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Astrophotography and Sketching >> Beginning and Intermediate Imaging

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CounterWeight
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Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Palo alto, CA.
Re: Whats wrong with my first photo? 5x90sec Orion new [Re: BenB85]
      #5708713 - 03/02/13 12:25 PM

Just want to congratulate you on taking the first step.

Patience is key along with a lot of reading and trial and error, and maybe even more patience. I agree to keep the scope, and get focusing down as that is the final word in detail at whatever exposure length you use, it's critically important.

Once over that little hurdle you will find that capturing data is specific to the object you are imaging - as Patrick pointed out M42 is a steep learning curve. Having a decent setup that will track and give you round stars, all the difficulty is in processing data - you may spend a lot more time on that than capturing the image.

It's part of the fun!


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Ugmul
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Reged: 05/17/11

Loc: Tucson AZ
Re: Whats wrong with my first photo? 5x90sec Orion new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5709407 - 03/02/13 07:24 PM

One thing to remember, having 5 90sec exposure is not the same as having 1 450s exposure. You will only have 90 seconds of exposure to work with, the 5 extra shots reduce the noise created.

Light pollution filter will help bring out the dust that I belive is getting lost. Also using 400-800 ISO will help as well. Orion is very bright, and you should have more data on a raw 90s exposure.

Are you using raw format? Did you take Darks/Flats?

Hang in there, keep at it, read as much as you can about processing, you can bring out some amazing detail with the right processing tools. Or you can ruin the shots without knowing it.


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BenB85
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Reged: 02/17/13

Loc: Colorado and Alaska USA
Re: Whats wrong with my first photo? 5x90sec Orion new [Re: Smack]
      #5709587 - 03/02/13 09:19 PM

Quote:

Ben,

Can you please post a single light frame on dropbox or something like that?

I wouldn't mind having a look.

Regards,

Steve




Steve
I have never used dropbox but I just downloaded it and put a light frame in.

How do I share it?


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BenB85
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Reged: 02/17/13

Loc: Colorado and Alaska USA
Re: Whats wrong with my first photo? 5x90sec Orion new [Re: Smack]
      #5709592 - 03/02/13 09:24 PM

Quote:

Ben,

Can you please post a single light frame on dropbox or something like that?

I wouldn't mind having a look.

Regards,

Steve




Does this work?

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3onw4pe8svxkkkf/Fcldmd3QdS?m


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Madratter
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Reged: 01/14/13

Re: Whats wrong with my first photo? 5x90sec Orion new [Re: BenB85]
      #5709656 - 03/02/13 10:16 PM Attachment (8 downloads)

There is quite a bit more data than your processing is bringing out. We don't have the darks, the originals, flats, etc. to process this right, but with just the reduced size light you posted, this data was there to be had. If you object to me posting this, please let me know so I can take it down.

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BenB85
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Reged: 02/17/13

Loc: Colorado and Alaska USA
Re: Whats wrong with my first photo? 5x90sec Orion new [Re: Madratter]
      #5709662 - 03/02/13 10:21 PM

NO, that GREAT!

How did you do that? Photoshop? Levels, curves ect?

Ben


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Madratter
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Reged: 01/14/13

Re: Whats wrong with my first photo? 5x90sec Orion new [Re: BenB85]
      #5710413 - 03/03/13 11:12 AM

I am positive there are people on this forum that can tease more out of that picture than I did. I am a rookie at this stuff.

I used a combination of Nebulosity and Photoshop CS6.

Nebulosity, I got rid of the background color shift (what they call the offset). I also ran it through what is called DPP, which can be thought of as a fancy form of levels.

In photoshop, I did some additional moving of the blackpoint.

I should have worked on the color balance as well (things are still too blue).

But I was just trying to make a point that there is more data in that picture than you thought. And far more could be brought out by stacking all of your exposures properly, etc.

And the bigger point is that although the equipment matters, it isn't all about the equipment either. The processing of that data you have captured is important too. And that isn't something you can just buy. That is something that needs to be learned and it will take time and effort.


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RedLionNJ
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Reged: 12/29/09

Loc: Red Lion, NJ, USA
Re: Whats wrong with my first photo? 5x90sec Orion new [Re: Madratter]
      #5710505 - 03/03/13 11:53 AM

Agreed on most of Madratter's points, especially the bit about time and effort. I achieved a similar (though not quite as smooth - well done on that part!) version of your image with DSS and an alpha version of GIMP 2.9 (for 16-bit images).

One of my observations on the single-sub data is that it seems to comb quite noticably when stretched. I'd hazard a guess this is due to the 8-bit JPEG format of the image. You may get significantly smoother data from Canon RAW format.

The very best images come from the "cleanest" data. That means perfecting focus/guiding and minimizing noise. Many of the stars in the same frame are a bit wider than desirable and also elongated. This could be the focus is a fraction of a millimeter off (seriously - that's all it takes) and/or that guiding is not configured optimally.

I know not everything went right on MY first attempt and I'm sure many others have similar experiences. Refine one piece at a time and you'll get there. If you don't have sufficient patience, maybe AP isn't for you.

Grant


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Smack
super member


Reged: 07/24/09

Re: Whats wrong with my first photo? 5x90sec Orion new [Re: RedLionNJ]
      #5710530 - 03/03/13 12:14 PM

I was able to get similar results to Madratter and Grant.

Processing is hugely important in astrophotography. The learning curve is steep but the rewards can be very satisfying if you stick with it.

Steve


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rigel123
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Reged: 06/29/09

Loc: SW Ohio
Re: Whats wrong with my first photo? 5x90sec Orion new [Re: BenB85]
      #5710692 - 03/03/13 01:51 PM Attachment (5 downloads)

Looks good for a first attempt. I work in mono so I approached your image that way and broke out the different channels since your red channel was way to the right of the histogram compared to the Blue and Green Channel. I then recombined them in PS and did a desaturation of the background.

As others have said, the best advice is patience. Stars are a bit soft on focus (check out getting or making a Bahtinov Mask for checking focus), guiding is off a bit and this is most likely from not getting a good polar alignment. If you can't use Polaris then do a search on Drift Alignment to help with getting your PA sharpened up. Then add more subs and you might check out some tutorials such as Anna Morris's on her website, www.eprisephoto.com Go to the Astrophotography section and Tutorials. With this nebula to get best results you want to take a series of very short exposures (4 to 10 seconds) and then some long ones to get the faint nebulosity and then combine them so that you can get the trapezium in the core and the fainter nebulosity that stretches for quite a distance from the core.

Keep at it and don't beat yourself up too much, this is not a simple process. It typically takes a while to get comfortable with your setup, alignment, capture and processing.


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