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RSM

Keep going, persistence works in the end.

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After having seen some of the great imaging posts on this forum and gone through frustrations of taking images and not really getting quite what I wanted (and also reading quite a few posts from frustrated members in this topic area recently), I wanted to offer encouragement to those of you just setting off on the imaging journey. I started taking images just over seven months ago, beginning of October last year to be precise. I didn't really know what I was doing, but tried lots of things and failed several times. Took heart from lots of great encouragement from members of this forum who have not only offered generous feedback, but have often pointed me in the right direction. I wanted to post a couple of images, one of a cluster I took back in October (one of the first subjects I turned my attention to, M13 i think) and another I took last night of M3. They are not the same target, but what they show is the difference based on what I've learned from the kind and generous souls who read this blog and comment regularly - hopefully you can tell the difference between my earlier and more recent image. To all of you who have commented and offered advice, thanks so much. To those who are struggling like I did with all the techie stuff and myriad of calibration frames as well as trying to understand how the heck to use curves and histograms (not to mention noise reduction and gradient removal!), take heart that what you are doing is fabulous and it will only get better with practice. To capture and share images like we all do in this small corner of SGL is highly inspiring given that most of us do it in our backyards, sheltering from street lights and often with a mug of tea to keep the frostbite off!

Keep posting, keep learning. Richard.

Hercules Globular Cluster M13 v2.pngM3 Processed v3.png

 

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Both nice shots Richard but you can see the marked improvement in the second image - very nice. And nicely put - this is the most infuriating hobby I have ever dabbled in but, as I have said a few times on the forum, it is also one of the most rewarding. The worst night's imaging, in the cold, with a poor final image (for whatever reason) can instantly be forgotten when you crack another little piece of the puzzle or learn a new trick. Small steps, but big rewards!

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Aren't you tell tempted to reprocess to your first image? To see you can pull out from it now. I like how the two tell a story.

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1 hour ago, happy-kat said:

Aren't you tell tempted to reprocess to your first image? To see you can pull out from it now. I like how the two tell a story.

Yes, every now and again I revisit some old data. Have come on leaps an bounds in terms of exposure time though. Originally I was 30-45 seconds and getting 20-30 decent frames, meaning around 10-20 min total exposure time. I'm now up to 6 minutes successfully and stacking 50-60 frames taken over 2-3 nights, that gives 5-6 hours of exposure time. I think on a really clear night I could push 10 mins in the backyard which is pretty dark after midnight once the neighbouring bathroom and security lights go out for the night! 

As the same subjects come around later in the year again, I'll add to some of my original data. I keep every exposure I take (except the calibration frames, which I just keep the stacked ones). 

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2 hours ago, Marky1973 said:

Both nice shots Richard but you can see the marked improvement in the second image - very nice. And nicely put - this is the most infuriating hobby I have ever dabbled in but, as I have said a few times on the forum, it is also one of the most rewarding. The worst night's imaging, in the cold, with a poor final image (for whatever reason) can instantly be forgotten when you crack another little piece of the puzzle or learn a new trick. Small steps, but big rewards!

Couldn't have put it better myself - it's a great feeling when you see the first glimpse of what you are capturing and then get to stretch the resulting stack. Bit like discovering it for the first time. Imagine what Messier and his counterparts were feeling when they were seeing and cataloging these sights for the first time.

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I must say the situation you describe I find myself in now after a major health diagnosis and being interested in astronomy for years I decided to dive in .Ive been star gazing for about 5 months now just started take taking pics and feeling rather stressed trying to take all the information in about settings timings exposures never even had a camera before this year not a decent one anyway .I am amazed with the place I live and the things I've seen with my own eyes through my telescope and especially the pics on here to think when I'm looking at andromeda through my telescope there might be some one like me who's just got a telescope looking at the Milky Way blows my mind.The support and help I've been given on here is truly inspirational anyway I just though I'd share my story to help other people who might be just starting out and feeling overwhelmed when you start to keep going the reward is more than worth it 

 

thanks for listening 

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I do love progression posts. Great M3 as well. Well done and a a nice post for those starting out. Starting out is something ALL imagers have done!

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Brilliant post Richard, expresses my experience of imaging and the support I have received from SGL 100%. Here is my contribution to moving up the learning curve, M81 same kit, separated by about 3 months. I still have a major issue getting calibration frames to work properly and my efforts to remove noise and gradient leave a lot to be desired, but I have convinced myself the second  image is better than the first!

Steve

image.jpg

image.jpg

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19 hours ago, tomato said:

Brilliant post Richard, expresses my experience of imaging and the support I have received from SGL 100%. Here is my contribution to moving up the learning curve, M81 same kit, separated by about 3 months. I still have a major issue getting calibration frames to work properly and my efforts to remove noise and gradient leave a lot to be desired, but I have convinced myself the second  image is better than the first!

Steve

image.jpg

image.jpg

Absolutely the second is a great leap forwards. the sort of progression which keeps us going out for "one more try" and "I'm sure I can do a little better next time". 

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On 4 May 2016 at 01:14, Trade007 said:

I must say the situation you describe I find myself in now after a major health diagnosis and being interested in astronomy for years I decided to dive in .Ive been star gazing for about 5 months now just started take taking pics and feeling rather stressed trying to take all the information in about settings timings exposures never even had a camera before this year not a decent one anyway .I am amazed with the place I live and the things I've seen with my own eyes through my telescope and especially the pics on here to think when I'm looking at andromeda through my telescope there might be some one like me who's just got a telescope looking at the Milky Way blows my mind.The support and help I've been given on here is truly inspirational anyway I just though I'd share my story to help other people who might be just starting out and feeling overwhelmed when you start to keep going the reward is more than worth it 

 

thanks for listening 

I also love the thought that there could be some(one) looking back somewhere, sometime. Question is (I risk starting a long discussion on a theoretical question here), are they using equipment like Galileo had or can they see the whites of our eyes (bulging through our eyepieces)?

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4 hours ago, RSM said:

I also love the thought that there could be some(one) looking back somewhere, sometime. Question is (I risk starting a long discussion on a theoretical question here), are they using equipment like Galileo had or can they see the whites of our eyes (bulging through our eyepieces)?

Ah yes, this could certainly start a discussion about ...

But that would destroy the spirit of this wonderful thread.

I agree with the above; this is a marvelous hobby, which always throws new challenges at you.

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Thank you for sharing your experience and your lovely captures Richard, I'm just starting out and it's so encouraging to read posts like this, thanks mate.

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14 minutes ago, johnfosteruk said:

Thank you for sharing your experience and your lovely captures Richard, I'm just starting out and it's so encouraging to read posts like this, thanks mate.

Look forward to seeing some of your images. You'll get loads of feedback and encouragement so post them to help you on your way. Looking back, My first attempt at M31 was ropey to say the least, but it was clearly (ish) a galaxy. I remember one of the first comments I got was that you could make out dust lane details, and that gave me loads of encouragement to keep going. It was on this site that I learned that you can get a full 45 day trial version of Pixinsight for free. That's now what I use for virtually all my image stacking and processing. It's not cheap for the license after the trial period, but feedback from SGL members had helped me learn loads of tips and tricks. Good luck and enjoy. 

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Gotta convince The Present Mrs Foster of the benefits of a quality mount yet!!! But when I do I'm looking forward to sharing something identifiable. In the meantime I'll get by slobbering over the work that you (and others) are posting.

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8 hours ago, RSM said:

I also love the thought that there could be some(one) looking back somewhere, sometime. Question is (I risk starting a long discussion on a theoretical question here), are they using equipment like Galileo had or can they see the whites of our eyes (bulging through our eyepieces)?

Ha ha ye I could talk all night about who's out there after seeing the amount off stuff out there be arrogant to think we're alone 

 

I've just managed to purchase a laptop today so I can process my images so hopefully I'll be postings some pics I got my solar filter the other day seen our star for the first time not processed and dust on my Barlow I've added the colour was white got one sunspot right hand side Jupiter there . Now I've got laptop I'll be able to process them properly but I'm really getting fun out of this new hobby and I'm definitely learning and I'm in amazement with some pics on here truly stunning image.jpegimage.jpeg

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The sun was just a quickie to see if filter was ok and ready for Monday ?????

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2 hours ago, Trade007 said:

The sun was just a quickie to see if filter was ok and ready for Monday ?????

Good luck for Monday. It's forecast for cloud here.

Booked the day off work too

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