Not an awful lot to report. Oppy continues to stare silently at the hole she’s made, taking a break now and again to sneak a glance at the scenery around her. I can’t help wondering when she’ll complete her studies of this rocky outcrop and move on, heading north and east, in hot pursuit of those phylosillicates… in the meantime, some catch-up images…
Now, I know what you’re all wondering: why did he call this post “The REAL Mars”? Well, it’s because I want to show you an image a fellow Mars enthusiast/rover hugger has made, which I think is one of the best and most inspiring portraits of the Red Planet I’ve ever seen.
Let’s be honest here. I’m pretty pleased with the images I make, and I’m always delighted when others let me know they enjoy them – or when they “appear” on some Russian, French or Venusian blog without any warning – but I’m a self-confessed and happy-to-admit-it amateur when it comes to this image processing lark. Really, all I do is take the raws, add them together and muck about with the tones, hues and levels until the image on the screen looks like the ‘official’ images or the ones created with people with far more skill (and better kit!) than I, then I hit “Save” as quick as I can before something goes wrong. As I’ve said before, and freely admit again here, I hope and try to make images that are beautiful rather than 1000% accurate, striking rather than official. I leave “accurate” to the good people at NASA who get paid to do that! But compared to the pictures other image enthusiasts create, my martian portraits are as crude as cave paintings. That’s ok, I do my best, and I’m learning; maybe one day I’ll create something as good as the images I see on UMSF and other sites that make *me* go “Wow!!!” But for now you’re stuck with my “StuColour” panoramas and mosaics! :-)
But if you want to see Mars as it really is, if you want to be magically transported to stand beside Oppy, and see Endeavour as it would appear through your spacesuit helmet’s visor, then all you have to do is go visit the website of one of the most talented and dedicated Mars image enthusiasts there is – James Canvin. James is a fellow member of the popular and respected unmannedspaceflight.com forum, and his images of Mars are recogognised on that forum as being both works of art and labours of love. I’ve learned a lot from him just by looking at his pictures, comparing mine to his, and trying to figure out just what kinds of witchcraft or sorcery he employs to achieve such amazing results..!
The other day, James updated his gallery with a panoramic image of Endeavour Crater that has to be seen to be believed. So – go and see it!
THAT, my friends, is Mars. :-)