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Old 06-05-2013, 10:12 AM
acotiga (Andrei)
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Question Monthly contest?

While I was living in the Northern Hem, I was an avid follower of Cloudy Night's contest on astrophotography with their proposed target for the month. Now that I shoot mainly south of the equator, most of the targets proposed there are beyond my reach. Here at IIS, the primary discussion forum for SH, shouldn't we try and get something together and get the ball rolling towards a monthly contest?

Of course, the prize will consist of warm congrats, dream filled sighs and envious snorts that would go towards the winner.

Any mods that would like to pick up on that?
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  #2  
Old 06-05-2013, 12:16 PM
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AstralTraveller (David)
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Does CN allow all comers? It just strikes me that the likes of strongmanmike, quark and a few other heavy hitters could walk away with every prize. Praise to them for being so good and putting in the effort to get to their level but it scarcely encourages newbies or those with only average equipment. Personally, it doesn't worry me as I'm not an astronphotographer; I'm just thinking about how to encourage participation.
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Old 06-05-2013, 12:29 PM
acotiga (Andrei)
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I think that if we split in CCD and DSLR we automatically differentiate. CCD tends to be more expensive both in terms of equipment and time. I have yet to hear about the guy shooting with a 350D on a Paramount MX

Of course the targets have to be different so no comparison would take place (even if unintended).

And by limiting the date of the picture to no more than 6 months prior to contest date, should limit "best picture in my library" kind of posts.

And, yes, CN does allow new comers. Of course the winners tend to be from within the same well known groups but that's not to say that if I have a very good picture I'm not going to win. It's the same bunch because of the experience and the knowledge. However, written kudos are not very expensive and I see no harm in sending them where credit is due (obvious newcomer with a good amount of effort).
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Old 06-05-2013, 12:44 PM
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pluto (Hugh)
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I like the idea of everyone having a crack at the same target, especially if the target is not something everyone is imaging (like M8 at the moment).

But I don't see why it needs to be a competition...?

As a noob myself I think I'd like the challenge of having a set target and seeing how well I could image it with my gear. Of course we all have different gear so I'd be much happier going for a "personal best" each month than "how does mine compare to the people with 10 times more experience and money invested". One thing I love seeing on IIS is how different people treat/process their images, not just interesting NB palettes, with the many small creative choices that go into how the data is finally represented.
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Old 06-05-2013, 01:18 PM
acotiga (Andrei)
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But if you don't participate and you don't get feedback on what you are doing how are you supposed to get better? Joke aside, I don't understand what you mean by "personal best" but not contest?

I guess if people are apprehensive of turning their hobby into a beauty contest, we could leave it as a show and tell section and leave the lessons seep from the unspoken comparison.

Comments anyone else. I'm thinking of making this into a poll
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Old 06-05-2013, 01:42 PM
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I mean "personal best" as in I image the chosen target to get the best result I can with my knowledge and equipment and share it along with everyone elses attempts. Of course feedback is welcome but I don't get why there has to be a winner? As David mentioned there are some members here with truly excellent setups, with the skills to match, that would surely 'win' every month. Unless you want to have a few categories like beginner/mid/expert, ccd/dslr?

The way I see it is it's similar to the way people already post their images to the forum except that it's a target picked by the group (or some other way?) and it's a single thread with everyone's attempt.
In fact it needs be nothing more than someone starting a thread with "Post your best/favorite image of X taken this year". If the target is something that most would not have already imaged then, for the majority, it will be something that we go out and image specifically to share in the thread.
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Old 06-05-2013, 02:04 PM
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It can also be an object that isn't a "pretty pic"
An example would be imaging a mag 20 quasar etc
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Old 07-05-2013, 08:15 AM
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Hmm, the NZL astro yahoo group run a quarterly contest with a selection of targets ranging from hard to easy and with equipment restrictions in some cases eg Sub 500 mm so there is a group of targets that are within reach of most. Lets the 'Big Boys' play and encourages the 'Newbies' to have a go. Pretty informal and voted on by the group. To some extent the same people come first a lot but it's not a large group anyway but it certainly engenders a bit of image appraisal and comparisons which foster improvements. And it helps all find new challenges and targets.
I'll copy down the list they use and post it up for discussion. I'd be happy to have a go, best way to learn and try.
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Old 07-05-2013, 10:06 AM
acotiga (Andrei)
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Exactly my point Zero. It's not really about feeling down that someone with 20k worth of equipment won, but that you, with only 5k made it second.

Target wise, I've started getting the ephemeris for all targets in Chadwick et al book amd organising them by month and time it gets past meridian. Little like the "100 targets for Astrophotography" book is organised (for those who know it).

Zero, what is the name of the yahoo group for NZ? I had one for the North island that seems to be dead.
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Old 08-05-2013, 12:00 PM
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+1 on this suggestion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry B View Post
It can also be an object that isn't a "pretty pic"
An example would be imaging a mag 20 quasar etc
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:25 AM
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nzastronomers@yahoogroups.com
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Old 15-05-2013, 11:39 AM
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I'd rather see the regular target lists come back. I didn't have the gear to really get many of the targets when they were being posted (by Suzy or Lisa? sorry I forget offhand who posted them).

They did seem to encourage discussion on how to spot or photograph some of the targets. Was also a nice personal target to try to get as many on the list.

I think the astrophotography areas cover the friendly sharing of what various targets can look like with all budgets of equipment. There is lots of sharing of information and techniques which gives people an idea of upgrade paths to take. Making a dedicated "competition" will alienate people and take away the friendliness of IIS.

Why not ask the forums that do competitions to have post a northern hemisphere target AND a southern hemisphere target too each time so they can try to be more encouraging to the global astronomy community?
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