I was recently thinking about how I had been finding a “best fit” compromise in technique for capturing and processing both stars and the DSO target object in a single capture and a single-threaded processing workflow to produce a single image. I realized that what I was actually doing was suboptimizing both the stars and the DSO components of the final image. A higher level of thinking was required to conceive that there might be a way to optimize both, which led to the other day’s Monkey Head star field image.
I realized today that I had done the same thing yesterday when I split the problem of siting the camper and the scopes separately at Winter Star Party would be an easier problem to solve than trying to come up with a single site solution for both.
Resolving a problem into multiple components to look for optimal component-level solutions is probably a way to do what Kevin Johnson asked me to do many times when the solution set looked binary – look for the third way. I had to think harder, but learned to look for the third way on my own instead of stopping at what might be two obvious solutions so consider.
I want to be mindful to this thinking technique whenever I am solving multi-component problems in the future.