Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

jACK101

Am I a dinosaur?

Recommended Posts

Fox Talbot invented photography in 1840 and we have used the noun "Photograph" and the verb "To Photograph" ever since then. In the area of Astrophotography however we use " Image" and "To Image". An image can be created in many different ways, e.g. using a camera, painting a picture, flicking paint from a paintbrush onto paper, nude bodies covered in paint crawling over paper etc. Why then in this very Scientific topic of astrophotography do we use such imprecise terms to describe what we do?

 

Is it fashion or am I just a dinosaur?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could it be that, with a (film) photograph, you have always tended to get what was there. Whereas astroimaging is far more a creative process, combining data from various sources (multiple lights + various calibration data) to create something more than any of its parts?

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We do talk about 'astrophotography' still, meaning the digital kind. The abbreviation 'AP' exists when, to the best of my knowledge, 'AI' does not, outside the delusions of IT developers :evil4:.  I don't think there is a very coherent distinction between the two terms. I suspect that I should, if being consistent with my general views about language, dislike 'imaging' but I just don't find that I do. For no particular reason I describe myself as an astrophotographer outside the astronomical community, when describing my job, and as primarily an imager within it. Somehow 'imager' seems to be, these days, the natural alternative to 'visual observer.' I never use the term 'astro imager' though it does exist. There's really no accounting for this, and I make no virtue of my own practice, but that's how language evolves.

Olly

Edit: Demonperformer (always worth reading!) says 'Could it be that, with a (film) photograph, you have always tended to get what was there.' I'm going to say no. Not a bit of it. Reality is three dimensional and colourful to those of normal vision. Relative scale of object size is as perceived from a certain standpoint. Field curvature is as perceived by the eye. Photographs are of an arbitrary size, flat, sometimes monochrome and have the field curvature of the lens. In colour film armies of chemists have, for years, been doing with their brews what digital imagers/photographers do in Photoshop. The camera absolutely does not give us what is there. I cannot ride to work on a photograph of my bicycle.

Edited by ollypenrice
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Demonperformer said:

Could it be that, with a (film) photograph, you have always tended to get what was there. Whereas astroimaging is far more a creative process, combining data from various sources (multiple lights + various calibration data) to create something more than any of its parts?

I couldn't help reacting to this simply because i couldn't be more in disagreement. That astrophotography should be "far more creative" than regular photography is blatantly incorrect. In astrophotography your target is fixed in space, it's view relative to our position is well known, there are no surprises......critique usually goes along the lines of, not bad, nice, awesome detail, stunning colours or whatever vernacular you've made your own or is common to your area.

Terrestrial photography (yes there is also marine photography) can be used to elicit deep emotions which inspire people to do all manner of good and not so good things. A picture can release tears of sadness as well as joy. There is so much depth available within the hobby/occupation of standard photography.

Astrophotography for all it's technique and creativity, doesn't come close to conjuring up the emotions and feelings a master photographer could inspire, with the world and it's myriad nuances as his palet.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

According to the Oxford Dictionary, 

maybe not so imprecise after all :happy11:  

1.1 A visible impression obtained by a camera, telescope, microscope, or other device, or displayed on a computer or video screen.

‘Voyager 2 sent back images of the planet Neptune’

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Olsin said:

I couldn't help reacting to this simply because i couldn't be more in disagreement. That astrophotography should be "far more creative" than regular photography is blatantly incorrect. In astrophotography your target is fixed in space, it's view relative to our position is well known, there are no surprises......critique usually goes along the lines of, not bad, nice, awesome detail, stunning colours or whatever vernacular you've made your own or is common to your area.

Terrestrial photography (yes there is also marine photography) can be used to elicit deep emotions which inspire people to do all manner of good and not so good things. A picture can release tears of sadness as well as joy. There is so much depth available within the hobby/occupation of standard photography.

Astrophotography for all it's technique and creativity, doesn't come close to conjuring up the emotions and feelings a master photographer could inspire, with the world and it's myriad nuances as his palet.

Can't agree with that. I've no idea how you react to astrophotos emotionally but I know how I react to them. 'There are no surprizes.' But there are! Objects are still being discovered by astrophotography as people learn to go deeper or chance upon - or hunt down - new objects. Soap Bubble Nebula, Integrated Flux Nebula, Fabian Neyer's deep Ha backgrounds in well known regions like the Double Cluster or the Cocoon, ERE in the M31 field... 

In astrophotography the imager :D faces the challenges of crafting a technically excellent image, yes, but what does that mean? It means creating an image which transports the viewer into the depths of space without the distractions of visible artifice. A lot of artifice goes into this! There are ways of increasing a sense of three dimensionality, of giving a sense of scale (eg big field stars make extended objects look smaller) and so on.

With respect, your post makes me think that you are a more sophisticated critic of terrestrial photos than of astrophotos.

Olly

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like being an "imager" because I don't class myself as a "photographer". I can take photos, but when I talk to terrestrial photographers they generally are thinking in different ways to astrophotographers... they looking at lighting, angles, f-stops... (don't even go into f-stops in an AP forum! :help:) when I take photos I just think "ah that looks nice"... click.

i guess there is no real difference, it's just something we've all got used to over time.

Art

Edited by Art Gecko
  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, Olsin said:

I couldn't help reacting to this simply because i couldn't be more in disagreement. That astrophotography should be "far more creative" than regular photography is blatantly incorrect.....

How about using narrowband filters and then creating Hubble palette images or bi colour images...... here the colour creativity is endless....... is this not creative? In terrestrial photography it's something of a given that for example the grass is green..... if you mixed the colours so that the grass became a delectable hue of purple I suspect this would not be viewed as creative, but downright madness.... In astrophotography you can make the colours as you see fit (OK there are some 'normal' parameters, but you can think outside the box with colours) - To me this is creativity :)

Edited by swag72
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, swag72 said:

How about using narrowband filters and then creating Hubble palette images or bi colour images......

Who would possibly want to do that ??  :wink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the word imager, it best describes the process from PC-Mount- Scope with the actual camera and photographic bit as a useful tool to record results...

Alan

Edited by Alien 13

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My 2 pence 

Surface etymology is photo- +‎ -graphy, together meaning "drawing with light" or "representation by means of lines", "drawing". From φωτός (phōtós, “(genitive) of light”), and γράφω (gráphō, “I write”).

 

I like this picture the Latin of the meaning of the word photography means. I Write with Photons! that is in my opinion a beautiful meaning of what our type of photography aims to do. Paint with light. I would much rather call myself a painter of photons or a writer with photons but I guess imager will have to do or astrophotographer. 

Gerry

 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, jACK101 said:

Fox Talbot invented photography in 1840 and we have used the noun "Photograph" and the verb "To Photograph" ever since then. In the area of Astrophotography however we use " Image" and "To Image". An image can be created in many different ways, e.g. using a camera, painting a picture, flicking paint from a paintbrush onto paper, nude bodies covered in paint crawling over paper etc. Why then in this very Scientific topic of astrophotography do we use such imprecise terms to describe what we do?

 

Is it fashion or am I just a dinosaur?

Lots of interesting and passionate views on this one!

I think its just a language thing. There is often more than one term used for things. As we become more and more technological though we tend to invent new and usually shorter words for doing the same thing. Imaging is shorter than astrophotographing, so easier to use and therefore may eventually replace it?

In Fox Talbots time Louis Daguerre's rather better quality (Betamax v VHS of the 1840s) but rather vainly named daguerrotypes had already been demonstrated before Fox Talbot showed one of his. It wasn't as commercially friendly as Talbot's but maybe the name was part of the reason it lost out in the long run? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing about astro imaging with NB filters and long exposure is the ability to make the invisible visible and the beauty and awesomeness of it all, i think a good astro image invokes more emotions than a terrestrial (photograph) but like most things, it all lies in the eyes of the beholder.:icon_biggrin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Olsin said:

I couldn't help reacting to this simply because i couldn't be more in disagreement. That astrophotography should be "far more creative" than regular photography is blatantly incorrect. In astrophotography your target is fixed in space, it's view relative to our position is well known, there are no surprises......critique usually goes along the lines of, not bad, nice, awesome detail, stunning colours or whatever vernacular you've made your own or is common to your area.

Terrestrial photography (yes there is also marine photography) can be used to elicit deep emotions which inspire people to do all manner of good and not so good things. A picture can release tears of sadness as well as joy. There is so much depth available within the hobby/occupation of standard photography.

Astrophotography for all it's technique and creativity, doesn't come close to conjuring up the emotions and feelings a master photographer could inspire, with the world and it's myriad nuances as his palet.

Unlike most people here I would have to agree with you Olsin.

Although I absolutely love astrophotography, both the scientific and artistic side, there is somewhat of a limit. Not a limit in terms of your skill, but a limit in terms of that your stuck with a lot of the same things, that a thousand (maybe more) others did before you. And even then, no matter how good you get, the Hubble can do it better.

Compare it to terrestrial photography, you can easily find a place that has never been photographed, or a new angle, or anything really. While normal photography cannot match the grandness and mind-boggiling-ness of AP, it easily makes up for that with the fact that you can take a photo that nobody has ever done before. 

Not bashing astrophotography, not at all, I love astrophotography, astrophotography is still #1 in my heart. But it cannot match the creativity you can do with terrestrial photography because, as I said before, you are stuck with how the object looks like on Earth.

Thats not to say that AP isn't creative. You can do a lot of things to differentiate your pictures from others, such as framing, color, processing, filters, celestial events, etc. But in my eyes, AP is still 50-90% technical depending on what kind you are doing.

Although, my Dad is a professional nature/artistic/landscape photographer, so maybe I am biased? :p

TLDR; Astrophotography is much more technical and scientific, while still having many creative aspects. But IMHO normal photography is more creative because of the infinite amount of possible different creative photographs that you can do without taking a picture of the same thing twice.

Feel free to disagree!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tend to use both terms, AP when trying to convey it in leymans terms (not always easy!) - and AI when in the company of like-minded people :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Olsin said:

I couldn't help reacting to this simply because i couldn't be more in disagreement. That astrophotography should be "far more creative" than regular photography is blatantly incorrect. In astrophotography your target is fixed in space, it's view relative to our position is well known, there are no surprises......critique usually goes along the lines of, not bad, nice, awesome detail, stunning colours or whatever vernacular you've made your own or is common to your area.

Terrestrial photography (yes there is also marine photography) can be used to elicit deep emotions which inspire people to do all manner of good and not so good things. A picture can release tears of sadness as well as joy. There is so much depth available within the hobby/occupation of standard photography.

Astrophotography for all it's technique and creativity, doesn't come close to conjuring up the emotions and feelings a master photographer could inspire, with the world and it's myriad nuances as his palet.

I probably expressed myself badly, probably because during my 'terrestrial photography' period (about 40 years ago) it was all 35mm/120 film. I'm not saying that you cannot look at an object from a different perspecitve, or come across (or invent) a new juxtaposition that can "elicit deep emotions". But it was always a case of: there is my subject and here is my photograph. Yes, you could perform tricks in the darkroom, but they were a major hassle and by and large the photograph you ended up with was what came straight out of the camera.

The equivalent in AP would be to take a single light sub and present that as the finished article. Yes, there are objects that can lend themselves to that - I have a whole series of moon shots, taken as single subs showing the change over a lunar cycle. But how many times has Olly or Sara posted an image on the forum that is just a single light sub, as it came out of the camera? My guess is that you could probably count those times on the thumbs of one hand, and probably have one left over. My impression is that they spend hours at the computer (or at least getting the computer) to combine many individual 'photographs' (the things that came out of the camera) into one image that meets their personal ideal (or as close to that as possible).

As for "elicit[ing] deep emotions", I suspect it is not so much the photograph that does that as the situation. I think one would need to be pretty hard-hearted for the situation of starving children in Ethiopia not to "elicit deep emotions". All the photographs on our television screens and in our newspapers did was to bring the situation to the top of our consciousness and make it very hard for people to keep burying their heads in the sand.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Galen Gilmore said:

And even then, no matter how good you get, the Hubble can do it better.

But it can't. Its focal length is far too long, and its time too precious, to take widefield pictures. Plenty of amateurs make mosaics of vast swathes of sky which the Hubble would need almost its lifetime to make.

The Hubble can obviously out-resolve any amateur instrument but high resolution is not always the point. Shown at a given size on the screen amateur images come very close to the Hubble and can go wider.

Amaterus still regularly make object discoveries new to science.

Sorry, this is a digression from the real point of the thread which is about the linguistic differences between 'photograph' and 'image.' In a nutshell I don't think the difference is coherent or consistent - yet. This is often the case with language. When parallel terms come into being what often happens is that synonyms evolve, over time, a particular nuance which distinguishes them from their alternative. English, being an eclectic language, has done this thousands of times, terms which were once synonymous but from different sources evolving a nuanced meaning of their own over time. Perhaps 'photograph' will come to mean 'done with film' while image will come to mean 'done digitally.' Who knows, but I don't believe that is yet the case.

Olly

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suppose you're right - the term photograph is still entirely valid, unlike a lot of the words we use! For example, at the end of this sentence you'll find a carriage return!?

I'm not sure why we use "image" - perhaps with specialised equipment, instead of what most people would recognise as a camera, it just doesn't feel like "photography".

As for the other discussion point (and you have to be careful what you say in a forum full of astrophotographers) I do agree somewhat with @Olsin. The principles of showing the same subject in different ways applies to regular photography as much as it does astrophotography. Add to that the ability to manipulate the subject itself with endless variety. Then consider the power of photography to elicit emotion and compassion, tell stories; reflect on, document or even change society...

Although I've tried, I'm just not artistic enough to be a photographer. I'm technical and enjoy my astrophotography. We're lucky to have such beautiful subjects but when I start a image/photo, I don't consider "what am I trying to convey", more "how much detail can I capture" and "how pretty can I make it" - I do not think that makes me an artist.

Of course, I'm not saying there isn't creativity or artistry. I'm not saying an astrophoto can't inspire emotion (usually awe), but it's very different and incomparable to the effect that other, more tangible, photos can have on people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, ollypenrice said:

But it can't. Its focal length is far too long, and its time too precious, to take widefield pictures. Plenty of amateurs make mosaics of vast swathes of sky which the Hubble would need almost its lifetime to make.

The Hubble can obviously out-resolve any amateur instrument but high resolution is not always the point. Shown at a given size on the screen amateur images come very close to the Hubble and can go wider.

Amaterus still regularly make object discoveries new to science.

Sorry, this is a digression from the real point of the thread which is about the linguistic differences between 'photograph' and 'image.' In a nutshell I don't think the difference is coherent or consistent - yet. This is often the case with language. When parallel terms come into being what often happens is that synonyms evolve, over time, a particular nuance which distinguishes them from their alternative. English, being an eclectic language, has done this thousands of times, terms which were once synonymous but from different sources evolving a nuanced meaning of their own over time. Perhaps 'photograph' will come to mean 'done with film' while image will come to mean 'done digitally.' Who knows, but I don't believe that is yet the case.

Olly

Yes good point. 

Sorry OP for getting a bit sidetracked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.