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Hi  all,

I gave a presentation to Basingstoke AS last week on Sketching the Deep Sky. They have kindly let me put it on youtube - link below. It describes why I enjoy deep sky sketching (in this day of digital imaging) and my approach, equipment (inc a homemade sketch board) and drawing technique. 

It concludes with a trip through the Andromeda Galaxy from the binocular view, star clouds and spiral arms and to its brightest globular cluster. 

 

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NGC4565.png

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Very nicely done!  I've always taken quite a rushed approach to sketching, but there is something quite satisfying about placing those stars perfectly.. and the going the extra step after the initial invert really makes a difference..

Thanks for sharing 

Mark

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Hi Mark, totally agree. I wonder if there is something along the lines of "mindfulness" going on when you are in the moment, gazing across light years of space and replicating the view by hand.  It certainly appears to be more calming than imaging - although not without its own frustrations!

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Watched this last night and as a newcomer to astronomy, I found it really interesting.

Thanks for sharing, I’m off to buy my sketching kit. 👍

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Excellent - very informative. It would be useful to have some information on the process of swapping between the EP and the sketching pad.

For example... getting used to the light change, head light or handheld light, closing observing eye when sketching. 

Thank you

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  • 1 month later...
On 21/02/2021 at 16:21, Spile said:

Excellent - very informative. It would be useful to have some information on the process of swapping between the EP and the sketching pad.

For example... getting used to the light change, head light or handheld light, closing observing eye when sketching. 

Thank you

Hi Spike - apologies I only just noticed your reply recently and have only got round to replying. 

I thought about your questions while enjoying the recent run of clear weather observing the Herschel 400 galaxies in Leo - Coma B - Virgo - Leo Minor. I have marked most as "another dim rugby ball" in my notebook but every now and then I would stumble across a galaxy grouping or thin edge on that made me reach for pencil and paper (see below for example) - my note book now has pages of scribbles to update in due course. 

I made a conscious note of how I transferred from eyepiece to paper as follows:

 

- I roll my roof back and get the telescope up and running with minimum of red light so I am dark adapting as soon as possible. I have a red/white head torch but only use that for unlocking the shed and packing up as it is really bright - particularly when dark adapted. 

- I start off with "old friends" first such as M82, M51, Gamma Leonis, Castor while I wait for full dark adaption with my mug of tea. It is around 30-45 minutes after unlocking the shed that I will start sketching. 

- With a target in the eyepiece I spend several minutes drinking in the view. No sketching but mentally joining the dots, noting the nebulosity and features and so on.

- I have my dim red light on its dimmest setting and cover the ipad I use to control Sky Safari (once we are on target) to minimise light spill. I have also put tape over all the LEDs on my power supply, mount, dew controller and so on.  It's amazing how many there are - all prolly designed by imagers who don't care about dark adaption! I can barely notice them when I start but they were, until covered, dazzling 30 minutes later!

- I observe with my right, dominant eye and alternate relaxing my left eye (ie keeping it open) and then when it is tired I close it or cover it with my gloved hand   Remember to breathe effectively (is that the right word?) so you get good blood supply to the eyes!

- Some targets are so faint that even a dim red light is enough to render it invisible so I have to, after sketching the field stars, draw the details from memory.

- I can easily spend 10 - 15 - 20 minutes on one target while sketching, simply enjoying the view. It is amazing how many subtle details come out with "time on target" and averted vision. 

Be careful to avoid averted imagination though :-)! 

 

I hope that helps! Good luck with your endeavours and stay safe in meantime. 

 

20210405 NGC 5350.JPG

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