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I agree

Should Remote Telescopes Users have a separate IOTD contest?

koten90
02 Feb, 2019 19:12
I do think that would be good if Remote telescopes users had a separate contest for the Image of the day.
My thinking is because of obvious differences between our photos: remote telescopes users just compete for an elaboration contest, photographers have also the hardware part to concern, the best sky reaching issue, the great cold and the insomnia to care about.

Obviously who has a personal remote observatory which he is in charge of tuning, buying and fix problems should be considered as a photographer, not as a remote user.

Please consider create a "Processing IOTD  contest" for all Remote users and keep the actual IOTD for all the own-equipment users.
maybe we can vote for it
carastro
03 Feb, 2019 01:03
I agree with you wholeheartedly Alessio, but this topic has been done to death last year and there was a survey sent out to users as well which resulted in the majority agreeing with you, but nothing has changed.

You might care to read the old thread on the forum to see how heated it got.

This is the original thread
http://www.astrobin.com/forum/c/astrobin/annoucements/iotd-and-top-picks-manifesto/

This is one that followed on from it:
http://www.astrobin.com/forum/c/astrobin/annoucements/guidelines-for-submittersreviewersjudges/

And this is the result of the survey:
http://www.astrobin.com/forum/c/astrobin/annoucements/here-come-the-results-from-the-survey/

Quote from the survey:
  • The majority think that it's unfair that remote hosted setups compete for IOTD/TP in the same category as backyard and traveling astrophotographers

Carole
Edited 03 Feb, 2019 01:21
Gerardoborn
03 Feb, 2019 02:00
Although remote users don't outlay for the equipment they do pay a cost for usage. They still have to put in the capturing and processing time but obviously don't need to travel and put up with the cold. I image the usual way myself but at the end of the day it is about producing images that you are proud of and showing them to the rest of us. I enjoy being out under the stars whilst I image and wouldn't do it any other way. Should they be eligble for IOTD? I personaly, like the majority, say no BUT there should be a seperate area for them to compete with each other as suggested. For the record I really enjoy looking at their images.
Ethan
03 Feb, 2019 08:54
If there was something on AstroBin like Image of the Week, Image of the Month, or Image of the Year, I would agree that having separate categories would be a good idea, but I think it would spread Image of the Day too thin. As a reviewer, I usually choose two or three images per day, but occasionally I have a hard time choosing one.

–Ethan
koten90
03 Feb, 2019 09:13
This is the worst thing in our western society: money, not efforts, let you achieve results. The pay to take photos with super high end equipment and in most cases they even don’t know how to balance correctly a telescope upon a mount.
That is a completely different hobby.

Although, I know that the most famous remote structures offers anyone to use archive photos for a lower price, so they don’t even try to take photos. Connect, pay, download.
Again is a completely different hobby.

IOTD won’t absolutely lose value if split or deny access to remotes users, I think it’s the opposite. Many people see their efforts not awarded just because someone pays to use high end equipment and this is frustrating. But I understand that Astrobin is partly sponsored by this structures, so Salvatore will never put them apart.
skywalkerww37
03 Feb, 2019 09:28
First, I want to make it clear that I"m a remote user. Now, let's see the sentences at the top of every APOD page: "Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer." Yes, discover the cosmos, that's the purpose that  APOD team wants to express. To me, IOTD is  the same. Since I joined Astrobin, I satisfied with all IOTD images beacuse they're all beautiful and shows some unique aspects of our universe, some of them are not really magnificent mainly beacuse those objects are faint and small and they been selected beause they are not well known by the majority and to some people these objects may become their next target,well explain the word "Discover" aren'they? Also, I believe the judges who choose IOTD everyday have a common standard. They would check the detail of image like color balance, NR, background gradient effect or not, deconvolution, shape of the stars and so on. I remember last few months the object SH2-308 has been top pick several times and gets an IOTD, the effct of IOTD is I see lots of SH2-308 images come out later! That's 'discover'.
APOD, selected from NASA&ESO to remote observatory and backyard astrophotographer, but they never categorize them and IOTD does the same beacuse they all about enjoy and discover.
So, I think the purpose of IOTD is about discover, not some competitions between the users. Then there is no need to change the system we have.
Edited 03 Feb, 2019 09:31
skywalkerww37
03 Feb, 2019 09:43
Alessio Pariani
This is the worst thing in our western society: money, not efforts, let you achieve results
I assure you that's not the truth. Processing skill plays a great role to achieve better result. For example, stacking the calibration files offered by ChileScope with Dss,MaxIm DL,Pixinsight will give you different results so you need to check by yourself. Not all people who use remote observatory can give a good result, no offense.
Edited 03 Feb, 2019 09:48
koten90
03 Feb, 2019 10:01
Since you are giving words definition, I'll play the same game: Photographer is someone who shoot photographs.
Why a post producer should compete in a photographers' contest (even if there is no award to win but personal satisfaction)?

I want to be explicit: I truly love your images! smile
this is why I want a separate contest and I don't want to deny remoters' partecipation
Edited 03 Feb, 2019 10:01
koten90
03 Feb, 2019 10:03
Please don't take APOD as an exapmle: I saw an APOD winner with a sunset shot (probably taken with an iPhone) named "Venus Belt"……………….
Die_Launische_Diva
03 Feb, 2019 10:13
Zhuoqun Wu
So, I think the purpose of IOTD is about discover, not some competitions between the users. Then there is no need to change the system we have.

I totally agree. And I am at the lower part of the equipment spectrum. Buying time from a remote telescope service is a solution to a problem. It is the same as if I image in narrow-band as a solution to my stubborn neighbor's front yard lights. Should we treat narrow-band imaging differently?

Even if someone has the wallet to afford pristine skies and top equipment, there are still things to be done. It is the data reduction part, and then the image editing part. The former requires from you to study and understand that you have to treat your images as data, and that has to be done in a proper way. Then it is the image editing part, which requires knowledge on composition and aesthetics.  A fat wallet can buy you a good glass but it requires a lot more effort from you to step up from a "meh" astrophotographer to a "wow" astrophotographer.

It is a hobby after all. If we start seeing it as a competitive profession, then maybe it is time to change hobby. smile
Die_Launische_Diva
03 Feb, 2019 10:20
Alessio Pariani
Please don't take APOD as an exapmle: I saw an APOD winner with a sunset shot (probably taken with an iPhone) named "Venus Belt"……………….

Yes but that photographer, instead of seeing and capturing another boring sunset, he saw the cast of Earth's shadow, which is a phenomenon known as "Venus Belt". And that probably is what made his photograph special.
Gerardoborn
03 Feb, 2019 10:24
I should have mentioned in my earlier post that our astro club has an annual competition and they don't allow remote imagers to enter.
They are two different roads that lead to a similar destination, but they are still two different roads!
skywalkerww37
03 Feb, 2019 12:04
Alessio Pariani
I want to be explicit: I truly love your images!
Thanks! That's a great honor to me smile
Alessio Pariani
Photographer is someone who shoot photographs.

I may give you some questions:
1.A person who lives in northern hemisphere rent a telescope for 2 hrs in Chile and make a plan for the observation (filters, number of the frame, exposure time etc.), the plan start automatically and 2 hrs later the person download the data from the server of the site then process it. (All calibration files have been prepared)

2.A person who lives in northern hemisphere rent a telescope for 2 hrs in Chile and make a plan for the observation (filters, number of the frame, exposure time etc.) , then go to the observation site wait for the plan to start automatically, 2 hrs later the person download the data from server of the site then process it. (All calibration files have been prepared)

3.A person who lives in northern hemisphere buy all the equipment and sent to the remote observation site in Chile and the tech supporter on the site can establish all the things, then the person make a 2 hrs plan for the observation (filters, number of the frame, exposure time etc.), 2 hrs later the person download the data from server then process it. (All calibration files have been prepared by the site)

4.A person who lives in northern hemisphere buy all the equipment and sent to the remote observation site in Chile and go to the site to establish all the things himself, then the person go back home and make a 2 hrs plan for the observation (filters, number of the frame, exposure time etc.), 2 hrs later the person download the data from server then process it.

Which one you would like to call astrophotographer?
Edited 03 Feb, 2019 12:09
skywalkerww37
03 Feb, 2019 12:14
Alessio Pariani
Please don't take APOD as an exapmle: I saw an APOD winner with a sunset shot (probably taken with an iPhone) named "Venus Belt"
Why not? To me the purpose of APOD is discover and enjoy the universe,same the IOTD.
Gerard O'Born
I should have mentioned in my earlier post that our astro club has an annual competition and they don't allow remote imagers to enter.
They are two different roads that lead to a similar destination, but they are still two different roads!

If >= 50% users in Astrobin think IOTD&Top picks are sort of competition, then separate contest is necessary.

Also when everybody talks about unfair. There are so many unfair factors even among backyard astrophotographers, like the budget you have, the enviroment you live in etc. Some people may live in downtown, some may live in country side far away from the city. There are so many backyard astrophotographers who live in clear sky and low LP get IOTD. Some may have expensive equipment to make a stunning image. Should we further separate the  IOTD like : Low LP IOTD, High LP IOTD, Low budget IOTD, High budget IOTD? lol…
Really hard to balance all, isn't it?  If all these have to be considered, there won't have any competition.
Edited 03 Feb, 2019 12:36
TurbulentMedium
03 Feb, 2019 12:59
It is important to keep in mind that many new astrophotographers use this site as reference - remote vs backyard is important to keep realistic expectations.

I am one that agrees that there should be separate designations and to be clear I truely enjoy the remote images as well.   Maybe a badge that shows in the corner to distinguish effort would be enough.   Another option is to just alternate days (even days remote users, odd days backyard users).

Imaging with light pollution, daily setup/tear down, cloudy / windy / high humidity climate, equipment failures, checking the equipment at midnight, 2AM and 4 AM, tuning and the tree of knowledge that comes with learning how to do every step correctly IS vastly different that sharing part of a several hundred thousand dollar facility which does not need to be maintained by the data user.

An analogous is a landscape photographer - you go to the site, climb the mountain or cliff edge, deal with mosquitos, cold, rain, wait for the perfect lighting, grab your shot and process later.   Downloading the data off the internet… would it satisfy this requirement to be considered a landscape photographer?   An image processor yes, photographer no.

And to  Zhuoqun Wu’s questions.   I chose #4    The key is to establish (and maintain) all those other things by himself.    The disclaimer - If the user has done all he can for several years, climbed the tree of knowledge and mastered his tools but has since lost the ability to do by himself due to some reason, age or injury  then absolutely this person is considered a photographer.    In this case maybe the important distinction is beginner, intermediate , advanced or professional user… and not remote or backyard?
Magellen
03 Feb, 2019 13:00
We did have that discussion here on Astrobin before, as Carole explained. One outcome of that discussion was the introduction of the data source field, if I recall it correctly. I still have the feeling, that having so many different categories of images running into one contest (if you like to call it like that) is comparing apples and bananas. I think, that astro photography is more than picture processing, admitting that processing skills are essential to achieve good results.

I am a traveller. Living in the city of Vienna, I have no backyard to put my gear on and considering myself an astro photographer I have no choice but to travel by car to an observation site. I love to practice our hobby that way, out of the city under (well, lets say) dark and silent skies.

I personally I do not take this IOTD issue too serious. I felt honored and was very happy when one of my pictures was chosen recently, but this award changed not much how I felt about this picture. With or without award, I am happy with this picture, as it represents what I am able  to achieve using my gear, software and processing skills under the sky I live under today. Some of my favorite pictures achieved nothing, still they are special to me.

Sometimes I agree with the IOTD staff, sometimes I do not and sometimes I even do not give the IOTD a closer look. I think, this is true for many of us here on AB. I fear there is no way to make everybody happy. Having said that, I support the idea of having different categories.
Edited 03 Feb, 2019 14:53
TurbulentMedium
03 Feb, 2019 13:11
In summary, since everyone’s equipment, resources, processing skills and ability are different I have a different proposal.

Make a beginner, intermediate, and advanced designation based on Astrobin user score.  For top picks choose a similar number out of each bucket (daily or weekly) but have a Tag that posts with the image to distinguish experience - top pick logo color etc.).  I am fine for IOTD to be the most interesting image of the bunch.
carastro
03 Feb, 2019 13:43
I think considering the results of the survey last year I would have thought some provision could have been made for the self acquired imager to occasionally have their own designated contest.  Doesn't have to be every day.

My opinion has not changed since last year.  I never had any personal aspirations or chance to get IOTD due to my location and kit anyway.
….and yes, like Alessio, I think the downloaded data images are quite lovely to look at but should not be compared to self acquired.

I have lost interest in IOTD unless it changes but value Astrobin for it's other excellent facilities and resources.

If I had not done the whole job personally (captured and processed), I would never feel the image was mine.
Carole
Edited 03 Feb, 2019 13:46
skywalkerww37
03 Feb, 2019 14:21
Carastro
I think considering the results of the survey last year I would have thought some provision could have been made for the self acquired imager to occasionally have their own designated contest.  Doesn't have to be every day. My opinion has not changed since last year.  I never had any personal aspirations or chance to get IOTD due to my location and kit anyway.
….and yes, like Alessio, I think the downloaded data images are quite lovely to look at but should not be compared to self acquired.

I have lost interest in IOTD unless it changes but value Astrobin for it's other excellent facilities and resources.

If I had not done the whole job personally (captured and processed), I would never feel the image was mine.
Carole
Hi Carole, I hope my opinions above don't harm you in any form. I respect you very much because you are the one fighting with the LP in London! I fully understand you because I live in a big city myself and I know hard to fight with LP. I gave up at last but you stay and insist. I'm the one who do not take IOTD issue serious so I sincerely hope someone could come up with a solution that can make you feel satisfied smile Please accept my sincere respect.
Zhuoqun
Edited 03 Feb, 2019 16:08
carastro
03 Feb, 2019 16:27
@Zhuoqun

Not at all you have been very polite and I did not see anything to concern me.  We all have differing opinions, but I am pretty sure most people see IOTD as a sort of contest, and if the classifications (for want of a better word) are not the same it's an unfair contest.   As some-one said above, you don't have a heavy weight Boxer fighting a light weight boxer.

I think there is no hope that anything will change.

Carole
Edited 03 Feb, 2019 16:48
koten90
03 Feb, 2019 18:19
Zhuoqun Wu
I may give you some questions:1.A person who lives in northern hemisphere rent a telescope for 2 hrs in Chile and make a plan for the observation (filters, number of the frame, exposure time etc.), the plan start automatically and 2 hrs later the person download the data from the server of the site then process it. (All calibration files have been prepared)

2.A person who lives in northern hemisphere rent a telescope for 2 hrs in Chile and make a plan for the observation (filters, number of the frame, exposure time etc.) , then go to the observation site wait for the plan to start automatically, 2 hrs later the person download the data from server of the site then process it. (All calibration files have been prepared)

3.A person who lives in northern hemisphere buy all the equipment and sent to the remote observation site in Chile and the tech supporter on the site can establish all the things, then the person make a 2 hrs plan for the observation (filters, number of the frame, exposure time etc.), 2 hrs later the person download the data from server then process it. (All calibration files have been prepared by the site)

4.A person who lives in northern hemisphere buy all the equipment and sent to the remote observation site in Chile and go to the site to establish all the things himself, then the person go back home and make a 2 hrs plan for the observation (filters, number of the frame, exposure time etc.), 2 hrs later the person download the data from server then process it.

Which one you would like to call astrophotographer?
The one who most nears my definition of astrophotographers is the #4 for the same motivations Jonathan Young gave you.
Just one difference: if I live in the northern hemisphere, I won't plan to shoot at southern sky unless I can stay with my telescope during the whole session. Southern sky is beautiful and I hope sometime in the future to have the occasion to fly South with all my stuff and spend a lot of time taking photographs (with a discrete integration time: 2h are not enough even for the RGB in a LHRGB composition, in my opinion and with my equipment).
If I can't hope to spend some night outside with telescope, I won't plan any shooting.
I don't plan any automatic session even at home (Bortle 8 so I shoot only with Astrodon 3nm Ha&O3).

Maybe the budget division would be even better because it'll show how some one can make with this range of gear, as I told, remote telescope facilities sponsor Astrobin and separation will cause a competition within remotes. That's why it is impossible.
Andys_Astropix
04 Feb, 2019 00:59
Hi folks,

Just thought I'd weigh in and share my thoughts from a judges perspective, hope this helps!

Firstly an image needs to have impact!
Have I seen that object before?
If so have I seen it treated/processed like this before?

Is it composed well or has the photographer merely stuck it in the middle of the frame or considered the objects' context relative to it's surroundings?
Is the colour palette harmonious and pleasing?

Assuming all these criteria have been handled favourably, I then look at the technical aspects.
ie: sharpness, noise, treatment of stars, (round stars, star colour & density), resolution, dynamic range etc.

Finally I consider degree of difficulty, eg: if there were two very similar images of the same target that passed all the above assessment criteria and one was from a backyard and the other from remote data, I'd likely award the IOTD to the backyard image.

That being said, I have previously awarded IOTD's to outstanding remote images, not because they are technically perfect, (that's mandatory for remote data)  but because they are impactful, original & beautiful!

I have also dismissed many remote images that whilst being technically perfect - lacked impact, originality, composition & aesthetics.

So please don't stress about whether remote data images are fair for IOTD or not, as there are many other more important reasons an image is awarded IOTD  smile
Cheers

Andy
trobison
08 Feb, 2019 08:47
Gosh, this is such an interesting topic.  Please don't take my comments the wrong way as they are a reflection on how I see this topic.   Somehow, I get the feeling that remote imagers are being treated as outcasts here.  This ugly behaviour and childlike reactions are exactly what keeps me away from many forums.  This is not a contest, it is?  I just like taking and sharing images.   Inflated egos of abilities or excuses really cloud things.  I don’t have a lot of images, and I thought that I would experiment here on Astrobin as it did seem fairly safe with level headed individuals.

I admit it, I'm a remote imager, and I don't feel dirty about it.  Yet, I feel like there is a stigma attached to this, and that I have to apologise for the work I have put into my system.  Personally, I have prototyped and designed all control systems in my remote observatory.  I had to become an expert in solar and battery tech, remote telecommunications, power supplies, numerous safety systems, and the list goes on.  I have performed a lot of coding to perfect the control of my observatory.  It's a project that has taken over 5 years to complete before deployment, and I have spent more time designing, testing, failing, re-designing systems to get this right than most people in our society actually image.  Yet, there seems to be a stigma attached to it.   Let's be honest here.   The platform that I have constructed if for gathering data, and we all gather data differently.  Several astrophotographers may stand on their soapbox stating that they are using software to aid in data collection ( SGP, CCDAuto Pilot etc) - repetitive tasks now automated.   Some may use automated focusing, gasp, another category of imagers?   So, are these individuals suddenly now outcasts and deserving of yet another pigeon hole as they have a silicon buddy helping them gather data?  Where does it end?

I use a camera that's almost 10 years old running a speedy USB 1.0 interface sporting blazing fast 40-second downloads.  It certainly has its share of column and electronics defects which create a challenging calibration workflow.  Very steampunk.  Now, I can see how some may see this as an advantage, but in the end, its gathering data, just like anyone else.  It’s what we do with that data is what counts.

The real magic takes place in the processing.  This is where we can create something special that we are proud of.   If you give the same data set to 10 different people, the results will be very different.  Some excellent, and others not so excellent.  It's not the equipment that magically makes a good image.  It's all that effort and skills of image processing that we have perfected over the years.   If I go back to older data, the results are always much better without fail.  Why?  My guess is that I have learned something and have more experience in processing than I had earlier.  It is simple really when you think about it.  Dividing and separating are the domains of politicians, let’s keep that distasteful and quirky behaviour far far away in a distant galaxy.

I rarely comment as I really don't want to offend anyone.  Honestly, this is a hobby.  I take photos because I really love this stuff, and want to share the incredible sights in the cosmos.   Hearing others boast of numerous awards they have won, and that somehow this makes them a better person, or that their comments carry more weight is indeed peculiar behaviour in my books.  Personally, I do this as I have a fascination of what lies out there, and that my FTL drive has been in the shop for decades waiting for spares.  So, the only thing left is to photograph these amazing images from a distance and share.

Terry
Edited 08 Feb, 2019 09:43
diegocolonnello
08 Feb, 2019 10:08
What happens in my case? my observatory is not (NOT BY A LONG WAY) automated like Terry's, but i have worked hard to have my Roll Off Roof observatory to Open, Start imaging, Shoot flats and close every time there is a clear night! Also managed to make it close in case of clouds and resume if good conditions are met,  but in my case, my observatory is on my backyard…. so, not REMOTE, but more automated than the average astrophotographer, so, am I an astrophotographer? do i need to be on another category like Auto-backyard?   i don't think so, and i hope it doesn't happen…
The past year i have been really happy to collaborate in astrobin as a JUDGE, and,  the images from robotic observatories where well diluted on the options we had….

I have learnt that the BIGGEST limitation WE ALL HAVE is EXPERIENCE, and not MONEY…..
Andys_Astropix
08 Feb, 2019 11:13
Die Launische Diva
A fat wallet can buy you a good glass but it requires a lot more effort from you to step up from a "meh" astrophotographer to a "wow" astrophotographer.

Exactly my point. It doesn’t matter what equipment  you use.  If you create a technically perfect but average, low impact picture it may get a top pick but is unlikely to be chosen as an IOTD.
Equally, a dramatic & original but technically flawed image probably  won’t get a gong either.
Terry says he has invested a good deal of time & money into his hobby, and in my opinion it’s been time well spent! If you look at his profile you’ll see that he has created many fine (remote) images and I have personally selected several of these for IOTD.
Not because of his equipment, but because on their day in the judgment selection queue, they were regarded as being technically perfect, balanced and well processed images of beautiful rarely seen objects, ie: his recent Robins’ Egg & Abell 35 images.
i sincerely hope he continues to share them here on Astrobin, as we all benefit from seeing wonderful images, regardless of the equipment used.  smile
Edited 08 Feb, 2019 11:22
 
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