View Full Version here: : A Monthly DSO challenge?
23-05-2010, 05:17 PM
As a beginner who doesn't comment on others' photos, because I haven't yet posted one of my own that would compare, I was just lurking and looking at the various M20 shots tonight, and the various comments that had been made about them.
A brain 'spark' happened: I have never seen here (or in any other forum) a "Monthly DSO competition" for want of better words, whereby a reasonably accessible DSO was nominated, and folks then submitted their best attempts, to be judged on some sort of handicap (equipment, location, etc) basis, so those with a "115mm DSE special" scope with a Toucam hanging off it could compete just as much as the Mt Palomar crowd. Sort of a mini Sydney to Hobart for the IIS imaging crowd. Line honours, handicap, just for fun, all classes would be welcome, but more focused than just the "photo of the month" or such.
Why? Just for fun, but also to give novices such as myself an opportunity to compare the various equipments (and DSO) options, and results therefrom, in the imaging side of the hobby. I looked at the four M20 shots shown on IIS today, and would really like to see more comparison info, rather than just subjective "praise and comments".
Is the suggestion realistic or just one glass of wine too many?
23-05-2010, 05:47 PM
:eyepop: :rofl: Good luck
Seriously though... apart from the handicaped idea :rolleyes:... this could work ok and has been done before on other forums :thumbsup:
Please don't feel that you can't post non-Gendler like images here, all images are treated equally with respect and dignity I can assure you :)
23-05-2010, 06:11 PM
None of my images are gender-specific! Then I read closer.......
Thanks anyway for introducing me to Robert Gendler.
I guess my 'glass of wine' comment was closest to the mark then :)
23-05-2010, 06:51 PM
What categories / handicaps are you thinking of:
or something based on scope/mount:
refractors <100 or >100mm
reflecting scopes <250mm or >250mm
mounts - not really sure how you'd easily categorise those...
I think the suggestion has merit, but could get a bit busy if there were too many sub categories? Might be a few one horse races...
23-05-2010, 07:29 PM
I think that more beneficial and less likely to cause friction would be to simply change the title to "Challenge".
"Competition" implies there must be a winner. "Challenge" simply steers everyone towards the same mandate, so you can still compare against other images, but no need for the complexity of handicaps etc.
23-05-2010, 07:55 PM
Bah! PC Humbug!
23-05-2010, 08:00 PM
Requires a panel of unbiased judges
need to take into consideration
equipment/ level of experience/ where image taken etc etc
besides we already have image of the week duly adjudicated and judged by your host
23-05-2010, 11:14 PM
This idea would never work on this forum.
Can you imagine all the tears?
24-05-2010, 07:56 AM
A difficulty that may not be apparent is the fact that these images can take a long time to acquire and sometimes just as long or even longer to process.
So in any given month it may not be possible for someone to actually complete a given image due to weather happening on the right days and personal committments etc
Most people are using data that they have aquired over long periods and adding to it as the seeing and their gear and spare time permits, and also as their processing skills develop, so this leads to a bit of a problem in terms of the competition -
- a. does a comp require that the data be acquired in that month or even that year ?
- b. is it fair to use 25 hours of data acquired last year compared to someone who has never imaged that particular target before and can only acquire say 5 hours of data ?
- c. if a. doesnt apply, how are you going to get someone who has already spent the time and effort acquiring the data to effectively discard it and reimage it (life is too short to waste valuable astro imaging time)
If a. does apply it could be quite difficult for 2 hours of LRGB to adequately compete with 15 hours of LHaRGB !
The other thing is most people tend to have their own projects happening and so they are following their own plans and ideas for trying new techniques and developing their skills based on their own progression.
People have differing gear - some have wide field instruments and others have narrow field, which may or may not suit some subjects.
I am not saying it won't work, but I think these things and others I havent thought about, need to be considered carefully otherwise the pool of entrants would dwindle to low numbers - a competition is not not a competition if there is only one or two entrants per classification.
The other thing is that this makes it a Southern Hemisphere only comp as our latitiude's targets are not visible in the Northern Hemisphere and visa versa.
Then you may have to consider all the other things that the Malin Awards have considered or been accused of not considering !
There are some threads on this forum that raise some of the concerns.
Just some thoughts.
24-05-2010, 08:11 AM
Based on the number of negative comments vs positives, I'll give it to the 'glass of wine' comment.
Thanks for the inputs anyway.
24-05-2010, 09:38 AM
Naah dont give up Mike. I reckon you have identified a real issue. For example, many of us use Chinese scopes, mounts and cameras, trying to get the very best performance we can from limited gear -having occasional successes and lots of fun. But we cannot compete with the top end images that come from RCOS, AP, SBIG etc. So we dont bother to post anything. Even if a competition would be too difficult, a forum devoted to "cheap and cheerful", for users who are trying to wring the very last bit of performance from bottom end equipment might be very useful in getting a lot more of us bottom dwellers to post our less than perfect images and share ideas and enthusiasm. A competition might evolve naturally out of such a forum.
24-05-2010, 12:50 PM
Thanks for the feedback Ray. Based on that, I'll ramble on a little further, without any wine, too.
I feel there is a bit of a void for both novices and the "cheap and cheerful' crowd to easily acquire a feel for what is "bang for the buck" and reasonably achievable in equipment and software, and what comes down to good old basic skill and patience as one learns the tricks of the hobby.
This is my reasoning for having some sort of monthly DSO nominated for an image 'challenge', rather than a general "any imaging photo" approach, so that perhaps in such a forum, comparisons and questions could be readily discussed, based on one single imaging objective; to show what can be achieved (and the limitations of) various types of equipment, software and skill levels.
It's sort of informally done in the present imaging sections, but it's the lowest common denominator of a "specified DSO image" that to me would be of interest in helping improve skills, both equipment and creative, by seeing what results others can achieve on that same DSO, plus how and why.
I realise all these subjects are presently targeted in various sections of IIS. I was simply suggesting a fun way of bringing them together in an instructive and easily understandable format.
25-05-2010, 08:38 AM
This is interesting reading for me. I don't do imaging. So, much of the discussion I can follow in an 'dispassionate' way. What I do see is that imaging is so highly technical, it would be difficult to devise a competition for 'beginners' or advanced alike. The Malin awards are crazy enough to judge.
What I do see merit in is the 'Cheap and Cheerful' idea.
Maybe a subforum in the imaging forums might be a way to go. The quality of pictures submitted in these forums would be intimidating for so many people to place their pics next to. Yet, there would be much merit in having these more 'modest' pics seen by us all. Both to build confidence and learn from.
What sets IceInSpace apart from other sites is the "respect and dignity" that Mike mentions. I do then see a place for these 'Cheap and Cheerful' pics. It would give an outlet for so many amateurs just itching to show what they have done quietly and passionately, yet are a little shy. Many others are just happy to take 'Cheap and Cheerful', as it fulfills their needs, the extent of where they like to take this and the limitations they have for a myriad of reasons. Yet every single image taken is done with the same dedication as those so-so pics done by Strongmanmike, :rolleyes:!
The Beginners Imaging forum serves a purpose, but I don't think it is the right one for the 'Cheap and Cheerful' theme. It is there to foster technical improvements for those starting out or wanting guidance.
25-05-2010, 10:03 AM
Thanks for your inputs, Mental. Yep, The "cheap and cheerful" members who are interested in gaining some more knowledge and skills are who I also see as the recipients. The existing IIS sections do a great job for what (I think) they are respectively intended for. We don't need another thread to show people how to hypertune mounts, or to adjust CCD sensors. It's already well covered, as is general imaging.
My wish is just for a more fun method of gaining better imaging knowledge and being able to compare my results to those with similar levels of equipment and skill, with some knowledge cross-fertilisation thrown in, all in one section of IIS.
I feel the "nominated DSO" approach is an important part of this, in that it ensures a level playing field for all comers. Of course there will be difficulties encountered at times by various folks; weather, obstructions, etc, but hey, that's life, and it's just a hobby. There's always next month. There's also no reason planetary imaging couldn't be included. As long as every one's imaging the same object for that month's entry.
One spin off of the nominated-object approach would also be to embed a good knowledge of the various imaged objects in the imager's skills repertoire, and to appreciate the different aspects of equipment needed for best results on the various typs of objects. This would then assist them in making future equipment purchases that better met their needs, rather than just impulse-shopping online.
Open to further C & C,
25-05-2010, 11:06 AM
I too don't think we need another section on 'pimp my mount', that is adequately covered too I believe.
Yeah, a nominated DSO could quite well work for all and sundry.
Why not test the water with a new thread in DSO imageing as "DSO of the month- give us your shot!". Make the introduction clear that it is open to all levels of gear and experience. Could actually be exciting and focuses the community on something specific. This way the 15hr exposure crowd gives us the WOW factor, and the 20min crowd gives a more 'through the eyepiece' experience. Everyone gets a gernsey.
Something like this runs through the 'Observational and visual astronomy' forum with its monthly Challenge. It offers a series of targets nominated by the IIS community and asks participants to offer thier observation notes and sketches.
You might want to open nominations for the object during the Full Moon week. Then it is a true to life pulse with those who are clouded-out, oh-well next time, and others get a go. That is how the 'obs' Challenge runs. Or have a theme, with a series of 'one type of' objects, like nebulae, galaxies, wide field, etc.
Do what you can, with what you've got, and the time you have. Nothing more, nothing less. Just have a go.
It's an idea that's been tried at various times before, but always ends in lack of participation for one reason or another.
Just thought I'd mention it, but you're welcome to try.
Some prior attempts.
25-05-2010, 11:44 AM
Then it needs one or a few people to breathe some life back into the notion. The obs' challenge also has had a time off, and it was a 14yr old member who spiked it again. It too is a modest thread, but it gives people a focus, and novices a guide as to what is up there. I don't always get to make a submission, but participation is all that matters. Somethings called 'clouds' & 'life' gets in the way, :sadeyes:.
I'd encourage the uptake of an 'imaging challenge' again.
Someone like to get a thread going then? I'm no imager, and I'd feel awkard doing so, but for the sake of spirit, maybe start with- Eta Carina. Bright enough, large enough and detailed enough to allow a variety of focal points: the entire nebula, the Keyhole, the Homunculus nebula, its various embedded clusters, dark pilars and bok globuals. Take your pick.
Sure go for it, there's no harm in trying.
Why not team up with mldee and get the ball rolling.
Like you said the Obs challange kicked off again.
25-05-2010, 12:01 PM
rather than try to break it up into subcategories of scope type etc, why not expand on the cheap and cheerful idea and have the categories be based on the cost of the rig??
I would love to see the difference between the "sub-$1000" category and the "$20k +" category.
I think there would be surprises there for everyone, just how well you can do with very limited / cost-effective gear....
BUT - just thinking this through while I'm typing - how do you cost a top of the line rig that was bought 2nd hand for much cheaper than someone with the same rig who bought it new....hmmm
just a thought anyway.
I suppose the fairest way is to take the average of the two prices.
25-05-2010, 01:10 PM
Moving right along.......OK, I like Mental's approach, KISS and Adam's comments on a value system is probably the easiest way to kick off.
I'm unsure of how we should organise this. As this years culprit on reviving the concept, I don't mind starting the thread in DSO Imaging, which seems like a good place for it. We'll worry about how to include planetary and solar as we go along. I'd especially like to include eventually planetary as it gives an inclusion for the Toucam and small refractor crowd to strut their skills as well.
Before posting the new thread, I would certainly appreciate inputs on what info should be in the initial thread.
I would suggest, just based on my gear being pretty typical, that the eqpt categories be based purely on cost to the user, within reason. If high end gear is readily available at serious discount, then to me it's just more of the bang for the buck info that we need to see. All my scopes are used, but unfortunately no AP or RCOS's in amongst them. The cost equation should just include Scope, mount/tripod and imaging device, including Hyperstar/FF/FR mods?
I see little relevance in including other accessories such as PC, finders, Obs eqpt etc. If goto was part of the original price, then it gets included in the price. As Argo is basically a time saver, I don't think it needs to be included for the Dob boys.
Software? Probably too hard and better ignored.
Just a simple "Total rig cost". Say, under $1K, 2K, 5K, 10K and >10K? Too many?
Info on eqpt and imaging techniques used to be included in each image post.
DSO categories for nominated objects: (Easy to hard) Nebulas, Clusters, Galaxies, Wide field, Other strange objects.......?
Challenge open to all, monthly frequency, results by thread vote?
Sidonio's allowed? As long as it's with the same gear, why not?
25-05-2010, 01:17 PM
I really enjoyed the challenges when they came up. Not sure I'd enjoy competition so much. The challenges were very fun and constructive for everyone involved, competitions would never be fair. But hey, give it a go if you want :)
25-05-2010, 01:56 PM
Does it need to be a competition? A challenge might be seen less intimidating.
Maybe to start keep the concept simple- got a camera, scope and mount, show us a picture.
The technical aspects can be, should be, could be (need concensis) included. Not for bragging rights, but for informed critique.
Sidonio's can come and play. It makes for a comparison to aspire to.
The object selection I think is the exciting part. It one month be object specific, other times theme specific, another time gear cost specific. This widens the posibilities and helps keep it fresh and relevant.
For the 'toucam' fraternity, then another month could be their's, or even run concurrently. There's an idea- who can get a month's worth of lunar shots to show is libration!
What this needs to be is inclusive. That is what I like about the obs. challenge. It aims to appeal to all levels of experience and gear. It aims to encourage and foster participation. Everyones ego can be stroked this way.
That is why I suggested Eta Carina. Something for everyone- do with it what you will.
25-05-2010, 02:44 PM
I just realised the thread header still said 'Competition'. I've now changed it to 'Challenge'. I had simply used competition because it was the first related word that came into my head.
Perhaps we're looking at this from slightly different aspects. I see the intent of the thread to be a fun means of "gaining knowledge" in basic imaging, and less of a "challenge for neat photos". I feel the present imaging section handles that aspect quite well.
This is the reasoning behind my inputs on the basic technical aspects and focus on imaging just one object at a time. As you mentioned, the Eta Carina region has a bunch of different subjects within it. My preference, which may not be others', would be to actually keep the monthly subject matter pretty narrow. Eg, one Messier object. The intent of this is to highlight to participants the advantages and limitations of various eqpt setups. Also gives some encouragement to the participants not to go for the "easy way" wider field stuff (sorry folks!) but to try their hardest to capture that one nominated object as best they can. Obviously the object should be one that is reasonable easy to image with cheap and cheerful gear at that time of the year.
Also helps one to get on a first name basis with individual Messier objects, their locations and imaging peculiarities.
It's just a different approach, but my preference. When we run out of convenient objects, then there's always the Bigger-sky stuff as Mental suggests.
Anyway, more C&C?...
25-05-2010, 02:55 PM
My 2cents worth:
if you're after "audience participation", why not scratch the "cost" categories, at least initially.
See if there is interest in the concept?
Why not have a template to standardize the info given about an image, eg.
Scope: (+/- reducers/flatteners)
Summary of post processing:
All of the above could be extremely educational, rather than competitive. Give people a forum into which to display their images and compare them to others - something to aspire to...
If it becomes bigger than Ben Hur, then work out what categories suit to divide the field into reasonable groups, and then open the challenge to "voting".
25-05-2010, 03:02 PM
I think it may be interesting if people denoted exactly what equipment they used. Then the inexperienced could see - Hmm thats the field I would get through an ED80, or thats the difference between an expensive APO and an ED scope, or different fields of view from different scopes, or if I upgraded to that CCD from my DSLR or had it modded that what I could expect and is it worth it?
Or I was thinking of upgrading my mount but he's/she's using the same and its carrying the same load and they have great round stars etc.
25-05-2010, 03:51 PM
This is more in line with what I was thinking.
David - The template concept is good. I have no real problem with not having a "cost" category, my intent there was simply to illustrate to the cheap and cheerful crowd what sort of expenditure was probably needed to get what sort of results, and the relative performance values of new vs used gear.
As to the 'voting' aspect. My feeling is that if it gave it a competitive aspect, agreed, it probably would scare some potential participants away. OTOH, a "x out of 10" "score" from one's peers may be helpful in self evaluation. It doesn't have to be a contest.
There could be a bunch of folks all getting the same "score" for a particular object. Equipment used and image quality should both be factors in the score. Scoring probably the least important of my concerns though.
25-05-2010, 04:07 PM
yep - I like this idea as well. Just a plain vanilla "here's my picture, and this is what I used to take it" approach.
much more inclusive and informative, less competitive and intimidating
The first thing that stood out for me when checking the first thread linked in Andrews Post (http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/showpost.php?p=596919&postcount=16) above(about this being an idea tried at various times before),
is the difference in the colours of each persons image, very interesting.
I'm intrigued by the idea of an 'open' monthly DSO challenge.
May even post an image or two myself :eyepop:
No competition at all, just people posting images to the same thread to compare results.
No banter though, maybe two threads, one for images and basic equipment info, the other for discussion. That way every post has an image and the thread remains uncluttered like the monthly Photo Challange in the terrestrial section which has worked so well for so long.
Anyone else find it strange? That the terrestrial photo thread can go so well on an Astro forum but we can't get a basic one going for astro subjects? :lol:
I've only ever posted one image (http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=46147) before, back when I got my DSLR.
But, if this gets off the ground, I'm going to PROMISE that I will post an image of the subject for at least the first 3 months! No matter how crappy my images may be! There, you have it in writing ;)
(My only disclaimer: If the subjects are within the capabilities of my equipment)
Roger seems pretty keen too :)
I like Dave Trapps model:thumbsup: Except the voting. I'll definetly be in on it
25-05-2010, 10:03 PM
For the record, I'm not that keen on voting.
25-05-2010, 11:28 PM
For what it's worth, I have some experience in the 'challenge' concept, having co-moderated a small Yahoo group with a monthly challenge. Not DSOs, but moon features. Much more difficult targets because you might only have one or two short windows a month to image the target.
Success or not depends largely on the spirit in which the challenge is conducted, and this really comes down to the members. We have two sections, simply gear worth over $2k & gear worth under $2k (US). There have only been a couple of queries on this in the whole time it has been running, again a sign of the good spirit operating. It is generally accepted that the under 2k section is for novice imagers with limited gear (or lousy imagers such as myself :lol: ), while the over 2k section is for experienced imagers or new imagers who want to start with all the bells & whistles.
Entries vary, ranging from 8-10 per month down to zero, especially if the Nth American members were clouded out on the crucial days! A standard entry form has to be submitted with each entry - this details the equipment used (scope, camera etc), date, name, plus space for notes on sky conditions etc. The features have to be imaged within the calendar month and submitted within a few days of the end of the month. Polls are then set up and the images voted on by members. In a tie, we now call it a draw rather than have a 'vote-off'. Winning images become the 'group photo' on the home page, the nearest we get to a prize!
It has been very satisfying to run. There has been a fair turnover of entrants over the years and one of the great things has been seeing complete novices enter, and over time watching their imaging & processing improve. Some very good imagers have entered at times, often submitting images that would be considered sub-par, simply because of the sky conditions during the tight windows of opportunities. But that's part of the challenge, and also shows that the people involved were not terribly precious about reputations & all that stuff. It's all about doing the best possible job in available conditions.
Anyway, the challenge has been going for over four years now (with ups & downs), so that's gotta say something!
What would worry me doing this in a large forum like IIS is that if you get even a relatively small number of people treating it too competitively you will constantly get the challenge challenged (he understated the value of his gear, she imaged it outside the month etc). Ever more complex rules will have to be developed & policed, and it will be a nightmare to run.
If people enter in the spirit of fun and learning, then there will be no problems. So the question is: IISers, are you up to the challenge? ;)
25-05-2010, 11:55 PM
Just a little extra on voting - if you are going to select winners by members' vote, then there is the risk of bloc-voting where members vote for their favourite imager or best mate rather than the best image. We've had little problem with this, but I know that it happens with lots of other imaging competitions. And it's not hard to see when it occurs.
Maybe DavidTrap's thinking along the right lines here...:shrug:
26-05-2010, 09:43 AM
If voting happens, it will get ugly.
Two sections according to gear cost, like Rob-K suggests, might be as far as a distinction that should be made. <$2k, and > $2k. It could well give the boys with toys the space they would like, and remove some of the angst.
An 'official entry form' like DavidTrap suggests is good, I said it earlier. Just to give the challenge a standard to go by. :thumbsup:
Give it a go?
26-05-2010, 10:25 AM
Yep, a bit like the monthly observing challenge - there's no winner for the "best visual observation of the month", LOL, just sharing your efforts. No doubt a bit cutsie-cuddly for the alpha males on IIS (you know who you are! :P ), but why does everything have to be a competition? :D :lol:
26-05-2010, 10:41 AM
Would you like to start the thread? As I know nothing about imaging, I would not want to sound too dumb and lower the value of the Monthly Challenge.
What would the first target be for this month? I do recommend a single target as it gives a common comparison point.
My contribution to the Challenge could be an input to the object selection. Technical analysis, nil. Aesthetic evaluation, think Matt Perston. I'll even wear a cravatt, ;) :lol:.
26-05-2010, 10:56 AM
Agreed. Voting simply to choose a winner would probably get ugly and also be a PITA extra task to administer.
I personally don't mind the idea of an "x out of 10" score that members could award to individual images. The intent being to provide some level of objectivity to a contributor's image, with both quality and eqpt cost being factors. If members think that would incur too much embarrassment for some contributors, so be it, but adding a little flavour to the mix may be more enjoyable than plain vanilla every time, and it does give contributors their own personal benchmark from which to try and improve as the months go by.
On the cost sections, I would suggest three; <2K, 2-5K, and >5K. My reasoning being that a lot of potential cheap and cheerfuls ( me included) will almost exceed the $2K just by buying a cheap cooled CCD, whereas budget DSLR-based eqpt setups could probably still scrape into the <2K category.
My EQ6, used C8 and a QHY8 would probably fit the description of many members' setups. This would be firmly in the 2-5K section. The Taks and Losmandy owners would mostly then come into the >5K, and one would hope this extra cost would be reflected for members in the overall quality (or not) of their images.....
Keep in mind that I'm trying to describe this cost aspect from the viewpoint of bang for the buck info for members, not from a 'how much did that image cost' standpoint, if that makes sense..
I'm a little wary of how much actual administration involvement this type of forum would entail, never having done such before, and being inherently lazy. For this reason, I feel it would require at least 2-3 members to participate in running it. All suggestions on this aspect gratefully received.
So to summarise; Seems quite a few members would like to see and participate in such a forum, but without any pure competitive structure. Supporting info should be entry-form-based, with defined eqpt cost sections and based on imaging a specific Messier-type object on a monthly basis.
Any further inputs before we decide the next step?
26-05-2010, 02:51 PM
"Realistically" considering the "full retail" price of equipment, I'd suggest that there wouldn't be too many setups in digital astrophotography under $2K - especially if one throws in autoguiding.
Eg for a hypothetical setup: HEQ5 ~1250, ED80~500, DSLR ~500, Finderguider ~100, Modified Webcam ~100, Interface Boxes ~100, mounting plates ~100, t-adaptors & other bits ~100 = $2750. I'm not wanting to start an argument here on prices - I've guestimated many of these to illustrate my point, but I think they are reasonable numbers.
Any "fair" classification on price would have to reflect "full retail price", not what you bought it for second-hand - otherwise someone will claim their mate bought an AP mount and sold it to them for a dollar!
If you really want to "divide" the field, why not do a simple <$5K or >$5K. I'd hope this would separate modest vs expensive gear and achieve your aim, and also avoid arguments from people trying to claim their setup falls in the <$2k category.
Ultimately, it doesn't matter - from my point of view the project is designed to get people imaging a similar object and comparing their results in the hope of learning something and improving. I'm sure people with less expensive gear will regularly outperform my images, but I want to be in this to learn and improve.
26-05-2010, 02:58 PM
You could do the ultimate challenge, and, that is for everything that is submitted to be anonymous. No details, nothing.
Judge the image for the image itself, and, not who or what took it.
I don't think this idea will fly on this forum as it was scrapped in the terrestrial imaging section. I know, I know, there's administrative overheads when it comes to these sorts of things.
26-05-2010, 07:20 PM
My 2c worth. I agree with David, about $5k seems to me to be a realistic boundary between the low end and better imaging systems, but there is probably no need to be pedantic about this - guidance only and users can post where they think it is appropriate. Simon has a good idea of separating the images from the discussion - could get too unwieldy otherwise - but I dont understand enough about the underlying forum mechanics to comment on the best way to do this. Also, dont think that "great image" type comments will add much to this type of forum, so that could be indicated somewhere maybe?
Also posters should be encouraged to include as much info as possible on how the image was produced, known problems/limitations with equipment, software used and how etc. to get a discussion going and cross pollinate in as many areas as possible. Eventually, this could provide a collection of typical images from various types of equipment, which could be invaluable for anyone trying to improve their techniques.
Whatever, count me in - like David, I also want to learn more.
Thanks for the compliment but it's not my idea, it has been in use for some time in the terrestrial photography forum.
If you have a look at the following two links, you'll see how it works:
February Photo Challenge - Entries (Post them here) (http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=56338)
February Photo Challenge - Comments (http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=56339)
I have selected an old challenge as the current challenge isn't the best example.
If there is to be voting I can understand the need to set an equipment value range, but if the general concensus(sp?) is to abandon voting(yay) and just have some fun and as a means of comparison, I like the idea of open entry.
As with others, my main interest is in comparing my result with everyone elses, see how composition/data/processing etc etc contributes to differences in each persons image and learn from it.
27-05-2010, 04:32 PM
Well, I've had a chance to think about the different opinions and preferences expressed here, and also just discoverd (Doh!) a very similar 'challenge' on CN. I quite like the basis of the CN approach (http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/3792813/page/0/view/collapsed/sb/5/o/all/fpart/1). It encompasses most of what the majority of posts seem to prefer here on IIS.
However it's not what my original comments were meant to describe. I was looking for something that was a little more of a "cheap and cheerful" informational imaging thread, but based on the CN CCD challenge two-thread format (Now that I know it exists!)
So to summarise my final position, I would like to see a "challenge" that only encompassed main equipment; scope, mount and imager+FR eqpt setups, under $5K total cost. Misc accessories don't count. Used, new or DIY, don't care. Your cost. And if your sister bought it for you, that cost counts too.....
Over $5K, forget it, go find another challenge. The cheap and cheerful crowd can also go look at the images there. This one is aimed at giving them a fun informational challenge. If you want to say your 20" RCOS and AP mount cost $4,999 because you bought it from your sister, go ahead. Truth will out :)
A scoring system a la CN would be OK, and having a (2 months ago) previous winner nominate the next object is a nice touch.
So rather than asking for general comments, I'll ask, who else would like this approach? And no, not really interested in major variations on the theme.
27-05-2010, 05:24 PM
That sounds great, ide love to have a crack at it. As somebody who loves to squeeze his lemon as hard as i can, it would give me some focus to what to image!
look forward to see if something comes out of it :D
27-05-2010, 07:08 PM
Little confused by this - you started this thread asking people for their opinions and now you want to call the shots??
Obviously my setup is >$5K - I take it you don't want me to participate. I firmly consider myself a beginner and would have expected to be outclassed by others. I believe the spirit that other posters in this thread have conveyed is one of wanting to LEARN in a non confrontational environment. If the top end imagers did participate, I would see this as being a source of inspiration - they were all beginners once and some might even enjoy helping others who want to learn. Most, including me, have discouraged voting.
Your initial post said "all classes welcome". To exclude someone who has purchased expensive gear doesn't seem inclusive, not does it abide by the "respect and dignity" that Mike fosters on this site.
I hope this doesn't destroy what I thought was developing into a good idea.
27-05-2010, 07:41 PM
Just that the number of opinions and options was becoming too confusing for me. So I simply went back to basics of clarifying my original post, based on the additional info I had received, and I'm most grateful for all the feedback from IIS members.
Sorry if you feel my final proposed parameters are too narrow and "undemocratic". I'm just expressing my final preference for how I would prefer to see such a thing run. Others who may not agree are quite free to propose their own different styles of "challenges". I guess Mike and others will have the final say on what should proceed and what shouldn't.
27-05-2010, 08:10 PM
Thank-you for your apology Mike.
As you suggested others propose their ideas, here goes nothing:
Monthly DSO Imaging Challange - object specified around Full Moon each month.
All comers welcome.
All images submitted with standard template including:
* Scope: (+/- reducers/flatteners)
* Imaging device:
* Exposure details:
* Stacking method:
* Summary of post processing:
* Date(s) image taken:
* Darkness of imaging site: Good, Bad, Ugly
Encouragement that the image be taken during that month, but images taken previously are not excluded (to allow for weather and other life commitments) - declaring the date of imaging also lets others learn how image quality is affected by the phase of the moon.
Each poster to suggest an object for next month - the most popular becomes the subject for next month. (This also encourages beginners to consider what objects might be suitable targets next month)
One thread for posting images
One thread for comments, critiques and advice.
I have purposely left out any reference to price of ones setup - that should be obvious to those concerned by reading the standard template.
27-05-2010, 08:56 PM
BINGO! David. This model seems the most inclusive.
Mike, I hope you see why I favour this method. I would like it to be as unaggresive as can be, but it still allows the 'alpha males' to mark their territory.
I am amazed at how this thread is developing. I love it, fellow IIS members.
27-05-2010, 09:00 PM
I love the model as it stands.
Thanks to Mike and David for thrashing it out, Post it the first challenge and see if you can get a mod to make it a sticky.
Whos picking the first target?
27-05-2010, 09:15 PM
I'll let David go for it.
27-05-2010, 09:26 PM
Mike - it has not been my intention to seek control of this project, but if you're happy, I'd be honoured to take up the challenge.
I'll wait until tomorrow night to give other a chance to make their thoughts known.
27-05-2010, 10:42 PM
David, please feel free to do so. I would not really be interested in trying to organise something that was not of further interest to me.
Its your baby, and you started this whole ball rolling. Its people like you, putting a lot of time and thought into ideas that makes iis what it is.
I think you should start the ball rolling (tonight?) and dont get disheartened. People do appreciate what you have done here.
28-05-2010, 08:53 AM
You bettcha! This one monster thread you have started, Mike. My intention in contributing has been to attempt to give a point of view impartial to 'imaging'.
I've attempted to give an insight into community from the point of view from the little threads that make up the 'Obs. Challenge'. The visual boys and girls there can be just as competitive- look at the size of some of their gear (get that indiya Imagers!). What is enjoyable about it is how it gives the whole crowd a focus to come together on, with each and every participant (contributing with a post or not), having a go as legitimate as the next person, regardless of their gear, experience, health, etc. What contributions are made, I hope, are seen as comradery with those sharing a common passion.
Why not a choice of target by both Mike and David togther. This makes it community. One gave the idea, the other the method. The debate on preference leads to consensus and equal contribution.
28-05-2010, 09:04 AM
As I said earlier - it was not my intention to take this over. If Mike wants to run with this, I will not stand in his way.
I made my comments about his proposed method (and proposed an alternative) because I believed it didn't encompass the "style of challange" which had been expressed by the ISS community during the thread.
I'll give Mike the opportunity to think this over and let us know if he wants to run with this, otherwise I am happy to talk to the moderators about this and see what can be arranged.
28-05-2010, 10:07 AM
I'm more than happy for some motivated individuals to start up the Monthly Challenges for DSO imaging again. As RB pointed out, it's been done in the past with some moderate success, but ended up stopping because the motivated individuals at the time stopped :)
It used to be combined with the Monthly Observing Challenge - the same object(s) were chosen for both visual observers and imagers. The visual observers would post their observing reports and/or sketches, and the imagers would post their images.
Then a DSO challenge was run separately (some years later) with some success, but again it was up to the motivated individual at the time.
The observing guys have now started up the Monthly Observing Challenge again, which is great.
From my experience, the best way to run this new DSO challenge, is:
- No restrictions on who can post an image
- No restrictions on value of the gear used
- No voting for the 'best'. It's a "challenge", not a competition.
- Contributors should post as much information as possible about the gear used/processing used, so that others can learn from it.
You'll get to see the same object from many different types of gear, focal length, cameras, conditions, and of course the skill of the imager and the processing used.
The aim of it initially was simply to give the imaging/observing a purpose - to get people out there focusing on a target.
So ideally you'd want people to capture the target during that month, rather than just post an image they took previously. But I don't think there should be any hard and fast rule about that. It's just for fun, after all.
Anyway they're just my thoughts. Happy for you guys to do it as you see fit - you're the motivated individuals this time around so it's up to you :)
Happy to help any way I can, sticky the threads etc.
I agree with what Mike just said, it's the best way and everyone can get involved.
It's been suggested to have an anonymous DS challenge but our experience has found that this quickly dies due to lack of interest.
It wasn't the administrative overheads that caused us to stop the anonymous terrestrial monthly challenge, it was lack of interest.
So we have reverted back to the requested method of the monthly challenge where everyone is welcome to post their own work.
Anyway it would be great to see this startup again, good luck with it, whoever is going to start it up again.
28-05-2010, 11:12 AM
All fair points, but from my ideas, alot of people who are new will not post because they see what people with other gear has and instantly equate really good gear with good images and feel as if they will be put down (its the way of life if your substandard generally you don't want to stand out and put the lights on you especially when the others in the group have hubble like shots and your has got oblong stars).
everybody should be included, which is the point of it but whats the point of having a sticky thread with this is this months DSO? just look at the DSO images that pop up, they do exactly what is being proposed here right now its a common consensus and unspoken and somebody who takes a interesting shot is generally copied. Its all in everybody showing what they are imaging, some are abstract and absolutely fab, some are wide field, some are narrow. you get my point.
I think that a DSO Challange should be that. split up into 2-3 groups, people with the really good gear and professionals really, people with average/mediocure gear/and beginners, this show cases what can be done with the equipment/skill of each individual group. Administrative overheads can be culled to an absolte minimum with some clever programming work. that is,
-Peer critiqued system, whos photo do you think was the best, the most votes gets a automatic email
-once awarded that person selects a target with some basic guide lines (revolving difficulty levels, type of target ect ect).
-Cost of equipment and skill level should be how your placed into the beginners/intermediate/advanced sections a quick form to select your equipment, that gets filtered and tells you where to post your image, that way you don't just get lobbed with Paramount ME's Remote obs and 20" RC telescopes... with a ED 80 + DSLR. but the next point makes sure that if your a professional with low end equipment you will produce better results (hence the skill factor is just as important as the equipment sometimes)
-Once you have placed top 5 photos then you automatically get sent a email pushing you into the next catagory.
As much as you don't want this to be a competition, theres no point to it if it isn't, why would you strive to submit better photos.? If it was me it wouldn't spur me on to be better if there wasn't a sense of competition. Im not looking for prizes or anything but i think as a prize for everybody that the top 12 images from each catagory could be made into the inagural IIS coffee table book? 12 images from 3 catagories...? that sounds like a winner to me.
Like i said, some crafty programming could see this as a mainstay, trying to get 1-5 people to run it will end up dead, people move on and do things. Get it hard programmed and then it doesn't matter whos at the helm, all they have to do is make sure its working!
The point of this thread and RB and Mikes input is to make it a LEARNING experience, not a competition. You say is that a competition is the only way to get support for it, well I have to disagree with that. There are plenty of competitions out there, what is being suggested here is quite different.
The spirit in which this whole thread is to compare what others are doing and hopefully learning what gear, processing works well, in a not threatening atmosphere.
Thanks for the your input though :thumbsup:
28-05-2010, 11:30 AM
Thanks for the input Mike,
If the Monthly Observing Challenge is providing a suitable list of objects, it could be a worthwhile source of objects.
28-05-2010, 11:43 AM
My reasons for not advocating a competition is that it won't be inclusive. By that, those who feel their work doesn't cut the mustard just won't submit their pics. The idea is to encourage folks to come out of the woodwork in a noncritical enviroment. The current imaging forums certainly donot contain the 'cheap and cheerful' pics mentioned early on in the thread. It is by including these in a nonthreatening, non intimidating way that the spirit of the challenge should be held. Otherwise, as the Iceman mentioned, the 'competition' will die quickly.
Maintaining two or three threads according to cost as a division will be very difficult to maintain. I've changed my mind on this matter since it would be lumped on very few members to conduct this challenge. The idea of a challenge by-no-means does it preclude those who want to show their thourghly tricked up rigs and software skills. But run a competition, and they are all you will see, with nil net gain for those who are starting out or have moderate skills
All entries should be seen in the same thread. All entries should show the technical gear/data involved. Everyone should be welcomed to participate without fear or favour. At most a second thread run concurrently for comments/critique.
Though only running for maybe six months, the obs. challenge has its following. One of the most enthusiastic contributors uses a 114 scope. I only wish I was able to contribute as much, especially with my 17.5", but I revel in the detailed descriptions he posts. If you make this obs challenge a contest, where would he stand? Do you see were I'm coming from? The way I see it, the more people participate, the more everyone gains, old dogs and new.
Start a peeing contest, and soon no one joins in.
Edit: Why not make the imaging challenge follow the obs. challenge, as David suggests. It contains targets from easy to difficult.
28-05-2010, 11:45 AM
I have to admit, Brendan has a really good point about what happens in the deep space forum -- that, when an object is culminating, everyone's going at it. Just look at the recent spate of M20s for example. And, this has happened since forever. In a way, just scoping the deep space forum, you can see people with varying gear, varying degrees of skill imaging the same object.
A monthly DSO challenge might just end up doubling up on this.
I'm not saying to can the idea -- I understand there's a heap of new people to the hobby who are trying their hand at imaging that don't post to the deep space forum and this would give them a chance to share in the fun.
28-05-2010, 11:51 AM
The DSO section is 100% exactly what your doing
Nobody is discouraged from posting!
Everybody generally puts there equipment on display
Everybody generally tells pretty much the exposure times
Everybody generally critiques each other.
Everybody generally helps the others to get going.
what are you doing different to "bring the people out of the woodworks"
its a double thread cheif.
Its not a pissing contest, because you'll all be working in the same class of people.
28-05-2010, 12:05 PM
Yeah, double-threads don't work, Brendan. I agree.
I just end by saying what I had previously, a challenge is only to focus peoples attention to a common point and see what different results come up. It is then upto each individual to what point they want to take it. Really, that is all. The competition is then upto you. I just don't like a 'pick my fav'. It hurts. If you then think 'tough', you are missing the point.
I'll try to contain my language next time, my apology, Brendan.
28-05-2010, 01:32 PM
My my, the thread is sure getting lots of great feedback. I'd just like to clarify further my reason for stepping back from what I started!
I initially asked for comments (because I had no idea of other peoples' ideas or similar previous attempts at this subject). As the feedback came in, it became very obvious that the "open challenge" concept was what most were looking for.
This was a major divergence from my initial poorly-expressed ideas, and showed that my concept of a pure "cheap and cheerful imaging info/challenge thread" was not in line with most member's wishes. I admit the C&C-only approach is not very democratic, but to keep the overhead simple, it became obvious to me it was the best approach to start with. Most disagree. So be it.
I also feel it would be unwise to attempt two "competing" but similar challenges, so I'm happy to step back and see how the mainstream approach goes.
This being the case, I simply found that I had little interest in the mainstream challenge concept, and so decided to step back from the discussion, as there appears to be plenty of others willing to continue it to whatever logical conclusion is reached.
I would again like to thank all members who have contributed to the discussion so far, in the process greatly enhancing my understanding of the various complexities involved in setting such things up.
I hope this clarifies my actions sufficiently, and I wish all the best to the various members also interested in starting a general monthly DSO challenge. I shall continue lurking on the sidelines, giving my support to IIS and it's forums.
28-05-2010, 03:43 PM
Brett, i just saw your post it got gobbled up quickly with the amount of replys.
Yes you are indeed correct about the focus of this forum.
"IceInSpace is a community website dedicated to promoting amateur astronomy in the southern hemisphere - including Australia, New Zealand, South America, Southern Africa and parts of Asia. We aim to help stargazers from around the world discover, discuss and enjoy the beauty of our night sky."
How do people learn? is it by their own curiosity? is it by others spurring them on? or do they just? learn?
How many times have you sat there and gone, man, i honestly am having a CBF day? How many times have you said hey, ill learn it one day, but ill just plod along for now?
The idea of a contest, isn't to see whos :D is bigger, what it does in my eyes is give you that silent nudge to go hey.... if i want to have a better image than person X then ill follow what hes doing (and lots of people do it already) but when you match person X, what then? you aim again how do you think the likes of Jason(jase), Ken Crawford, Paul Hease ect ect become so good at what they do? they all would have started from grass roots at one stage! as their skill progressed, so did their equipment and now, its almost like the miners touch!
What a competition would induce is a chance for everybodys person X to be marked, and then they contact that person and see if they can help. Presently im helping 5 different people who have named me their person X, if they where in perth, i would be right there helping them along. and as i offer to everybody and anybody ask me if you want some help.
This competition would be as much about gaining knowledge by example as anything would be, as a cherry to "bring people out of the wood works" because theres something at the end you get your name up in the spotlight for doing a unreal job with your skill and equipment as voted by your peers. Peer critiquing! the best thing going i think.
If theres something to win, i think the saying is You gotta be in it to win it so why not enter it with the best you have... theres your woodwork bringer outera hoosie jackie. and at the same time you have everybody learning from each other in their class, the beginners dream and look in on the pro's and the pros look in on the beginners and lend their voice. simple equation, induce more buzz, induce more awareness.
I would not be able to put as elegantly as mike did so here was he said;
Brendan its seems we are shooting for the same goals but in a different way. I have a group of astro friends of varying astro experience, some are teaching me and I am teaching others (or automating their observatories!), and it works very well getting the experience from other imagers and it sound like you have the same thing going on in perth, and good on you for helping others!
A challenge would end up with a Mike, Peter and Jase shootout (no offense intended to these guys, they arguably are the best regular aussie iis imagers), and everyone else would not be bothered posting due to how ordinary there images are incomparison, especailly if they are using top end gear and need to get some experience how to get the best out of their gear.
In the Trapp model, I feel it would be far less confronting.
28-05-2010, 04:24 PM
everybody must of missed the key point i stated.
3 different levels.
you go though a online form, enter your equipment
you get your level
that way your only shooting against your own level.
Im with you 100% about if its a all in brawl, it will be a handfull of dudes that always win. boaring... but with it being dynamic as the best people start swiming with their own sized fish... it gets interesting and the results will speak. the people who are keen and want to improve, they will improve. those who want to just plod will just plod. Its the same all over the world.
Get with the top 5 for 3 or 5 times within a cirtain amount of image posts/ time and your booted out and upto the next level.
Drag racing is exactly the same, and the competition is feirce, not im going to set the mafia to kill you feirce, but everybody is in there tweaking this and that to get that edge, people talk to each other people to learn, i used to be into this hobbie before i started uni. ANDRA have class's so your bog stock holden running mid 15's isn't against a 1500hp funny car... but as soon as you break a time level you are instantly told to go to the next class, if you move to a class that requires roll cages, ect ect, you cannot race untill you have the modifications, and once you go into Super Street class you have to get a licence, essentially thats what happens nowdays in this forum, everybody whos just starting out wont post because of this fact. One of the guys i help reglarly was putting himself down because hes like your image is so much better than mine so i wont post it. and you know what for the exp times hes captured bucket loads, so i taught him how to process to bring out those details. Somebody else said that their dream was to take images of star clusters. but wouldn't attempt it because they didn't know enough.... my response was just shoot the bloody thing! :D figure out the bits to figure when you get there!
If your crafty, you should be able to almost automate the 3 sites... and have a Mod just to make sure everybody is playing fair no different to the rest of the threads! and if the mod gets sick of it, :D somebody else can take over with no impact on the competition.
having no competition means we have another DSO images thread for my reasons stated earlier.
Everything your saying this thread will fix is already in place and from the examples listed above show that it doesn't work because people are still hiding their efforts.
This could be something else that nails IIS on the map. not only do we have one of the biggest knowledge bases, not only are we one hell of a active bunch, but we also have active competitions, that you have to be a member for.
28-05-2010, 06:16 PM
thanks very much for starting this discussion.
My perspective is that I just want a forum where I can feel comfortable posting less than perfect images from cheap and cheerful equipment. My interest is in pushing this sort of gear to find out what is possible, since the potential is quite amazing. If such a forum had already existed, it could probably have saved me some time in working out that my GSO focuser is not up to scratch, that the filter on my QHY8 will stuff up if I image Alnitak etc. etc.
Such a forum would be best if the same targets were used by all, so a challenge makes sense to me, but I dont personally have any interest in a contest - I dont care in the slightest who wins or loses - in this hobby we all win big time.
28-05-2010, 07:02 PM
Thanks for your comments Ray. As mentioned previously, my objective was more towards making a fun and easy to use learning asset for the cheap and cheerful crowd, although I don't think I expressed it well.
My objectives would be:
Easy comparison of imaging a nominated DSO and the factors involved in each image
Getting comfortable with the various techniques needed to make good images of the various types of DSO's
Learning the short cuts and waste of times when it comes to acquiring an effective imaging setup (bang for the buck), all related to low cost. To me, low cost means under $5K for a good basic imaging setup (Scope, mount, imager and optical-train accessories including guider).
The intent being to show what can and cannot be done with various C&C items, and to promote DIY solutions wherever practical, and also what can be achieved with used items. Why? Because you can!
There are a lot of folks who are students, or who probably could better use their money on their family expenses. A focus on how to optimise enjoyment of the hobby for them pretty well sums it up. I believe there is a lack of easy to use information and learning forums, not only on IIS, for new imagers.
Let's hope such a forum eventually emerges here on IIS.
28-05-2010, 08:00 PM
Im at a loss here, everything you are wanting is already there :)
everybody feels as if they shouldn't post because they see the likes of Peter ward, Jase, Paul ect ect i think thats silly, because if you go though that thread, there beginners posting, and getting awesome feedback.
Same for the astrophotography link in the beginners section that was specifically put there only a few months ago because mike saw the need.
Taken directly from the description under the Astrophotography thread...
"For all beginners images, discussions and questions about astrophotography - post your photos, get feedback, how to get into astrophotography, what equipment do you need to take photos, etc."
you guys are asking for what is already there, its just that you don't realise it yet.
28-05-2010, 10:57 PM
Guys, guys, guys and gals,
I've refrained from commenting on this as I don't have any equipment to take DSO images, but you seem to be going in circles.
To those who haven't posted an image, just post them. You can only learn from the experience. I have (in the Solar system section) and no one has bagged by images, i've even had some encouraging comments. So they're not that great but I can only improve by practicing and my aim is that each one I post is better than the last.
If you want to learn ask for comments. Ask questions from the experts. I have had questions answered from guys whos work is recognised globally. Where else can you get that? That is what makes IIS so great.
Whether it's a challenge or a competition you need to spur you on nominate an object and see what happens. You can tweak the rules month by month as you go.
And remember to have fun.
29-05-2010, 06:24 AM
The Obs. Challenge, I keep harping on about, is fluid in this way. No one owns the thread. Some months the theme is open to various objects. Other times focuses on a particular theme, like this month looks like it is globular clusters. The object selection is determined by a selection process, other times by an individual. The important thing is that it happens.
I don't see why an imaging line of monthly threads wouldn't be as fluid. One month, a 'rip your guts out' competition, another a 'C & C', another object centred. It could help keep it fresh and appeal to the various interests of IIS members. Just as our lives vary our abilities to indulge in this hobby, I'm seeing a fluid imaging thread to focus the communities attention might be a model to follow.
The current imaging forums, though open, can do with a community focus. It is just to deliver a seasonal theme as our Blue Planet does its thing. The 'visual and observational' forum has a sub-forum, that for observational reports. It might be another option for a model, with this competition/challenge thing can be opened in. It leaves the current imaging forum for its purpose, and then a sub-forum is for a community focus theme. Like I said, it can and should be a fluid beast.
A hybrid model is likely to be the most obvious model of a challenge/competition. Compromise, boys and girls, compromise.
29-05-2010, 10:27 AM
i give up... like I said everything you want is already there your basically asking for a sheep in wolfs clothing. Unless something changes im not going to bother any more with this thread :) good luck duking it out.:thumbsup:
Brendan, using your logic... the terrestrial Photo Challenge is a waste of time too, since a forum already exists for people to start their own threads, post their terrestrial photo's and get feedback.
Yet the Photo Challenge persists and is quite popular, most months.
Sure there are some differences between the two challenges discussed here, and the motivations behind them, but they are fundamentally the same.
29-05-2010, 01:21 PM
After Mike (mldee)'s posts stating he is not interested in pursuing this concept, I have contacted the moderators with a proposal. I have had positive feedback from one and am awaiting a reply from the "Big Kahuna".
I hope to get the go-ahead for a simple plan initially. If there is ongoing support from the members, I am sure the concept could be reviewed regularly and evolve over time.
31-05-2010, 04:08 PM
It's really not about who is better in my opinion it is a fun way to improve I use the Terrestrial Photo Challenge as Motivation to improve and think outside the box winning is not my motivation stepping up another level is I think this could be the same with a DSO challenge and if and when I get the equiptment to participate I will.:thumbsup:
31-05-2010, 07:48 PM
Here goes nothing folks - have a look in the Deep Sky section!
Thanks Dave for getting this into gear.
Thanks also to Mike(mldee) for getting the ball rolling and Mike S. for giving the go ahead.
Everyone else for participating.... go on, you know you want to!
31-05-2010, 08:20 PM
It's nothing without audience participation!
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