Some Real Life Crafting and Adventures
Ah. The joys of having bags that are constantly filled with crafter supplies. This weekend I haven’t played a lot of Vanguard. Number one, I don’t want to burn out, and number two I’ve been involved in some pretty hefty real life crafting / adventuring lately which pulls me away (gasp) from the PC. If you thought this would be a post about Vanguard, well. You’ll just have to wait for tomorrow’s post instead.
I’ve been taking screen shots in games for as long as I can remember. I have literally thousands of screen shots stashed in various folders all over my computer. Since I can’t exactly hit a ‘print screen’ button in real life I’m typically dragging around my Olympus E410 with me which is an amazing camera that I got a few years ago as a Christmas present. I currently own three lens for it, including a 300mm zoom and a macro lens. Essentials for my ‘hobby’ as a photographer. This week there was not only the aurora borealis going on, but also a meteor shower. While I’ve always had a keen interest on all things sky (and sea) related, this heightened to an extreme that I could no longer ignore.
I decided after doing a lot of research that I want to get into astrophotography. I learned a few things. Number one: WOW is it an expensive hobby to get into. It’s also a LOT of fun, and a LOT of work. I wanted a telescope, and learned that in order to take semi decent pictures of the sky I would want one that has computerized tracking. That is so you can lock onto an object (or at least a section) in space and track it through the sky so that your camera doesn’t blur the image. In order to get good pictures of stars for example, you need to leave your cameras shutter open, allowing more light into it. If the sky is moving, the stars smudge. I’ll need a remote for my camera so that me holding down the shutter doesn’t blur things further. Also, I want a t-ring, these are camera specific, and allow you to attach your DSLR to a telescope using it as the actual lens of the camera. Sure, you can find items that will “hold” your camera up to the telescope, but these are not exactly ideal.
Telescopes are really expensive. Computerized ones even more. I found a Celestron NexStar 60 SLT Telescope for roughly $200 (Regular $500) and decided I was going to invest in it. The reviews are alright – apparently if I get really into this hobby I’m going to want to upgrade the lens, which is simple enough to do. This telescope is not the best out there by any means but the price was right and it does have computerized tracking. I should be able to get incredibly detailed shots of the moon, Saturn and it’s rings, Jupiter and other stuff. I won’t be seeing any nebula any time soon, but that doesn’t always have to be the case.
I am *incredibly* excited. Obviously, since I’m posting about it here on MmoQuests and I’ve done nothing but talk about telescopes for the last three days. Gaming is great, and the people I meet in games are fantastic, but when it comes right down to it it’s a combination of hobbies and interests that makes life so fantastic.
I hope everyone has had an amazing weekend! Happy gaming no matter where you find yourself – and I’ll see you in Telon.
Don’t count nebula out — you can see some nebula with the naked eye if you look hard enough (the Orion Nebula and the nebula around the Pleiades are easy enough to pick out and I bet you’ve already been looking at those), and they are wonderfully photogenic while you get your gear and software in order. You will want automatic compositing software, but there’s some free packages.
I never got into astrophotography, but when the kids were the right age, we bought a telescope and went on some star parties with the local astronomy group in Monterey; they taught us what to look for; the splendor of the Andromeda galaxy, HUGE in the sky, was just — awe-inspiring. There’s mysteries hidden in the dark.
I wouldn’t trust myself to change lenses on kit that expensive, I have really small (compared to my height and width,) stubby hands, and no nails to boot, so delicate intricate stuff is not my thing. And besides that, it’s always cloudy here anyway, so looking at the stars is normally a no-go. Still, good luck with yours, I always found space fascinating (still have hundreds of hubble photos that I bought from the science museum down in London :D.)