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Hello guys,

I was just reading another tread about how/if visual observing was dying out and one point that caught my attention was how imagers could share so much technical information while observers were very limited in doing so.

As a beginner observer, I would be very interested by a tread about observing techniques. 

Obviously dark adaptation, sitting in a chair and trying to relax help.

I've heard about adverted vision. Is it just looking a little bit off the target or is there more to it? Is there so guidlines on how to use it?

Is there other techniques I've haven't heard about?

Cheers,

Raph

 

 

 

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There's lots in the forum often as starred permanent entries at the top of sections e.g.

 

 

 

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All useful stuff from Moonshane, here's another recent thread started by Neil (Littleguy80) which could be helpful...

 

Edited by Geoff Barnes
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1 hour ago, Geoff Barnes said:

Dave (Littleguy80)

Neil?

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6 hours ago, Littleguy80 said:

I feel like Rodney from Only Fools and Horses 😂

Reminds me of the scene with Trigger and his broom...

You could claim to have had the same telescope for thirty years . You've changed all the glass in it several times but it's still the same telescope! 🤣

Edited by Geoff Barnes
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2 hours ago, Geoff Barnes said:

Thanks Fred , I'll amend that. :) 

You're welcome Bryon.

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There are lots of guides as mentioned above, and I have found that browsing the visual observing reports also gives many tips and a good idea of what you can see.

I don't know about visual observing dying out, imaging is very popular and it's not so easy to share visual experiences as you don't have pictures but I would guess that imaging brings many into the hobby who then do visual, who otherwise might not have tried the hobby at all.

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I think that for me, the time I spend looking and studying an object is very important. It doesn't matter whether its a faint fuzzy or the Moon, the longer you observe it the more you'll generally be able to tease out the detail. Taking notes or making a sketch also focuses the concentration.

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9 hours ago, mikeDnight said:

I think that for me, the time I spend looking and studying an object is very important. It doesn't matter whether its a faint fuzzy or the Moon, the longer you observe it the more you'll generally be able to tease out the detail. Taking notes or making a sketch also focuses the concentration.

I'm really attracted by the idea of sketching what I see but I'm terrible at drawing and have no idea of the techniques/material used. Is there a tread or a section about it?

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8 minutes ago, Raph-in-the-sky said:

I'm really attracted by the idea of sketching what I see but I'm terrible at drawing and have no idea of the techniques/material used. Is there a tread or a section about it?

I think it would be a lovely idea of some of the active sketchers on SGL could give a little insight and tips into their art. @mikeDnight, @Ruud, @kuvik, @Wiu-Wiu, @Mike JW, to name a few, are all currently active and produce outstanding work :smiley:

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13 minutes ago, Raph-in-the-sky said:

I'm really attracted by the idea of sketching what I see but I'm terrible at drawing and have no idea of the techniques/material used. Is there a tread or a section about it?

There is a sketching section here, plenty of advice an examples available.

https://stargazerslounge.com/forum/21-sketching/

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3 hours ago, Raph-in-the-sky said:

I'm really attracted by the idea of sketching what I see but I'm terrible at drawing and have no idea of the techniques/material used. Is there a tread or a section about it?

Hi Raph,

You really don't need to be a good artist to make valuable sketches at the telescope. Simple line drawings can serve as a great way of recording changes in detail on the moon and planets. All you need are a few graphite pencils, a sharpener, a putty rubber and a sketch pad. I find cotton buds are a very good tool for smudging the graphite when you want a soft or nebulous effect, and the putty rubber can lift the graphite off the page to lighten the detail, or it can be used to harden an edge or create lunar rays.

In the attached drawings, you'll notice the Orion nebula drawn by lifting graphite from the page so as to lighten the nebulosity. Also, there's a China white pencil sketch of the same nebula drawn on black paper. Alternatively,  there's a simple graphite sketch of the Orion nebula that's been imaged and presented in negative. Which is best? It's just down to personal preference, but the more you play around doodling at the eyepiece the better you'll get at it. 

Sometimes you'll come across features that are so subtle that you have to exaggerate the size, or the intensity of the detail. Venus being a case in point! Mars can also be a bit of an awkward subject, but most seasoned observers understand the only way to record such detail is to exaggerate its intensity. As long as its representative of what can be seen at the eyepiece,  it's a great way to record observations. The lunar crater Linne is exaggerated in scale as it is so tiny that to do it anyother way would make it valueless.

Screenshot_2019-09-23-11-54-11.thumb.png.2dee6feaffb82824b4421f7746910dc1.pngScreenshot_2019-09-23-11-53-42.thumb.png.0bc770fd8c13c77271aff39a7d6ab81b.pngScreenshot_2019-09-23-11-56-37.thumb.png.121020d94016330232e6a791994b3966.pngScreenshot_2019-09-23-11-55-26.thumb.png.e98c602681c6317605bfbd61b3b73cd2.png

Edited by mikeDnight
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As stated above, it's all about practice! 

Sketching has made me appreciate the objects I observe even more, and in time, it will show differences in your observation place, equipment, and techniques. 

I have only been sketching for about 2 years, and my technique has changed quite a bit. 

Nowadays, I make a rough sketch at the eyepiece where I make notes about structures, details, and I number the stars by clarity. (1 being very bright, 9 being the faintest)

When I finalise my sketch, I start by copying the stars in the finest pencil on a sketchpad (which is also my flat panel). I then draw in the object by using a variety of tools depending on the effect I am looking for. I recently started using brushes and charcoal dust, which gave me a lot more possibilities.

To finalise the sketch, I use 4 thicknesses of fineliner to dot the stars. It gives me the numbers 1 to 8 - and 9 will remain a pencil dot. 

BE3DC227-E764-4255-8234-CBDAA79BF356.thumb.jpeg.34397f2d97bc1d7efaa10a449dfb56ce.jpeg.72ee73924e4eb46a1a3466f4c733da95.jpeg60769BED-347F-4B7E-ABC2-00ADE045158B.thumb.jpeg.14d1c75eaf8342e0bf29b10effc17bef.jpeg.c172213ca51dcfe31882f067a7b17c0c.jpegAAA8DBE4-7237-435E-A37A-BBAD9C144B79.thumb.jpeg.02cb20273f048f059badc49b827b259d.jpeg.47db73b31935b9cdfb215b7c35a0af6c.jpeg

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