Astrophotography Pie

by William R. Mattil

Huge apologies to Don McLean

A long long time ago ......
I can still remember
How some images used to make me smile,
And I knew that if I had my chance
that I could make some photons dance
and maybe, I'd be happy for a while
But February made me shiver
frosted optics, don't deliver
loose screws on the guidescope,
guiding based only on hope
I can't remember if I cried
'cause my light pollution spectrum's wide
But something touched me deep inside
the day that Tech Pan Died
So why, why did film imaging die ?
Priced some CCD equipment but the cost was too high
All them digital boys are drinking whiskey and rye
singin' this'll be the day film will die,
this'll be the day film will die.
Did you read from books of Lore
published oh so long ago
Wallis, Provin told us so.
Can hypering save your mortal soul
and is your reciprocity real low ?
Well I know that you're in love with pain
'cause I saw you setting up in the rain
weather forcast ? is for Clearing
all of us are cheering.
I was a lonely, middle aged Astro Geek
with an APO and mount too weak
yet another film we're want to seek
the day, that Tech Pan died
I started singing .....
So why, why did film imaging die ?
Priced some CCD equipment but the cost was too high
All them digital boys are drinking whiskey and rye
singin' this'll be the day film will die,
this'll be the day film will die.
Now for ten years we've been on our own
Developing, then scanning all alone.
But that's not how it used to be.
When the Magazine arrived, in back was lurking,
the work of Germano, Hallas, and Perkins
with a proud voice that came from you and me
Oh and while our eyes were looking down,
manually guiding without a frown
SBIG's guys were scheming
of Autoguiders - they were dreaming
Now our guiders are quietly ticking,
while our pockets they are picking,
romance is gone, and wounds we're licking
the day, that Tech Pan died.
We were singing ......
So why, why did film imaging die ?
Priced some CCD equipment but the cost was too high
All them digital boys are drinking whiskey and rye
singin' this'll be the day film will die,
this'll be the day film will die.
Mosquitos, Chiggars in a summer swelter
best get out of the sun ! bring a little shelter
Night time temps of eighty-eight!
Racoon, Possums - an occasional Loon
Pitch black nights, calm - and of course no Moon
Six, one hour exposures! It's dawn, way too soon
Now the night time air is sweet perfume
Camera shutters play a lovely tune
Film advance levers dance
Thank God we even got the chance!
'cause when digital tried to take the field
like die-hard Bums we refused to yield
Do you recall what was revealed
the day that Tech Pan died
We still are singing ......
So why, why did film imaging die ?
Priced some CCD equipment but the cost was too high
All them digital boys are drinking whiskey and rye
singin' this'll be the day film will die,
this'll be the day film will die.
High Vacuum Pump and a Hypering Tank
Forming Gas, some heat, a densitometers rank
D19, distilled water and Fixer you know
get the timing just right.. add some Photoflow
made for images you were proud to show
before our Tech Pan died
Now No Ones Singing .....
So why, why did film imaging die ?
Priced some CCD equipment but the cost was too high
All them digital boys are drinking whiskey and rye
singin' this'll be the day film will die,
this'll be the day film will die.
Oh, and there we were all in one place,
A generation lost in space
with no time left to start again.
So come on: Kodak be nimble, please be quick!
manufacture Tech Pan... don't make us sick!
'cause digital is the devils only friend.
Oh and as I watched him on the stage
Film boxes clenched in fists of rage
No angel born in hell
Could break that satan's spell
Exposure time so long, we couldn't wait
Laptop screens! what a dreadful state
I saw satan typing "Track and Accumulate"
the day, that Tech Pan died
He was singing ......
So why, why did film imaging die ?
Priced some CCD equipment but the cost was too high
All them digital boys are drinking whiskey and rye
singin' this'll be the day film will die,
this'll be the day film will die.
I met a film reportedly good in blue
tried it, hoped for some happy news
but it just failed. I threw it away.
I then went down to the Camera Store
where I'd smelled emulsion years before
But the man there said the new films wouldn't play
And at TSP: the disk drives screamed,
monitors cried, while us film guys dreamed,
but from Kodak: no word was spoken
Cable releases all were broken
And the three men I admire most
Newton, Hallas, Middleton don't boast
they all bought cameras from the coast
the day, that Tech Pan died
They were singing ......
So why, why did film imaging die ?
Priced some CCD equipment but the cost was too high
All them digital boys are drinking whiskey and rye
singin' this'll be the day film will die,
this'll be the day film will die.
Tech Pan Sileo In Pacis - 2005