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Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014.


Daz Type-R
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Ok except in context of location I think some of the EMS AP's could give them a run for their money if they had the locations/seeing conditions. Nice pics all the same and I do like the Aurora of the "bergs" - stunning that.


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  • 4 weeks later...

I tend to be a bit cynical about the competition element. I don't wish to take away anything from the winners or well-known experts BUT owning decent kit and expensive processing software is not a disadvantage. Your average Joe with a 6" Dob, compact digital camera and freeware doesn't stand a chance unless they are under 18.


 


Also, I tend to see astronomy as a co-operative rather than competitive hobby. If I wanted competition, I would return to something like chess or bridge and do not hesitate to share anything that others can use.


 


I also wonder what makes a "good astrophotographer", not that I have any claim to that label! I certainly believe I am normally one of the most prolific, especially if you count my computer-based solar "drawings". Yet, every time I think I've reached the limit of what I can do with my equipment, I find something new that I didn't know before.


 


Whilst I'm "game" to try and photograph some of the harder objects, most of my efforts are concentrated on the things that I do that few others do. For example, I monitor sunspots every day I can and have maintained records going back to when I started in 2001. I also tend to do lots of full disc lunar shots. I don't always have time to do webcam close-ups and accept that there are others that can do them a million times better than I can.


 


So, just because you can't win a competition doesn't mean you shouldn't do it but, unless you are a beginner, I would advise specialising in something that is within the reach of what you've got.


 


BTW, you can download free imaging tools from my website: http://philippughastronomer.com/Downloads.html


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I must disagree with this as well.


 


That is like saying to the Wright brothers "Dont build your first aeroplane, stick to doing what you currently do".  With out a bit of healthy competition and the desire to better ones selves and push the limits and boundaries of what you can do, the human race would still be in the dark ages.


 


It could be the astro photography competition that gets people into astronomy in the first place.  If it was not for competitions and the publicity this brings, science and astronomy would not get to the masses.


 


There is nothing wrong with a bit of healthy competition and the desire to push ones self.


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competition is good, its what got us to the moon and back :D  i do get fed up today with all the stuff at schools etc that say


you are not allowed to lose or win, in case it upsets someone.  Life is not like that and never will be.  wins and losses happen to us


all and  what shapes who and what we are is how we react to them.


 


in fact competition and striving is actually what caused humans to evolve into what we are today.  Pushing yourself and others with you


is the best feeling ever when it all works.  and if it does not you just try again and try harder.


 


have to agree with you daz :D


 


 


Sheila

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I must disagree with this as well.

 

That is like saying to the Wright brothers "Dont build your first aeroplane, stick to doing what you currently do".  With out a bit of healthy competition and the desire to better ones selves and push the limits and boundaries of what you can do, the human race would still be in the dark ages.

 

It could be the astro photography competition that gets people into astronomy in the first place.  If it was not for competitions and the publicity this brings, science and astronomy would not get to the masses.

 

There is nothing wrong with a bit of healthy competition and the desire to push ones self.

Sorry, that's not quite what I said. I said that most of my time is spent doing "formula" shots that I know stand a very good chance of working. Time for all of us is limited (especially as my wife is recovering from heart surgery in my case) but I do sometimes try objects like M42 and strive to get the best results I can, in the full knowledge that others can do much better than I can. Maybe the next bit didn't come across in my post but when I have time, especially on a clear Friday or Saturday night I will push the boundaries of what I can do with my kit. As an example, I have tried many things (most of which didn't work) and they have now become my "formula" shots. As an example, I regularly take 30 or more full disc shots of the Moon and stack them using Microsoft ICE and I found out how to do this, simply by trying.

 

Another example (and this took a lot of work to get right) was learning how to use Deep Sky Stacker.

 

I am now learning that one good shot is worth a dozen poor ones. That's why I aim for a good full disc shot of the Moon instead of doing 20 or 30 close-ups of dubious quality. When I do attempt close-ups, I pick a feature and try to do it justice. This gives me more satisfaction and makes my photos more interesting to others (I hope).

 

I think the negative aspects of the competition side  is where we see photos taken by experts and know that we can never get anywhere near the same results. All I or anyone else can do is the best we can within the budget and time constraints that we have.

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competition is good, its what got us to the moon and back :D  i do get fed up today with all the stuff at schools etc that say

you are not allowed to lose or win, in case it upsets someone.  Life is not like that and never will be.  wins and losses happen to us

all and  what shapes who and what we are is how we react to them.

 

in fact competition and striving is actually what caused humans to evolve into what we are today.  Pushing yourself and others with you

is the best feeling ever when it all works.  and if it does not you just try again and try harder.

 

have to agree with you daz :D

 

 

Sheila

Actually I'm rather competitive by nature and years ago played chess to a relatively high level, although never got anywhere near master status.However, apart from White having the first move, it is a competition on a level playing field. I would expect that expert astrophotographers would be able to get better results with my kit and free software than I can. Now maybe that's an idea! Give everyone the same set of equipment and processing tools for an extended period and see what happens. As I said before, anyone over 18 on a limited budget won't stand a chance.

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Sorry still have to disagree. Even with my kit Mike (perkil8r) often walks

All over some of my images and he had an eq5 and a dslr at the time

and was doing 5 to 10 min unguided :o. Down to hard work and the

Competitive never say die attitude Mike has. Take my hat off to him :)

Where there is a will there is a way :)

Sheila

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Sorry still have to disagree. Even with my kit Mike (perkil8r) often walks

All over some of my images and he had an eq5 and a dslr at the time

and was doing 5 to 10 min unguided :o. Down to hard work and the

Competitive never say die attitude Mike has. Take my hat off to him :)

Where there is a will there is a way :)

Sheila

I haven't tried long exposures but don't (yet) have a mount that is capable of doing more than 30 seconds. For various reasons I haven't yet done a  lot with it but have found plenty in the night sky that does not need long exposure.

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