Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

M42 - first astrophoto!

  • Please log in to reply
17 replies to this topic

#1 mitchican

mitchican

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 8
  • Joined: 26 Jul 2018

Posted 11 January 2019 - 04:02 PM

Lots of issues here, any advice is much appreciated! This was an exercise in capturing and processing; all of which are new to me. I'm just thrilled to have something to show my wife.  

 

A few questions. 

1) with the CLS-CCD filter M42 is very red, is that to be expected? Should I be able to see other colors as well? 

2) 2/3 of the subs were shot using the CLS/CCD filter, should I have refocused after putting it in the camera?

3) What are the two "elliptical flares" on the right side of the picture 1/3 of the way up from the bottom (extending right to left above Nair al Saif)? You will have to look very closely in the scaled image.

4) Should I have mixed ISOs or can that just be adjusted in PS?

5) Any other advice on... anything? 

 

From my backyard North of Houston, TX somewhere in the Bortle 6 range?

1:05 minutes of 15sec sub light frames (1600,3200,6400 ISOs)

      1/3 subs no filter

      2/3 subs using Astronomik CLS/CCD clip in filter

30 frames of Flats, Darks and Bias frames included

 

I stretched the image twice and adjusted the curves to produce a dark sky, then applied "Enhance DSO and Reduce Stars" action.

 

Equipment:

Celestron 6SE, Alt/Az mount

Celestron .63 Field Reducer

Canon modded T3i

 

Software:

BackyardEOS 

DeepSkyStacker 

Photoshop CS2 with AstronomyTools v1.6 

 

Thanks for looking!

 

-Mitch

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • Orion Nebula 01.10.2019 scaled.jpg

  • Starman27, homerdt, zxx and 9 others like this

#2 gnomus

gnomus

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 58
  • Joined: 03 Oct 2014

Posted 11 January 2019 - 04:47 PM

Hi Mitchican.  It’s an excellent effort.  

 

I no longer shoot DSLR having migrated to CCD a couple of years back.  Neither do I use DSS.  So I can only offer general advice.

 

The object is quite red and your presentation is valid.  However, you might want to think about colour balance.  If you use the PS eyedropper and sample a bit of the background sky (at 3x3), the the R, G & B values should be equal (ish).  If they are not, then some levels adjustment on each of the separate channels might help you to achieve this.  Look up some M42 images on somewhere like Astrobin to see what you should be aiming for.

 

If things get a little green the I’d look for Hasta La Vista Green (HLVG) - a free PS plug in filter that is fairly essential.

 

You ask about refocussing when adding in the filter.  You should be refocussing very regularly.  Maybe every hour as a minimum.  Especially in the early to mid evening when temperatures are dropping rapidly.  A Bahtinov mask (or similar) is very useful.

 

I wouldn’t mess about with different ISOs.  For one thing you’ll need different darks (and possibly biases) for each ISO.  Stick with one 1600 or 3200 and shoot as many subs as you can.  Again, have a look at the images you like on Astrobin and see how much integration time they have.  There really is no substitute.  On this target you may need some short exposure so that you can blend in core detail in processing.  

 

The artefacts around your stars could be flares.  I get artefacts around these stars in my images of this object too.

 

In processing don’t clip the sky too much.  It’s not all that dark.  You may mask some of the noise, but you will probably be losing detail too.

 

incidentally, tracking seems OK.

 

Hope some of that is helpful.

 

Steve



#3 rigel123

rigel123

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 16166
  • Joined: 29 Jun 2009
  • Loc: SW Ohio

Posted 11 January 2019 - 04:56 PM

Nice start and welcome to the insanity!  Good job using an Alt/Az mount and set up everyone probably already told you just won't work for DSO's, but I started that way as well and got some decent shots using short exposures until I figured out what I needed to get better pictures and much easier equipment to work with.  As to the red, your other colors are there, I'll post some screen shots showing you what your histogram looks like and why the pic is red, and then after some minor adjustments to balance the colors of the histogram so you can see there is blue and other colors in your image as well.  I'll have to look at your post again to see what you used to process but I think it was DSS for stacking which is fine, just don't use it to process anything else.

 

Here is your image as you posted it and you can see the Red in the histogram dominates it and is further to the right than the other colors:

 

Orion-original-histogram.jpg

 

Here is your image after adjusting the levels of the individual channels so they balance:

 

Orion-adjusted-histogram.jpg

 

You'll notice that the histograms overlap each other and hopefully you can see that there are other colors in there as well in a larger image of the adjusted image:

 

M42-first-try-adjusted.jpg

 

Careful stretching of the image watching the individual histograms of the colors as well as other processing tricks in various programs like PS, PI, etc. will help, but watch your histogram closely.  Making sure the colors are simply balanced will move you a little further along the way.  And of course watch tutorials, visit the Astro Imaging Channel page as there are a ton of videos on processing etc.

 

Oh, and keep shooting and practicing the basics while you look at the possibility of changing to an equatorial mount in the future that makes this hobby much easier.

 

OK, I see you use DSS and PS which is exactly what I used starting out, and still do to this day with a little mix of PI once in awhile.  Astronomy tools is a great plug-in which you have as well.  If you want some great tutorials for what you currently have for processing you might check out Adam Block's tutorials on using Photoshop for processing images.


Edited by rigel123, 11 January 2019 - 05:06 PM.


#4 bblindsey

bblindsey

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 51
  • Joined: 25 Mar 2018
  • Loc: Stillwater, Ok

Posted 11 January 2019 - 05:03 PM

First of all, VERY impressive image for being new to imaging. I am, by no means, an expert. But I'll add my two cents

 

Before I "mastered" pixinsight... lol.gif I could not efficiently calibrate my colors and my Orion images were red as well. Definitely work on color calibration, as well as making sure your histogram data is about 1/4 of the way off the left side of the histogram graph. You will benefit from lower ISO, longer exposures. It will bring out more nebulosity.

 

Regarding your elliptical flairs: I believe that is actually nebulosity. Check out my latest Orion image

 

Orion (1-4-19)wlesssat(s).jpg

 

I might actually be wrong, either way I don't think they look like flaws in your set up. They look like some sort of natural phenomenon.

 

Also, regarding ISO, I would not bump your ISO above 3200. I image with a Nikon D5300 (which has very little noise) and I rarely go above 1600. If it's cold out I'll go 1600, but if not I image at 400 or 800. From there, adjust your exposure times to produce a nice looking histogram for your lights.

 

Some people will take calibrated long exposures and combine them with calibrated short exposures when shooting Orion. This is an attempt at preserving the core and not blowing it out. I haven't tried that myself, but it's worth noting.

 

Hope it helped!

 

EDIT: I just noticed you have an alt/az mount. That makes long exposures a lot more difficult. Sorry I didn't spot that earlier

 

P.S. check out my latest post where I compared my first image of Orion, from 2 years ago, to the one I attached here, you will get a good chuckle


Edited by bblindsey, 11 January 2019 - 05:06 PM.


#5 Michael Harris

Michael Harris

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 211
  • Joined: 07 Mar 2010
  • Loc: Kentucky, USA

Posted 11 January 2019 - 05:24 PM

Very nice image. Looking forward to more! I have been told by Authority that the color of the Orion Nebula is “coral” but my Y chromosome prevents me from understanding such distinctions.


  • mitchican likes this

#6 terry59

terry59

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8835
  • Joined: 18 Jul 2011
  • Loc: Colorado, USA

Posted 11 January 2019 - 06:22 PM

Very nice start

 

waytogo.gif 


  • mitchican likes this

#7 mitchican

mitchican

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 8
  • Joined: 26 Jul 2018

Posted 11 January 2019 - 10:40 PM

Wow! I didn't know what to expect when I posted this, truth be told I was a bit nervous. I'm overwhelmed with the encouragement, insight and advice! Thank you to each of you for your replies. 

 

@gnomus - thanks for the detailed info on RGB values in PS. It just wasn't clicking with me, I think I understand now! I've just downloaded HVLG to try and I'll definitely add refocusing into my workflow during my imaging sessions.

 

@rigel123 -  great visual presentation, very helpful! I'm so glad the data is contained in my image, I wasn't sure it was there... just needs the right touch. An EQ mount is #1 on my wish list. I want a mount that I hopefully won't outgrow too soon, and can afford - still not sure where I'm going in that regard. ioptron has peaked my interest of late. I'll check out Adam Block's tutorials and the Astro Imaging Channel ASAP.

 

@bblindsey - mental note for me on leaving some room on the left side of the histogram. I was casting a wide net with the different ISOs, I desperately wanted to capture something, anything, haha! Thanks for the advice and great picture btw! Incidentally, I spent approximately 4yrs (maybe a little more) in Stillwater. Great town!

 

@Michael Harris / @terry59 - Thank you!

 

I'm diving right back into photoshop tonight to see what I can do...

 

-Mitch


Edited by mitchican, 11 January 2019 - 11:29 PM.

  • bblindsey likes this

#8 mitchican

mitchican

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 8
  • Joined: 26 Jul 2018

Posted 13 January 2019 - 02:03 AM

Ok, I've been looking at this too long. I see too much green, but the histogram looks right (to me). Is this an improvement or a lateral step?  Opinions and advice are appreciated. 

 

Thanks for looking! 

Attached Thumbnails

  • ORION - color balance.jpg

  • rigel123 likes this

#9 gnomus

gnomus

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 58
  • Joined: 03 Oct 2014

Posted 13 January 2019 - 06:29 AM

I think that looks better.  I cannot tell at this scale, but the blacks might be clipped.  There are no hard and fast rules - but I find it useful to find a spot of clear background sky with no nebulosity (sometimes easier said than done!) and measure using the eyedropper tool, as described above.  I want my background sky to measure at the 20+ level (or 20+,20+,20+ to be precise).

 

Did you run HLVG on it?  One tip might be to copy your image to a new layer above the main layer.  Run HLVG at full strength on the top layer, then - if you need to -  dial back the opacity of the HLVG layer to taste.  If you want to get really fancy, change the blending mode of the HLVG layer to 'Color'.  (I don't know why you American chaps have never learned how to spell 'colour' smile.gif )

 

Steve  



#10 dmdouglass

dmdouglass

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1636
  • Joined: 23 Dec 2007
  • Loc: Tempe, AZ

Posted 13 January 2019 - 11:55 AM

If you are seeing Green...

And using Photo-Shop....

 

Spend a few minutes and read this web-page.

http://www.deepskyco...ista-Green.html



#11 mitchican

mitchican

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 8
  • Joined: 26 Jul 2018

Posted 13 January 2019 - 01:21 PM

I think that looks better.  I cannot tell at this scale, but the blacks might be clipped.  There are no hard and fast rules - but I find it useful to find a spot of clear background sky with no nebulosity (sometimes easier said than done!) and measure using the eyedropper tool, as described above.  I want my background sky to measure at the 20+ level (or 20+,20+,20+ to be precise).

 

Did you run HLVG on it?  One tip might be to copy your image to a new layer above the main layer.  Run HLVG at full strength on the top layer, then - if you need to -  dial back the opacity of the HLVG layer to taste.  If you want to get really fancy, change the blending mode of the HLVG layer to 'Color'.  (I don't know why you American chaps have never learned how to spell 'colour' smile.gif )

 

Steve  

Blacks clipped is probably the case, I pulled the RGB histogram almost to the left edge. I just reread your first post regarding the eyedropper and sampling the colour (just for you, haha, even though it's underlined as misspelled wink.gif  ), I misunderstood and applied it incorrectly. A simple mistake that may have caused the existing issues. FWIW, I did run HVLG (a number of times). Back to the start... rigel123 mentioned "insanity"... feeling a bit that way right now, haha. 

 

If you are seeing Green...

And using Photo-Shop....

 

Spend a few minutes and read this web-page.

http://www.deepskyco...ista-Green.html

Thank you, I should've mentioned I have installed and attempted applying that filter... definitely helps. 

 

Thanks again, much to learn.

 

-Mitch



#12 rigel123

rigel123

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 16166
  • Joined: 29 Jun 2009
  • Loc: SW Ohio

Posted 13 January 2019 - 10:45 PM

Ok, I've been looking at this too long. I see too much green, but the histogram looks right (to me). Is this an improvement or a lateral step?  Opinions and advice are appreciated. 

 

Thanks for looking! 

That looks much better, however you overstretched the area with the Trapezium.  You need to learn masking so you can protect that area when you stretch so that you keep it from blowing out and losing those stars.  There are a number of ways to do it, including stretching the image so the Trapezium shows, and then one to pull out the faint nebulosity and then blend the two images together.  Definitely an improvement in the colors though!



#13 mitchican

mitchican

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 8
  • Joined: 26 Jul 2018

Posted 14 January 2019 - 02:03 PM

That looks much better, however you overstretched the area with the Trapezium. You need to learn masking so you can protect that area when you stretch so that you keep it from blowing out and losing those stars. There are a number of ways to do it, including stretching the image so the Trapezium shows, and then one to pull out the faint nebulosity and then blend the two images together. Definitely an improvement in the colors though!

Ok, masking, got it. Off to YouTube :)
Thank you again

Mitch

Sent from my LM-G710 using Tapatalk
  • rigel123 and Bob3137 like this

#14 mitchican

mitchican

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 8
  • Joined: 26 Jul 2018

Posted 17 January 2019 - 12:06 AM

I just wanted to post my progress in learning how to process images. I know there are still issues in the image, but I feel I've learned a lot... hopefully it shows. Thanks everyone for your help and encouragement!

 

first try:

Orion Nebula 01.10.2019 scaled.jpg

final (for now, haha)

ORION_NEBULA_FINAL_.jpg

 

-Mitch 


Edited by mitchican, 17 January 2019 - 12:10 AM.

  • Starman27, bobzeq25 and md11spotter98 like this

#15 rigel123

rigel123

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 16166
  • Joined: 29 Jun 2009
  • Loc: SW Ohio

Posted 17 January 2019 - 10:14 AM

Great improvement!  Better colors, great handling of the trapezium.


  • mitchican likes this

#16 Stephen Kennedy

Stephen Kennedy

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1696
  • Joined: 03 Jul 2014
  • Loc: California

Posted 18 January 2019 - 07:03 PM

Here is a one minute unguided image I took of M42. No filters were used, no post-processing was done and I used a Newtonian reflector so there is no possibility there was any chromatic aberration.

IMG_2665 (15).JPG

There is definitely green around the Trapezium. The Trapezium consists of very hot and bright O type supergiants, In fact they are so luminous that they are not only ionizing the Hydrogen in the whole nebula but are also ionizing the Helium closer in. The green could be due to Helium ionization which is rarely seen since very few stars are as luminous as those that make up the Trapezium.

#17 mitchican

mitchican

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 8
  • Joined: 26 Jul 2018

Posted 19 January 2019 - 12:32 PM

Great improvement! Better colors, great handling of the trapezium.

Thank you kind sir.

Sent from my LM-G710 using Tapatalk

#18 mitchican

mitchican

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 8
  • Joined: 26 Jul 2018

Posted 19 January 2019 - 12:35 PM

Here is a one minute unguided image I took of M42. No filters were used, no post-processing was done and I used a Newtonian reflector so there is no possibility there was any chromatic aberration.

attachicon.gif IMG_2665 (15).JPG

There is definitely green around the Trapezium. The Trapezium consists of very hot and bright O type supergiants, In fact they are so luminous that they are not only ionizing the Hydrogen in the whole nebula but are also ionizing the Helium closer in. The green could be due to Helium ionization which is rarely seen since very few stars are as luminous as those that make up the Trapezium.

That's great information. I'll go back and take a look at the original stack and see how much green I may have removed with HVLG.

Sent from my LM-G710 using Tapatalk


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics