Help: Space Imaging Photographs
Ever since the Apollo astronauts described the surface of the moon as "magnificent desolation" and came home with a photograph of Earth rising over an alien landscape, planetbound people have been fascinated by live photographs of scenes in space. In the Star Conquest universe, a company known as the Space Images Archive serves as a clearinghouse for space photographs -- accepting photographs, paying a royalty, and then selling the images to interested parties such as magazine publishers and holovid producers. Needless to say, civilian pilots are in a unique position to benefit from this.
Space imaging is an exploration activity. The first requirement is a space imager. These are not sold anywhere officially -- check your local space market or ask other pilots about how you can get one. The second requirement is a starship with a rift drive. Bolt the imager in place on your ship and you are ready to hunt for exciting scenes to photograph.
As you explore deep space, your ship's sensors will detect various areas of interest. These may be asteroid fields, nebulae, planetary systems, or even more exotic objects. Travel to them so that you come out into realspace within the area of interest, then use the IMAGE command to take a photograph.
Upon returning home, put all of your photographs into a package and mail it to the Space Images Archive. They will take a day or so to evaluate your submission, then pay royalties to every crew member who was active on the ship around the time the photograph was taken. They will also mail back your photographs.
Note that you will only be paid for original photographs -- if you send them a photocopied image, or if the area has already been photographed, then you will not be paid. It will be best to keep your original photographs separate from any copies as soon as you take them. If you accidentally send a copy, you can still send the original later.
Nearby areas will pay relatively little, but it will still be helpful for those starting out with exploration. Images of farther areas tend to pay more, and you will also find more exotic scenes farther from home. Basically, the more rare any given image appears to be, the more you will be paid for it.
Beyond their monetary benefits, space imaging photographs also make for excellent souvenirs of any journey and can be framed and mounted, or placed into photo albums. IMPORTANT: Do not place original space photographs in a photo album until you have been paid for them. You can also take rather more mundane photographs of known planets and space stations close to home, but don't expect these to be worth anything.
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