Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Drop in astrophotography interest? (and a view of M-16)

Some interesting information showed up in my email recently.  I guess there is a drop in activity on the astrophotography forums.  People are posting less photos and there seems to be a decline in the interest.
I got this info in the AIC (Astro Imaging Conference) newsletter in my email.   A quote from the letter:
The study found overall interest, as represented by forum posts, declined over 66% between 2005 and 2009. 2010 saw an up tick in activity but 2011, based on the first four months of submissions, is projected to fall short of both the 2010 and 2009 totals indicating an ongoing erosion in participant enthusiasm.
...Overwhelming, poor weather was the single greatest reason for spending less time taking astronomical images. This was followed by time requirements of job related responsibilities. While other hobbies or interests accounted for the third most frequently cited reason.
So it appears that probably weather is a huge factor, which is my main problem here also.  So I'm not the only one suffering this last year due to clouds!  Next is job related responsibilities (economic indicator I would assume) and finally other hobbies.  I can see that, when the skies aren't there, other things will take over.

I'm still at it though, when I can.  Clear skies are rarer then ever over the last few years.  Seems to get worse all the time, and other than the natural frustration involved with this hobby, I still make an attempt to take some photos any time the skies are clear.  Here is my latest image of M-16 Eagle Nebula. 
Technical stuff....
Exposures: 14 at ISO 800
Time: 7 minutes each
Scope: Meade LX200 Classic 12" at f/6.3
Camera: Canon 350D (with IR mod)
Guider: Orion 80ED (with Starshoot autoguider and PHD Guider software)

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