What object in the sky always bites you in the ass when you try to image it? Endless cloudy nights, dew problems, focus issues, equipment failures… A lot of us have one object that continues to elude us year after year. We look on Astrobin or Instagram, see everyone’s beautiful images of this object and want to tackle it ourselves, but every time out the Gremlins start to work their way into our imaging session. I wouldn’t rush to say that everyone has some object they just can’t seem to capture, despite good planning and preparation, but I’m sure there are a lot of us out there with one object that just pisses us off, night after night and year after year.Read more
How to diagnose and treat Obsessive Hobby Disorder.
If you can check off just one of the symptoms on the list below, you probably have OHD.
- Do you check the clear sky chart before planning date-night with your significant other?
- Do you find family time sidetracked by staring at a computer screen monitoring your mount’s tracking?
- Do you wake up in the middle of the night, and instead of going right back to sleep, look outside to see if the sky is clear?
- Have you ever called in sick to work because you were up all night imaging?
- Do you START drinking coffee at 8PM because the sky is clear?
- Do you disassemble, re-grease and test your mount because, Saturday?
- Do you plan out the next 6 months of imaging wile you’re at work?
- Is your bank account’s primary purpose to fund your next piece of astrophotography gear?
Last week, my family and I took a trip out to Galena, IL – about 3 hours West of Chicago. My wife and I frequent the area, but this was the first time we were taking the kids along. I took a video a couple days before we left, talking about my plans to shoot 2+ hours of the Eastern Veil Nebula in Chicago and then 2+ hours of the same object from Bortle 3 skies in Galena. I knew there would be a huge difference and I’d need to find a way to get to dark skies more often.Read more
I often wonder if anybody in astronomy forums has had to struggle to figure out how to pay kids’ school fees and the mortgage in the same month, or forgo that pizza order to put gas in the car.Read more
Noise mitigation for OSC (One-shot Color) Cameras in polluted skies
We all know that SNR is the Signal to Noise Ratio, and that more signal and less noise is good, right? OK, if you didn’t know that, you do now.Read more
Some of us come to this hobby from the world of art and photography, and some come to it from the world of science and astronomy. From there, given enough time, the two worlds unavoidably converge with artists learning science and scientists learning artistic techniques. As we get deeper into the hobby, the purpose and result of the two groups start to meld into something fairly similar. Through nights of frustration and bleary-eyed days at work, we often ask ourselves: Why do we do that to ourselves to do this?Read more
I’m sitting in a surgery waiting room writing this. I don’t know what else to do and I can’t stare at the numerous status monitors knowing my wife’s neck is cut open while doctors probe millimeters from her spinal chord. Most people don’t know about my wife’s surgery because I didn’t post it on Facebook, or let people know who didn’t need to know. “Thoughts and prayers” are mostly bullshit people use to gain a sense of self importance and to feel relevant to a situation in which they are not involved. On the flip-side, I’ve always felt the people seeking thoughts and prayers on a social media platform just want to advertise their current situation for sympathy. I didn’t want either, so I didn’t advertise. The people who really are thinking and praying for my wife and our family don’t need to say it. Their actions are their voice. By the time this is posted, if it’s posted, the surgery will be over, and my wife be home, and I’ll be shooting the sky again. Most people still won’t even know that anything happened.Read more
The other hobby I have a borderline unhealthy obsession with is cycling. Its freeing, as challenging or easy as you want it to be, therapeutic, and just plain damn fun. I’ve cycled tens of thousands of miles over the years, and commuted over ten miles each way to work in 100 degree heat, and 10 degree chill for ten years. All I did was get on and pedal. Unfortunately, to this day, I have magazines, and blogs, and people who have less than 1000 miles on their legs tell me everything I’m doing is “wrong”. I have the wrong tires, my cadence is off, I can’t seriously be cycling without Lycra and cycling specific socks, can I? Yes, socks are actually a debate in cycling. Throughout the years of cycling, my constant message has been this – get on and pedal. It’s that simple. I’ve been cycling seriously for a couple decades. I follow the laws. I know what is safe might not always be considered “right”, but I know I’m safe. I’m sitting on the seat, moving my feet and the bike is moving. That’s it. That’s cycling. I’m not doing it wrong.
I’m also not taking pictures wrong, either are you.Read more