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Alan White

Visual only Astronomy?

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My images will never win a prize but... they are unique, one moment in the history of time preserved indefinitely. At that instant no one else in the Universe is recording that particular object from exactly the same perspective; those photons striking that chip constitute a miniscule snapshot of eternity that can never again be perfectly replicated. And that is why imaging is superior to visual in my view.

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I'm grateful for and indebted to those who go to such lengths to record history while I'm out having fun.

:happy11:

Seriously, though, it's just a matter of what gives one the most satisfaction. There are those who enjoy producing music on a computer, and there are those who just love to play. It's in our nature to appreciate a finished product, as it is to savour and remember a fleeting glimpse.

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Clearly it is two strands of this great hobby of ours and as has been said those strands either singly or both appeal to each of us.
The solitary comment about visual observers is true in my case, I really enjoy the solitude and escape when at the eyepiece.
Oddly though otherwise I am a social creature and although I enjoy my own company, I do prefer to be around others most of the time.

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I admire what imagers do to obtain for example detailed and colourful images of celestial objects, but do not want to go down that path myself.  Just viewing objects is rewarding enough for me, without the extra levels of preparation and processing.  I aim to keep the "pleasure-to-work ratio" high.

So, Alan, these posts have certainly answered your question!

Bottom line: to each their own.

Doug.

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12 hours ago, goodricke1 said:

My images will never win a prize but... they are unique, one moment in the history of time preserved indefinitely. At that instant no one else in the Universe is recording that particular object from exactly the same perspective; those photons striking that chip constitute a miniscule snapshot of eternity that can never again be perfectly replicated. And that is why imaging is superior to visual in my view.

I'm not an imager but to be fair you have put up a good point about how it does appeal to so many.

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For me it's purely visual, I have often remarked that it is amazing you can take fairly modest equipment into your garden and see views that most people have never seen first hand. Can you remember the WOW the first time the moon, Jupiter, Saturn and countless other objects were seen in your very own scope?

Having said that I appreciate the skill and dedication of the excellent imagers on the forum and enjoy viewing their work.

Thankfully there is room for all in this great hobby.

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And just to confuse things, I enjoy my time with a sketch pad and a pencil.

 

Each to their own

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I have never considered sketching as art is not my thing:
oddly I did get a GCE in Art for Potery, my sketches are rather poor.
But never say never.

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I remember reading an old copy of some European magazine in which some bloke called Charles Messier asked the same question in the letters page. He felt he wasn't a proper part of this astronomy lark... :)

No, but seriously, eyes to the heavens is stargazing. Visual astronomy isn't a poor relative, it's the real deal!!

Not everyone takes to it or is interested in it as with photography. So what?

When I returned to stragazing after the usual family/work/life hiatus I was very, very surprised that astrophotography was such a big thing. I'm not saying it's easy, it isn't but it used to a whole lot less accessible before digital imaging and processing became possible.

It still isn't for me. Even with the time, money, skill and commitment I'd still only have images that I'd compare and agonise over. I'm lazy I prefer to just enjoy everyone else's work :)

 

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When I look up, I'm looking into the past.  The light hitting my retina is the history of the universe.

Somewhere out there is the reflected light of each moment of my past, travelling outward.

How many experiences offer that?

John

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4 hours ago, BXRO said:

And just to confuse things, I enjoy my time with a sketch pad and a pencil.

 

Each to their own

:thumbsup:

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4 hours ago, BXRO said:

And just to confuse things, I enjoy my time with a sketch pad and a pencil.

 

Each to their own

I did some sketching back in the 70's. Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and the Sun mostly. Very primitive sketches too as I was a particularly unskilled 11 or 12 year old.

As much as I keep threatening to try it again after 40 years I haven't so far. I will get round to it this coming Jupiter season...maybe  :)

Edited by Paul M
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2 hours ago, Alan White said:

I have never considered sketching as art is not my thing:
oddly I did get a GCE in Art for Potery, my sketches are rather poor.
But never say never.

I cannot draw for toffee but have really enjoyed my sketching of solar and night time targets. I find it allows me to extract more from the eyepiece and also often allows me to either confirm or refute whether or not I have actually observed the correct group of stars when 'ticking' a new cluster.

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I'm no Picasso but it does sharpen your observational skills

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I dipped my toe with astro photos, because I used to have an EQ mount. Seeing the amazing pics on this forum does make me think about trying it properly, but deep down I am a visual person really.  I would like to have the time/money/dark and clear sky to do both - but having to choose means the quick set dob wins out.

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I'm purely a visual observer. Ive tried taking images using camera on a tripod (wide field). There's too much faffing about with gear this way which cuts out observing time.

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17 minutes ago, LukeSkywatcher said:

I'm purely a visual observer. Ive tried taking images using camera on a tripod (wide field). There's too much faffing about with gear this way which cuts out observing time.

That Paul is a very good reason to just observe in my book.

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I found when I was traveling, there were a good variety of people:

Some who jumped on a bus, visited the site and ticked it off their list.

Those who stood staring in reflection and contemplating the history.

Others who framed a lovely photo and really captured the moment.

Some sketched

Others went hiking, off the beaten track, to find something, maybe not that spectacular, but that only a few people had seen.

And then there are those that have never been to the site, but know the history of it, the composition of the area and how it influences other things, and study it in minute detail.

I think everyone of these translates into astronomy and all are equally valid. Everyone gets their kicks in different ways. And there is no harm in crossing over into one of the different categories as long as you keep enjoying it :)

 

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I was at the British museum recently looking at oriental porcelain and witnessed a group of Chinese tourists who walked through the gallery I was in and photographed every cabinet with their very high end cameras and then proceeded to look at the pictures of the items on their cameras rather than the actual items around them.

While I think that AP produces some amazing images and brings out detail that you cannot get with the naked eye even assisted by a telescope the experience of visual astronomy for me is such a personal  thing. Every observing session is unique with its own triumphs and frustrations and that is part of the charm so for the foreseeable future I will be out there in the dark with my eye to the eyepiece searching amid the stars for some elusive gem mega light years out in space.

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The only thing that truly matters is that which ever path we choose it brings us some enjoyment but when it comes to time and money this shouldn't be at the expence of others such as family.

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I don't need to tell you what gives me the buzz...but when you can rack up around 70 galaxies in one night...or image one. Its just doesn't appeal to me at all,never will.

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On Sat Jan 14 2017 at 02:28, goodricke1 said:

And that is why imaging is superior to visual in my view.

I'll remember that the next time someone is at the eyepiece of my scope going WOW look at the spiral arms in M51 or the detail on Saturns surface and rings. That is what you call a miniscule snapshot as in instant. 

Imaging is definately superior to visual as there's always a que to look at a laptop screen :hiding:

Each to their own I suppose :grin:

 

Edited by mapstar
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On 1/17/2017 at 12:08, rockystar said:

Others went hiking, off the beaten track, to find something, maybe not that spectacular, but that only a few people had seen.

That'll be star hopping vs. GoTo then ;)

Should I start a new thread? :)

Cheers

Paul

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How entertaining was the last imaging report?....

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You know what, I have been an amature astronomer for forty years and I never tried sketching. I've been a professional draughtsman for the last thirty years. I now feel somewhat ashamed at never having drawn anything I have seen in the telescope.

Edited by StarryEyed
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