This entry is basically for me......to remind me of how far I have come and how far I have yet to go......should I decide to go there. I am not sure I am ready for a greater commitment. Considering where I started.....I would have been doing multiple back flips if I had produced images like I am today. Yet.......you basically have to move forward or risk going backward.
1. Where I started in May 2007. Ugly, but I was thrilled with it. My very first DSO!
M13: Celestron 4" Mak-Cass, original Meade DSI, single arm alt-az mount.
2. M13 A year later.........getting better. 80mm ST refractor, Meade DSI, Sgl arm Alt-
3. M13 Today......much better. 5" Newt, StarShoot II, CG5 Goto mount, unguided
4. Where I need to go. Neil Heacock's recent image of M13. 8" Vixen reflector, Canon
DSLR, autoguided, processed well! * thank you, Neil
I have learned a lot and had a lot of fun in the last 2+ years. If I knew then what I know now, I might never have started, but that's another story for another time.
When I started (afocal snapshots of the moon), my goals were modest.....to simply duplicate the view through the eyepiece. I was amazed that it could be done. Later, with a CCD camera and a crude tracking mount, I set about to get some pretty pictures of my favorite deep sky objects, to hang on the wall......as kind of souvenirs of my observing sessions. I found that printing photos and viewing them from a few feet away, hid many of the flaws that stand out when viewing the same photo on the computer screen.
It quickly dawned on me that I was capturing features and details in the objects that I could not see through the eyepiece......especially when viewed from my backyard or driveway. Now, although my original goals haven't changed dramatically, I have the experience and tools to eliminate many of the glaring flaws in my early efforts. Now, it's a matter of refinement. In no way would I call myself a serious astrophotographer, but I am doing better work, and I am still having fun.