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Hello, let me be the first to introduce myself!

Scotty Bishop

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Hi Everyone, and welcome to the forum! Let me be the first to introduce myself here. My name is Scotty and I have been using the Telescope Live platform since early 2021. It has been a real life saver for me because I live very close to one of the Great Lakes, and those things make clouds like you wouldn't believe! In fact we get our best nights when the lake freezes solid, but then dealing with cold and the light that is reflected from the snow is fun.

I first became interested in space as a kid in the 80s and got my first cheap refractor in the late 80s as a Christmas present. I dreamed of either being an astronomer or an astronaut at that time too. I didn't get my first "real" telescope until I was in college in the mid 2000s, a Meade DA130AT alt-az go to 130mm f/7.9 reflector and was absolutely blown away visually, but when I tried to attach a camera, well, lets just say all I ever got was moon pictures with a barlow a few time, and those were a mess of purple and green due to the cheap refractive elements in the barlow that came with my scope. Later on I got DSLR cameras and lenses and tried capturing the moon and I did capture the Venus transit in the 2012. A little after that I got the Pentax GPS unit that also allowed untracked long exposure astro imaging and got it to work a few times, capturing random areas in space and even a 25 second shot of M42 at 500mm. I remember being incredibly proud of that. Looking back it wasn't as impressive as I thought it was. I also bought a Meade LXD75 with an SN10 for more visual stuff and hopefully some astrophotography. Let's just say, that was not an optimal combination of mount and scope, though it was fin for visual.

In 2017 I decided to go ahead and try to get serious with the hobby, with my first actual attempt at a good stacked DSO being M45 on April 1st, 2017. I bought an iOptron ZEQ25, and then an iOptron SmartEQ Pro along with a couple cheap intervalometers. I also bought my first actual imaging scope, an Astrotech AT65Q, and shortly after a TPO 8RC. I was a dedicated DSLR person at that time and while I got some decent results for what I was doing, and I thought I was really good, it turns out I wasn't all that good at it, I simply knew how to hide defects with actions in Photoshop. I also started using  It wasn't until I bought an MGEN II and started guiding that things really improved. I also got more mounts and scopes. Ever hear of GAS, gear addiction syndrome? Yeah, that was me. If only I would have heard the term "Buy once, cry once" and stuck to it I'd have probably ended up with anywhere from 2 to 4 SB or AP mounts and OTAs to match them. I would have also moved to dedicated mono astro cameras, decent filters, and of course autoguiding early on, but no use in complaining about what may have been because I can't go back and change it.

I ended up with enough iOptron mounts that I was able to speak to some of the people there directly and got early copies of some of them, with my CEM40 and CEM70G sent out before release. I also ended up doing enough that I got a SharpStar 15028HNT before anyone else in the US, even to the point of using PayPal to send the main person there the money and him sending me the first one that hit North America, plus connected him with a place that ended up selling some of them as an authorized dealer. I also was one of the testers on some of their 5nm SHO ColourMagic filters. Still, even with all that I still wasn't running top of the line stuff, and I did end up finding the limits of how hard you can push a DSLR, and how hard you can push mounts that are a bit cheaper. I awas honestly lucky that I lived in mag 21-37 skies at my old house with a nice state park nearby that had wide open spaces and mag 21.34 skies that I could meet friends (and make lifelong friends) and hang out while doing astrophotography when I didn't want to attempt AP at my house with all the trees around it. When work moved me to where I am now I was again lucky that I ended up with magnitude 20.85 skies. I also got to learn far too much about working on mounts and scopes. It was right around this point after I had found out how hard I could push a DSLR, low-mid range mount, and cheaper optics that a friend introduced me to Telescope Live.

Telescope Live was an honest game changer for me. It introduced me to mono processing and I learned it is easier to get better results with mono than with OSC, and that mono is very easy to work with. It also got me access to targets that I simply can't get from where I am, and then on top of that got me better quality data than I could get with my normal equipment. I have had 5 AAPOD and all were Telescope Live, with the exception of one of them that was a mix of TL and my own data to pull off over 77 hours in the Rho Ophiuchi area. All of my IOTD at Astrobin have been TL data. Most of my Top Pick and Top Pick nominations at Astrobin were Telescope Live data. Telescope Live data ended up leading me to push my processing skills and come up with new techniques to get as much as I could from the awesome data we have here. I have spent thousands of credits on over 90 completed Advanced Requests, many of which have become One Click Observations because that data was awesome and I wanted others to have a crack at it. I have even discovered some planetary nebulae because of Telescope Live! You really can't beat this platform.

So, there is a bit about me and my journey with astrophotography. I can safely say I am an expert when it comes to both Astro Pixel Processor and Photoshop, so in the proper sections if you have questions feel free to ask then and I will do what I can to respond. Most of all, get that data, get those images, and post them in the proper section here and in the Telescope Live gallery. Most of all, have fun!

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