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Andromeda with new found tricks


Vicki
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1 hour ago, Adam Y said:

Absolutely stunning!  Did you use any special filters such as light pollution?  Would love to hear more about the process!

Hi Adam. Thanks so much! No filters used at all, just my colour camera 🙂 I battle with lots of house and garden lights though throughout an evening, so it can be challenging. That said though, I'm pretty pleased with what I've managed over my 4 year journey

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44 minutes ago, Adam Y said:

Thanks Vicki - I'm at the start of my journey, so posts like this give me inspiration!

 

While I do live out in the country, they've still managed to put a street light right at the corner of my lot!  🤬

 

cheers

adam

Oh man, I'm sorry you've got to deal with that! It really is a tough hobby we have but the rewards far outweigh the niggles. 

 

So, tell me about your journey so far, what is your equipment and what are your goals?

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16 hours ago, Vicki said:

So, tell me about your journey so far, what is your equipment and what are your goals?

Thanks @Vicki- I've always been keen on astronomy and related sciences and used to have a basic Meade 10" about 30 years or so ago, but ended up selling it since I couldn't get out of the light pollution and couldn't afford things like motorised mounts and special eyepieces back then.  After a fair amount of research, I decided on the Celestron 8" Nexstar SE as being something that was good quality, and a good compromise on capabilities without drifting off into specialist gear.

 

So the last few weeks I have been putting it to some basic use in my back yard, and trying to expose weaknesses in my understanding of the operation, as well as things that would help make it easier and more useful - for example the dew shield was an obvious must after the first session!   As I read and observe, I have been collecting various filters and other bits with the eventual hope that I'll have most of what I need and will understand things well enough to take it far off to a Dark Skies site.

 

I love observing in general, but the main goal is to get into astrophotography - probably not heavy-duty, but mainly planetary and some light DSO stuff (knowing of course my 'scope isn't really the best tool for that job).  I've been reading and watching tutorials on the various capturing, stacking, and processing options that are out there and mostly just sponging up tips and inspiration from posts such as this one!

 

As soon as our seeing improves, I plan to go back out and put some of these new filters to the test and work to improve my aligning and tracking.   I have a CMOS camera on the way too, so will no doubt have many questions for everyone here as I begin to explore.  I hope I can get a shot of Andromeda some day that is even half as good as yours!

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Viki,

 

had not commented as I was away at weekend- you have a good image of M31, great framing and good star shapes.

If you would like to take your processing forward on this image I would suggest a couple of things, especially as you are using Photoshop.

 

The image has a green cast, and this can be easily corrected, if you haven't downloaded this tool, I do reccommend it when processing broadband from an OSC - its called HLVG, (Hasta La Vista Green), and also WhiteCal both written by Rogelio Bernal Andreo  download from his website,  https://www.deepskycolors.com/tools.html

  • Hasta la vista, green!
    HLVG is a chromatic noise reduction Photoshop plug-in that attempts to remove green noise and the green casts such noise may cause in some images. If you have green noise, green casts, etc. in your images, this plug-in might just be what you need.

     

  • WhiteCal
    WhiteCal is a color calibration Photoshop plug-in that allows you to select an area of an image (a sample), and then it'll do a complete RGB color balance assuming that the average color in the sample is supposed to be white/neutral. In other words, it's a tool that does color balance based on a white/neutral reference.

Also there is a gradient bottom to top right  to fix that simply use a plugin for PS called Astroflat Pro - really useful tool and has a 15 day free trial, and is $35 purchase . https://www.prodigitalsoftware.com/AstroFlatPro1_News.html

 

Although as you have APP- use the Remove light Polution tool - its amazing. If you havn't used it its under Tools tab and You can place the green rectangles on the image and it ignores the stars and calibrates the backgound and you can see the model it uses once you are happy with reult save the image in the viewer and take it into PS.

 

I took your posted image through each of these tools and this is the result, (not APP) with no real input from me other than clicking the tool.

Atroflat, HLVG, WhiteCal, levels

 

I did take the black point to a 23/23/23/ level/balance which is a number I have used for years that was reccomened by a very experienced imager that lives in S.France.

 

Hopefully a few more tricks here you can use in future images, assuming you like  the end result I posted below ....

 

Bryan

 

 

1353603348_MOREREDdesat_Astroflat_WhiteCal_HLVG.thumb.png.778ab5c4d859af3b27bd9fea7730eedf.png

Edited by Astrobdlbug
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2 hours ago, Astrobdlbug said:

Viki,

 

had not commented as I was away at weekend- you have a good image of M31, great framing and good star shapes.

If you would like to take your processing forward on this image I would suggest a couple of things, especially as you are using Photoshop.

 

The image has a green cast, and this can be easily corrected, if you haven't downloaded this tool, I do reccommend it when processing broadband from an OSC - its called HLVG, (Hasta La Vista Green), and also WhiteCal both written by Rogelio Bernal Andreo  download from his website,  https://www.deepskycolors.com/tools.html

  • Hasta la vista, green!
    HLVG is a chromatic noise reduction Photoshop plug-in that attempts to remove green noise and the green casts such noise may cause in some images. If you have green noise, green casts, etc. in your images, this plug-in might just be what you need.

     

  • WhiteCal
    WhiteCal is a color calibration Photoshop plug-in that allows you to select an area of an image (a sample), and then it'll do a complete RGB color balance assuming that the average color in the sample is supposed to be white/neutral. In other words, it's a tool that does color balance based on a white/neutral reference.

Also there is a gradient bottom to top right  to fix that simply use a plugin for PS called Astroflat Pro - really useful tool and has a 15 day free trial, and is $35 purchase . https://www.prodigitalsoftware.com/AstroFlatPro1_News.html

 

Although as you have APP- use the Remove light Polution tool - its amazing. If you havn't used it its under Tools tab and You can place the green rectangles on the image and it ignores the stars and calibrates the backgound and you can see the model it uses once you are happy with reult save the image in the viewer and take it into PS.

 

I took your posted image through each of these tools and this is the result, (not APP) with no real input from me other than clicking the tool.

Atroflat, HLVG, WhiteCal, levels

 

I did take the black point to a 23/23/23/ level/balance which is a number I have used for years that was reccomened by a very experienced imager that lives in S.France.

 

Hopefully a few more tricks here you can use in future images, assuming you like  the end result I posted below ....

 

Bryan

 

 

1353603348_MOREREDdesat_Astroflat_WhiteCal_HLVG.thumb.png.778ab5c4d859af3b27bd9fea7730eedf.png

Hi! Thanks very much for the tips 😀  I haven't yet got HLVG but I was on my list. Haven't heard of the other one though. I can certainly see the difference between yours and mine. Everything looks balanced real nice, thanks. There's still a lot I need to learn but I do bits when I can because I'm on my own with the kids and time hasn't been on the cards for a while sadly

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/12/2022 at 8:52 PM, timastrovirus said:

That is a lovely image Vicki, great job.

 

Maybe in the future we could combine some data together from my rig (8"/F5 Skywatcher newt) with your Newton, as we both also run the AA269C Hypercam.

Thats food for thought! I've gotta get to grips with some dso first with the newt though. Weather not being too kind of late

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Hi Vicki, superb picture. I don't do a lot of imaging but when I try M31 if I adjust the exposure to pick out the filmy outside of the galaxy I find that the middle part is completely burnt out with no detail. How do you get round that?

 

Cheers

Steve

 

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8 hours ago, woodblock said:

Hi Vicki, superb picture. I don't do a lot of imaging but when I try M31 if I adjust the exposure to pick out the filmy outside of the galaxy I find that the middle part is completely burnt out with no detail. How do you get round that?

 

Cheers

Steve

 

Thanks Steve and good question. Because of how bright Andromeda's core is, you want to be using shorter exposures.  That way you'll retain the detail within the dust lanes. The more you do, the more the signal builds and the finer galaxy will start to show. So these were all 3 minute frames which was pushing it a little but I managed to keep control of the core. The more you gather the better the signal to noise ratio too. Another way is to do sets of multiple exposures and then blend together. Just depends how you want to do it really. Hope that helps 🙂

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