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Thread: My Orion Nebula article in the December issue of Sky & Telescope

  1. #1
    Member Howard B's Avatar
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    My Orion Nebula article in the December issue of Sky & Telescope

    Quote Originally Posted by wvreeven View Post
    Howard, maybe a next scetching project like your amazing Orion Nebula project in S&T December 2017?
    My Orion Nebula article in the latest edition of S&T was a labor of love from the very beginning. Aside from what I wrote and sketched, I hope you and everyone else goes to

    http://hubblesite.org/video/513/cate...ission-nebulae

    to see the fly through video of M42 because it completely changed my perception of the 3D shape of the nebula, and I think it will for just about everyone.

    This also gives me a chance to post the color version of my sketch. Somehow, the image came out much too dark during the printing process of the December issue and almost all the detail was lost - my heart sank when I got my copy in the mail last week. I'm too proud of this sketch to just leave at that, so I've attached a gif and jpg version below because I don't know which will display better here.

    OrionNebula_A_invert_color_small.gif

    ...and the jpg version:

    OrionNebula_A_invert_color_small.jpg

    Also, if you interested in how made my Orion Nebula sketches, check out:

    http://www.skyandtelescope.com/sky-a...-orion-nebula/
    Howard
    28 inch f/4 alt-az Newtonian

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    Howard, I receive the digital version of S&T and your drawing in it looks exactly the same as in the pics you posted here. Pity though that the printed version turned out so dark.

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    Member Howard B's Avatar
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    Ok, that's good to know, glad it looks like it should in the digital version! This is what it looks like in my printed version:

    OrionNebula_S&T_NoDetail.gif
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Howard
    28 inch f/4 alt-az Newtonian

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    Hi Howard,

    WOW! What a beautiful sketch! This is actually no sketch - itīs pure artwork!. In every kind.
    Prints are very often darker than the originals...
    I checked your posted jpg and gif in Photoshop. In brightening your both attached files all the nebulae becomes visible i could not see before - but centre around trapezium is overexposured then of course ... this is the problem i guess. And my screen is the best within my office here ;-)

    Maybe you could try a version where all the big nebulae is brighter - and trapezium maintains its actual brightness. Very similar to the problem photographers are having ...

    CS!
    Norman
    12" f/ 4,5 - tuned Sumerian Optics Dobson - Nauris main mirror
    - who stands the rain deserves the sun! -

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    Member Howard B's Avatar
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    Thanks for your wonderful compliment Norman, many thanks indeed!

    I've seen the same thing you saw when brightening the image in Photoshop. There is a delicate balance where everything looks good, but no one setting where everything is optimized, and I've found it's easier to get closer doing this to the original pencil drawing:

    OrionNebula_A_small.jpg

    I might try adding color to this version to see if that works better, but I think the main difficulty is in making the original drawing show the relative range of brightness throughout the nebula so it still look realistic.
    Howard
    28 inch f/4 alt-az Newtonian

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    Wow Howard,

    fantastic work. Surly one of the most realistic and beauty sketch of the Orion Nebula I ever saw.

    I like the original pencil sketch (black on white ground) most. The relative brightness and the structures looks so awesome realistic that I recognized it perfectly with my last observation with the 27".

    With color I always have some problems, mainly because I have trouble to see color myself. Interestingly I spend also a few minutes last nights to see color in the Orion Nebula. For me the Huygens Region for example is a intensive green to turquoise tone exactly like you sketched it. In contrast to your sketch I only could detect auburn color at the lower and brighter edge of the wings. The Frons is more reddish for me than the wings with the auburn tone.

    Your sketch encourage me to finally start my Orion Nebula sketching project. My goal is to concentrate to the inner Huygens Region and to simulate an approx 10' field like a high magnification perception through a telescope.

    By the way, do you know Ronald's sketch of the Orion Nebula? He did this with his former 14" telescope and the result is similar stunning like your sketch.
    Clear Skies, uwe
    http://www.deepsky-visuell.de
    Germany

    27" f/4,2

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    Member Howard B's Avatar
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    Thanks Uwe! I've found that seeing the color in M42 is almost completely dependent on how transparent the sky is. The sky doesn't need to be super dark, although that certainly helps to get the very best view - and looking directly at the nebulosity makes a big difference too, which I sometimes have to remind myself to do because using averted vision is so ingrained.

    I've attached my close up sketches of the Huygens region so you can see my high power impression of this unbelievable area. I used mostly 253x and 408x for this sketch, but unfortunately I never had a night that was really steady enough to up the power more than that. Even so, this is perhaps the most fascinating telescopic field of view that we can see from the northern hemisphere so I'll keep looking and sketching. By the way, both my Orion Nebula and Huygens region drawing are on 24 inch by 18 inch Vellum paper so the scale is nice and big.

    Can you post a link to Roland's sketch? I don't think I've seen it, and I'm sure it's wonderful. And good luck with your Orion Nebula project, and I'm sure everyone here is looking forward to seeing your results. It took me way too long to get started on my Orion Nebula drawings because all that detail intimidated me. But when I was reminded that a big, complicated drawing is only a series of small, overlapping drawings I found the way to finally start.

    Huygens 2c_Color_small.jpg Huygens 2c_small.jpg
    Howard
    28 inch f/4 alt-az Newtonian

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    Hi Howard,

    i agree with Uwe - even do one step further - your original version for me is just the best drawing of that object i have ever seen. Many people have problems with what you already mentioned - the range. Even the overall shape is not that easy to copy alone because of the objects size. Stars are great, and i really like your drawing style/ technique. Itīs both - very natural and very individual... in very harmonic combination.
    And the Huygens region... is just overwhelming, especially with the very well done coloration. Itīs just like popping in an Ethos eyepiece...

    Even with 12" Detail of the hyugens region is intimidating. But whats intimidating more for me - i am having no motoric stuff at my dobson... really nasty using powers around 300 while sketching ;-) But as well as Uwe... at least the centre... is now my little project for Winter now. As well as u - my intention is to bring some coloration to it. This object crys for that and i never understood why so few sketchers made it...

    Clear and steady skies!
    Norman
    12" f/ 4,5 - tuned Sumerian Optics Dobson - Nauris main mirror
    - who stands the rain deserves the sun! -

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    I don't see much color in the nebula, I see that there are different colors. Different shades of green and grey.

    What color I see is E star = distinctly orange
    B star = brownish tint compared to A, C, D
    18" f/3.5 Teeter Dob,
    82mm Kowa Binos
    Richmond Va

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    A second wow Howard,

    what a beauty. Especially the color version of the Huygens region. From my memories the details are very realistic to the eyepiece impression. Although the color perception with nearly 600x is not so distinct like your sketch with 250x, I find the color rendering simply stunning. Did you add the color also in PS after you made the fine sketch? And how did you get the sketch digital? Scan or photograph?

    I totally agree what you said about direct vision and the transparency. I observed this point also several times. Unfortunately the places with very good transparency gets closed during winter. But perhaps it is not a bad idea to make the sketch under good conditions and not wait until the conditions are very good.

    I don't think Ronald has his sketch somewhere in the internet. He is also fighting to get his large scales sketch digital. Best solution is to write him personally. When you don't have his email address I can give it to you privately.
    Clear Skies, uwe
    http://www.deepsky-visuell.de
    Germany

    27" f/4,2

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    This is amazing, Howard! Especially the original negative wide field drawing and the positive colored Huygens region are that take my breath away. Beautiful, realistic, precise.

    You posted your drawing hours before I drove to the hills for 2 nights of observing. And it was excellent motivation to continue my little 4" wide-field Orion project (1.8° field). It was an extremely enjoyable observation and I think I made good progress. Maybe 1-2 more night are needed to finish the sketch.

    Also, I saw colors in the Huygens region for the first time in my life now (2 nights ago) using a 16". Just as you said I had to remind myself to use direct vision. I'm so much used to averted vision as well to get the details. What helped me was low magnification (71x, 5.7mm exit pupil). The outer edge of the straight rim of the Huygens region was so beautifully vivid red compared to the paler turquise of the inner parts. I just couldn't stop marvelling. The colors on your Huygens region drawing are very realistic. With the 16" I didn't see colors outside the bright Huygens region.

    What technique did you use to color the drawing? Did you use a color layer in photoshop ("blending mode: color")?
    I made my first color drawing a couple of weeks ago (double star Iota Cas) and I realized that the 3x8bit depth is simply much less than what we see with our eyes. I just couldn't color it to be perfectly realistic. We probably see a much bigger dynamic range with our eyes than just 8bits.
    Peter Kiss
    deepeye.hu
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    Member Howard B's Avatar
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    My thanks again to you all, you're being very kind with your comments and I'm really pleased some of you have been inspired to go after your own drawing of the Orion Nebula.

    Peter and Uwe, to add color to my original drawing I first photographed it with - my iPhone. Two reasons for that - first, it has plenty of resolution because I hold only about one meter from the drawing, which is good enough to capture every small detail, as well as the texture of the paper. But it's not so easy because it's difficult to get a photo that doesn't have a light gradient. So I wait for a sunny day and photograph the drawing in full sunshine. Even so, getting an even gradient is tricky.

    Once I get a good photo, I email it to myself and bring it into Photoshop and select the Image drop down menu, then Adjustments and then Exposure, where I can adjust the exposure, offset and gamma to optimize the photo to most closely resemble my drawing. Then I invert it and go through the same steps to make it look as much like the view through the eyepiece as I can (Image, Adjustments, Invert).

    I do this to for almost all my published drawings (magazine and online). To add color I followed the instructions from this webpage: https://creativepro.com/selectively-...lor-photoshop/ - and that's it. Nothing fancy, but like anything new it was time consuming. Too bad there are a lot more deep sky objects with more color so I can use this technique more often.

    Peter, I'm really impressed you could the red color along the straight edge of the Huygens region (the "Bright Bar" as its called in the professional literature). It's a rare treat to see it all and I think you had very excellent conditions to see it so well, plus I think the much lower magnification you were using than I did helped. The first time I saw this color was by accident. I was observing the Huygens region at Steens Mountain in southwest Oregon, my favorite high altitude site (7400 feet) when I decided I didn't like the music coming from my iPhone.

    Then remembering a tip I'd read on Cloudy Nights a few years ago (briefly flash your observing eye with white light to temporarily put that eye back in its daylight color sensing mode) I looked at my iPhone while changing the music, and rushed back to the eyepiece. Wow!!! The edge of the Bright Bar and a smaller area just southwest of the Trapezium (a shrouded star forming area called Orion S) both were distinctly orange, just as I depicted in my color drawings. I'd never even suspected this color in these two areas before and was completely taken by surprise. The color slowly faded as my eye became dark adapted again, but to my delight each time I've tried this technique it's worked.

    Uwe, I had to work on my drawing under all kinds of observing conditions because there's too much to draw on the best nights. I used the less than great nights to get the proportions of the drawing correct and place the brightest features in their proper places. When a better night came along I was ready to add the finer, more subtle details without feeling rushed or overwhelmed. In that way, the 21.2 SQM nights with poor seeing and transparency were just as important as the 21.8 SQM nights under a great high altitude sky. Like you, my best observing sites are closed during the winter, so my best view always come in the early morning hours of late September or early October before they're closed.

    Norman, I know what you mean about the difficulty of sketching without tracking, and I wish you good luck with your drawing of the Huygens region and adding color.

    Jraymond, I've seen the red-ish color of the E star but the brownish tint of the B star. I hope to observe for the next two nights and will look for that, thanks for the tip!
    Howard
    28 inch f/4 alt-az Newtonian

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    Hi Howard,

    wow - what a crazy tip - flashing oneself with white light for color :-))) This is the first thing i try next time :-))

    Btw: the red color at the rim of the huygens region is a common feature with 12" too at transparent nights.

    CS!
    Norman
    12" f/ 4,5 - tuned Sumerian Optics Dobson - Nauris main mirror
    - who stands the rain deserves the sun! -

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    Member Howard B's Avatar
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    By the way, I had two excellent nights in central Oregon on Monday and Tuesday, and just before dawn Wednesday morning when Orion was on the meridian I had one of my most satisfying views ever of M42/43. The most surprising part of my observation was how easy it was to see the orange edge of the Bright Bar, and that I was also able to see the orange tint to the Orion S area without having to flash my eyes with white light first. This was the first time I've been able to see this color in these two areas simply by looking, so I'm really excited! Counter-intuitively, color in the rest of M42 was relatively muted, but still awesomely beautiful.

    I have to say, after a view like this - and as proud as I am of my drawing - it falls well short of conveying the utter magnificence of this incredible nebula.
    Howard
    28 inch f/4 alt-az Newtonian

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    Hi Howard

    Wow, fantastic sketch !! The Huygens region is a fantastic observation!! Referenece Howard!!

    Best Regards Hajü
    www.astromerk.de

  16. #16
    Hi All,

    Here are the colors I've seen with my 25" Obsession

    M 42 centre T635 BL 2017 02 21 center.jpg

    Report of observation at http://www.deepsky-drawings.com/m-42...635/dsdlang/en

    Clear skies
    Bertrand
    http://www.deepsky-drawings.com/

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