really post anything there mostly because since you can’t control how people view the images (what monitor, it is color corrected, etc) I don’t usually like to post them there.

Recently I’ve been asked if I had any interest in displaying some of my images at a local space museum and I’m looking into which images and what sizes would be appropriate.

Note: when you decide to go down the large format print road you add a whole new set of complexities to the AP equation. Large format prints are very unforgiving WRT issues in teh image and so a large photography grade editing monitor is a must along with a powerful computer and I would say learning Pixinsight is a must as well.

This is another order of magnitude beyond simply ‘making pretty pictures’ and is not for everyone but having been a professional pet photographer a while back there is nothing like seeing the faces of clients when you bring out that large color print of their beloved pet. I get the same kick out of people viewing a large print of something like the Orion Nebula or Horsehead nebula on a wall.

It makes the 15 - 20 hrs of data capture & then more countless hours of PP to produce a single image all worth while ... YMMV

Edited by nimitz69, 08 July 2020 - 11:22 AM.

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#23 dan_hm

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 12:02 PM

If I'm happy enough with an image I'll print it on metal and hang it up on my wall or give them away as gifts. I do post anything I'm pleased with on Astrobin just because I want people who have or are thinking of buying similar gear to mine to be able to see what kind of pictures it can produce. I do this all the time with gear that I have or am thinking of buying. I'm also going to start posting my pictures on Telescopius because I like its format a bit better.



#24 TelescopeGreg

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 01:24 PM

Mostly they take up disk space, but what they represent is the journey, the fun, the wonder, and the connection I get with my kids.  I do a "fun with telescope" email to the extended family every month with the results of the prior month's imaging.  Usually it's the Goofi Challenge image, sometimes other things.  It always sparks an interesting discussion of some aspect of the universe, or our ability to view it.


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#25 Deesk06

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 01:50 PM

I really do it just for myself. I also post them to social media but sometimes I just do not engage much so I do not have many followers. I hope to one day make a book. 

 

On another note, I actually do landscape photography as well. A cool book showing places on earth and then places in the universe would be awesome. I could then use a landscape/milky way shot to make the transition from landscape to DSO. 

 

Anyway, I ended up progressing a lot in landscape photography. Doing astro has been a nice break and I hope to be able to balance and do both. Its great that they can also be done at different times of the day. landscape is mostly from sunrise to sunset while astro is usually night(obviously)

 

Anyway, getting off topic. I love to share my pictures with others, however, I have yet to find someone (not online) to share the experience and same level of enthusiasm with.


Edited by Deesk06, 08 July 2020 - 01:51 PM.

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