I'm enjoying the journey of learning electronically-assisted astronomy (EAA). As interesting and popular as it is, I'm still sometimes a bit shocked when I'm confronted by an astro-photographer purist who can't comprehend why I don't push for longer exposures. "You'll definitely eventually want a filter-wheel." "But why WOULDN'T you want to do post?" "You need to allow time for longer exposures." In my short 6-week odyssey to learn EAA, I've already heard comments like that - and more.
As I'm reflecting on this part of the hobby of amateur astronomy, I'm starting to organize my thinking around at least 6 distinct challenge-spectrums (or spectra, depending on whether or not you had high school Latin) that we might encounter in our uphill climb to master these skills -- and the art that accompanies them. I wish I could just draw this on a piece of paper. This is one of those few times that 'tech' will likely make things harder, seeing as how we're communicating mostly in a text-based messaging world. But here goes my brainstorming. Pardon me as I type while I process out loud.
Over the past six weeks, I've taken note of several scales on which I could graph the level of stress in this hobby. Here is my thinking so far:
The real-time factor
Recorded --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---> Live
The more we can simply think about our hobby as making a recording, the less stress we feel. Because we can always remake the recording if something goes amuck.
The crowd factor
Solo -- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---> In front of a group
The more we're enjoying the hobby for our personal sake (as opposed to doing an "outreach" or sharing with an audience, the less stress we feel.
The money factor
Bigger budget - --- --- --- --- --- --- ---> Lower budget
Having a few more dollars lets us acquire the precise part or rig that cuts down on problems resulting from jury-rigging and "making do."
The portability factor
Permanent Observatory --- --- --- ---> Offsite/travel observing
Walking into a shed and turning on the heater. Sigh. versus 90 minutes of setting up a tripod, mount, polar-aligning, cables, and more.
The remote factor
Scope-side observing -- --- --- --- ---> Remote observing* (Note: Cold weather can/does generate stress.)
With the sole exception of having to sit in the cold, sitting scope-side would remove a bundle of challenges. Planning for remote observing introduces an entire extra dimension of gear and planning.
The formality factor
Informal style - --- --- --- --- --- --- ---> Presentation style
If we're sharing with friends in a conversation, it's SOOO much less threatening than standing in front of a group, so to speak, with a Powerpoint presentation.
As you graph where you are -- and where you want to be -- we are able to predict with some degree of certainty how much of a challenge you face in the hobby. The corollary: In each spectrum, the farther you move to the right, the more prepared (and stressed) you will likely be.
Low Stress - --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---> High stress
So where are YOU on the scales above? Do you agree or disagree? What spectrum or scale would you add in relation to YOUR journey in EAA? Are you having fun in spite of the challenges? : )
PS. Remember: I'm an absolute newcomer, reflecting as I go. Feel free to speak into my journey. I want to learn.
Edited by EmeraldHills, 23 January 2021 - 02:21 PM.