See you Next Year

What a year it’s been . . . Busy, Crazy, New Ideas, New adventures . . .

Started the Year off with a full blown Astro photography Setup


Well as usual I am obsessive in my endeavors and jumped in with both feet and flailing about reading and putting into practice what I’ve read . . . and as usual . . . I did it my way.  Teaching myself the art of astro photography.

The Orion Nebula, one of my favorite DSO Targets

This is nice and what a great target to learn on . . . but I wanted to do more . . .

Nikkor 70~200 f/2.8 riding atop the Star Adventurer mount

It started the year before with this setup . . . it so left me wanting and I quickly grew beyond its capabilities for what I wanted to do.

I wanted to shoot Galaxies

M31 Andromeda Galaxy

and Nebulae

the Rosette Nebula is like this, the stars are visible through the camera & scope, but the nebula is not, because our eyes are not sensitive enough.

M97 the Owl Nebula


Triangulum Galaxy , aka Messier 33. is 2.7 million light-years away.


Whirlpool Galaxy

M51 Spiral Galaxy

So I pushed hard to learn the art of astro photography . . . I also caught the Sun Bug . . . and wanted to observe our own star when I had time during the day . . . I started with white light and moved to H-alpha Chromosphere observing.

Our Sun in H alpha

I started off with a more modest rig . . . I sometimes learn the hard way . . .

The Coronado PST. great for visual but you know me . . . I want to photograph what I see.

I toiled a bit with this rig and learned that . . . it’s a visual rig and without modifications it well . . . is a visual rig (sold it).  So I took a different approach with something a bit more versatile . . . The Daystar Quark Chromosphere H- alpha eyepiece filter . . . here is one way I use the filter for doing quick viewing / imaging of the sun.

H-Alpha Solar Rig for imaging, this allows various camera lenses, telescopes to be used with the Daystar Quark H-Alpha filter.

And here is the setup for full disk imaging of the Sun . . .

H-Alpha Camera setup; 100mm nikkor lens, Quark Filter, ZWO asi120MC-s camera




International Space Station transits the Eclipse a lucky capture

All this happening and me testing, playing, experimenting learning new equipment, software, techniques left little time for normal photography but I was having such fun.

I didn’t forget the orb that circumnavigates our mud ball . . .

The moon is always interesting and fun

The Moon . . . not only a great test target but a fascinating object in its own right . . .

What do you do when you can’t sleep?

Well it’s obvious, you shoot the moon 😉 and Yes my neighbors think I’m nutty but it’s ok . . .  and speaking of nutty . . . here’s my shot of “the Great Eclipse of 2017” as seen from my yard in Central California . . .

73% at totality from my location

And as I noted earlier I did manage to capture the ISS transiting the moon during the eclipse . . . an un expected bonus.

Two of my cameras mounted, imaging the 2017 Eclipse in White light.

The setup above minus the intravoltmeters, both camera have special white light filters installed.  I managed to capture the entire sequence (Eclipse) but haven’t done much with the data.  I continued with imaging various heavenly objects and subjects, learning as I stumbled and groped for information on how to obtain the results I wanted.  I did learn the following . . . A. it’s a big field, one might say it’s as diverse as there are stars in the heavens  B. not only are there are as many ways to image objects and various subjects but the equipment is as variable as well . . . meaning (it’s a frikin pot-luck of gear), and no one set of gear, software, technique comprises a standard . . . there are some guidelines but after that it’s a matter of money.  C. lastly thank goodness for the internet, the How-To, countless personal Blogs and the few (and I mean few) actual guides online helped me from some costly ($$$$$ Cha-Ching) mistakes, not that I didn’t make a few and will most likely make a few more . . . but! I’m wising up . . .  and lastly D. it is a game of patience because of all the variables involved in the acquisition, processing and finalizing the results to obtain a single image, I have noted that most often once done with a sequence I am still left wanting . . . LOL . . . it is a fun but frustrating hobby.

A two pane composite of a huge filament from 11-22-17


Rosette Nebula Ha+RGB


My latest telescope, a 102mm Lunt

Am I disappointed? NO . . . but I still have a long way to go.  I am zeroing in on what I want to do and at what level of precision and quality I find acceptable . . . I am doing things on the cheap as always.  I find the challenges imposed by the modest equipment I have chosen and what I can afford to be invigorating keeping my mind active, sometimes I push to far, or fail to see the limits of equipment, It fulfills the  need I have to keep mind and body busy, always learning.  I once again am mixing it up and refining the gear, a new specialty mono astro camera (4/3rds imaging sensor write up to come), a smaller (72mm ed) wide-field refractor telescope (I may go shorter 60mm as my subjects are Nebula), some better software which should provide enough challenges for the time being.  I haven’t given up terrestrial photography, I just need to get out more.  I also may split this astro-photography adventure off to its own page here on the blog which would make sense (another project for those nights when I cannot do anything).  The weather has been crappy (skies are filled with smoke and haze from fires, it’s so bad there are daily health advisories against outdoor activity), I need to be more active and exorcise else I fear I may grow attached to my chair.

Life is fun, the year has been fun, only a few bad things and Sadly I lost a close friend this year, a man who was like a brother to me . . . Ozzie may you find peace and rest you will always live in my memories and heart bro . . . I am getting to be that age, when peers, heros, admired peeps and members from my generation start to die.  Fave musicians especially have passed on, so long Bowie, Fats Domino and Chuck Berry . . . . Tom Petty, Mel Tillis, just to name a few . . . and many more.  It gives meaning to the idea of ones own Mortality and how short the time we have here.

With that I say farewell 2017 and welcome 2018 and soon my 65th birthday.  I am happy, I have friends and loved ones . . . I also know there are a few who follow this blog and I say to you . . . thanks and I hope you enjoy the posts this coming year.  I know not what direction my old friend Serendipity will take me but I am sure it will be fun.  Best wishes, Blessings be to all . . .  see you . . . Next Year.

Tim Scott . . . aka Digi . . . DigiPainteR

Me with a few friends, coffee, food, laughter and life. (L-R) Me, Rhea, Ron, Nathan Celebrating another year of friendship.



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