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M42 Core in 30 seconds...meh.. Still needs work

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#1 shawnhar

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 01:22 PM

This is hard!
I have been trying to layer mask the core in with the surroundings and having mild success but it is proving to be very difficult.
I feel like it is so close to being good, but just can't quite get there. Nothing I can do about the trap being blown out, the stars are touching so I don't know how to reduce them, they bloated up with 30 sec exposures anyway. Next time I'll get some 10s subs.
I went to far with the sharpening then tried to compensate with noise reduction and my stars need some serious work, but I think I am close on the light/dark blending.
I plan to reprocess the whole thing from the start, but I wanted to share what I have so far and ask for opinions.
Any input would be helpful!
Canon XS
Meade 10" SCT .63 Focal reducer
DSS, StarTools and Photoshop
186 subs @ 30 sec unguided

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#2 Mike Wiles

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 01:30 PM

The blending of the layers looks really good. You should be happy about that for sure. As far as a critique on the rest of it, you hit the nail on the head already. To my eye, the noise reduction is too much and the dust lanes & nebulosity are too smooth...dial that back a touch and the whole image will "pop".

Looking forward to the reprocessed version.

Mike

#3 CounterWeight

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 05:25 PM

Agree, nice blending :) Is it possible to only process each the same way to a point and then do the blend and continue post processing if necc? i think the way it is adds a real 3D aspect, very artificial yet cool at same time!

#4 shawnhar

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 10:23 AM

Still working on it...kinda lost the green color in this one...

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#5 NeilMac

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 11:04 AM

nice and dramatic :)

#6 shawnhar

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 11:43 AM

Yeah it's way over the top.
Iactually took this as part of a larger layer masking thing for Orion, shot the wider field with the ST80 and the close up so I could layer in the core...that is another work in progress...those stars need some SERIOUS work.

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