Friday, October 12, 2012

a good quiet run (Blue Mountains)

Completed my imaging run. My first official DSLR prime focus imaging run. And it went pretty well, all things considered. No major gremlins. Despite not really having a plan...

The clear blue skies of the afternoon looked promising as I considered trying for my first double star image. I moved the Canon kit and my Dell laptop to the GBO warm room. Borrowed (again) Dietmar's Canon-bayonet 2"-eyepiece-shaft adapter. Later I bolted up the 40D to the 14" SCT.

I needed some help when my first attempts caused the on-board flash to fired. Steve set me straight. While there, I verified with Steve and Phil that the RAW + formats saved two images. I set to RAW only. And shot a bunch of test images.

Focused, initially, by hand, monitoring the image on the laptop. Then tuned with the TCF (which worked fine for me!). 

Looked like I wasn't getting drifting in 45 second exposures. Went to 60 seconds, so I could keep the ISO level down.

Used EOS Utility for the custom white balance and the imaging run. I programmed it to capture 30 light frames. And walked away...

Celine, a local teacher visiting, arrived part-way through my data acquisition run. I felt a little bad that I was hogging the big 'scope. Let her have a look through the refractor. Of course, she grabbed the eyepiece. But I wasn't really worried. I knew it might muck up a sub or two.

Later I captured the 30 darks.

It was cool. Satisfying. Hard to describe. I'm not finding the right words. But I was, perhaps, surprised, at my comfort level. That is, I did my set-up without muss or fuss, without forehead slapping, calmly, quietly. And yet was confident, without feeling cocky, that it was going to work out. I think, looking back, it was partly because I knew I was surrounded by good people. That if I had gotten really stuck, I would have been able to rely on then. The generous RASC members. So, no need to be anxious. Still, I was glad that, except for the flash mishap, I didn't have to pester them. And that meant I had reached, I guess, a milestone: I was comfortable and familiar enough with the process to not need hand-holding. I could fly away from the nest.

I was excited to see what I'd get.

I resolved to shoot the flats Saturday during the day. In the daylight.


Go-to targeting was way off! Probably due to the weird sequence in starting up.


Update: image processed and uploaded.


Edited for typos.

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