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Showing posts from 2024

A new Solargraphy project

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 This evening we visited the wonderful Rooftop Movies. Before the show, though, thanks to the organisers , we set up a dozen or so solargraph cameras around the cinema.  These are a mix of Solarcan Pucks, Solarcan Cans, and some homebrew can cams.  The plan is to recover half of them in a fortnight to check alignments and framing, and the rest on the last day. As a special treat to ourselves and the Rooftop Movies team, we brought one Puck in after just three hours. Here is the result.

The Accidental Author

Through late 2022 and most of 2023, an author, E.W.Paris , on the writing.exchange Mastodon instance shared a daily AI generated image as a writing prompt for a 500 character story.  I found myself entranced by the often surreal images, and responded to quite a few of them. A handful of them turned into a linked space opera that I am now turning into what will probably be a novella with a working title of The Cerian and Varan War. You can find that here .  Another one prompted a high fantasy, which is also turning into a larger tale, most likely a long short story or novelette. You can read about Gwen and Grey here. And so, without actually intending to, I appear to have become an author of sorts. I hope you enjoy my tales.

Post processing in Astrophotography - comparing images

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 I am a novice when it comes to driving advanced post-processing tools like Siril , which, if you are getting into astrophotography, I highly recommend. It does have a steep learning curve, especially the post-stack processing side. Powerful, but not intuitive. But if you want quick results from your funky new smart telescope, you do have alternatives. So let's have a look at some solar photography and see what happens. Here is a untouched image, and the same image with some in-camera curve adjustment. The only edit is to crop the image. The Sun, unmodified With in-camera curve  adjustment Straight away, you can see more detail - the penumbras are clearer in sun spots, the granulation is more obvious.  Now let's look at what happens when you get heavy handed with Snapseed's structure and sharpening tools, adjusting the shadows and highlights a bit more, adding a touch of HDR and tweaking the colour balance. Heavily post processed in Snapseed First up, the granulation is ver