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Light sources?


wibblefish
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Hopefully the right place to ask apologies if not!

I am going to try (being the operative word with my limited drawing skills!) to do some sketching at the telescope this year I hope.

I thought I’d have a go last night but my current red light torch was so strongly reflected off the white paper it partly dazzled me.

Does anyone have any recommendations for how to provide a minimum of light to see the page whilst not obliterating ones night vision? :)

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I have a cheap little bendy orange  night time clip on reading light with extra red insulating tape wrapped around the end. I either clip it to the sketchpad or under the telescope to shine where im sketching and dropping pencils on the floor.

Also handy to shine over eyepiece and filters case.

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I’ve just started sketching too but I’m using a small Feathertouch red torch that I put on a table beside me and shine it obliquely on the page. I’m just putting the main features onto the page at the telescope and finishing it indoors. If I had an observatory it might be different but sketching on frozen grass at the scope has made me prioritise what I want to record!

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Thanks both, I might invest in a little reading light. Good tip on finishing off indoors my feet get cold enough! Looking forward to trying it after being inspired by the ones here though I doubt mine will be as good should be fun and get me to sit and observe a target in more detail than just locating it I hope :)

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Great that you are giving it a try too - I’m looking forward to seeing your sketches!

I’m using pastels on black paper - they look awful when I photograph the page with my camera - I’ll try scanning some tomorrow to see if they scan ok.

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I sometimes use a red torch with adjustable brightness, but even then, shining it directly at the paper its too bright. So I aim it away from the paper and often cover the light with my hand to shield my eyes from the light source. It can be a struggle to sketch in the dark, so I use a rough sketch book for sketching at the telescope, then afterwards, I make a cleaned up version of the sketch in a higher quality sketch book. I have a kind of method of noting brightness intensities of planetary detail using a combination of numbers from 0 to 10, with z representing 0 to prevent confusion with small circular details. Also, I use various kinds of hetching for darks. For nebulous objects I usually draw in negative, with the brightest areas being the darkest, then convert the sketch into negative using photo editor to give a realistic impression. (A putty eraser is an invaluable tool for lifting graphite off the page to create lighter areas).

Below is the torch and the angle poised lamp in my observatory that can be aimed to suit.

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It may be worth looking at the tiny US made Photon Freedom Micro lights that  are available in different colours, including red.  Go to  http://www.photonlight.com

The Micro model can be dimmed down really low.  It can be put flat on a table, worn round the neck or clipped onto a variety of objects.  There's also an optional fingertip attachment  available.

I bought the covert model to get  the narrowest beam, but found it has uneven illumination. I don't know whether the standard version is the same. 

Can anyone help?

 

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