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First Attempt at Andromeda

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#1 bosh60

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 04:55 PM

After a few outings working out the technical stuff, this is my first serious attempt at imaging. Its about 300 subs of 25 second exposures (QHY168C, gain 10, offset 40). On other images of Andromeda that I've seen, I see bluish stars around the very edge.  That data just isn't there on mine. I have maxed the blue saturation and I think overall my image is a little on the bluish side but I'm not picking up those details on the outer edges.  Any advice?  Should I be trying longer exposure times?  Btw, I only have Lightroom for editing. 

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#2 Tornado77

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 04:56 PM

Very nice



#3 petert913

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 05:06 PM

That's gorgeous. My first attempt at M31 was horrible, but I was still proud of it (kind of).



#4 Alen K

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 05:17 PM

If you had not told us this was your first serious attempt at imaging, I would not have known. Re the colors, take a look at this image of M31 that I did. It was with a 200mm lens and only 87 minutes of exposure, so it doesn't have the detail of yours but it does have similar colors. I tried to avoid doing anything that would modify the colors out of the camera, which is an unmodified DSLR. The blue in the arms is subtle, yet there is no lack of blue response from the camera. I suspect images that show the arms prominently blue have been tweaked that way out of preference or because the APer "knows" they are supposed to be that color (because of HST images of galaxies, which it should be said are not true RGB images and aren't necessarily accurate as RGB references). 


Edited by Alen K, 11 September 2019 - 05:23 PM.


#5 Huangdi

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 05:19 PM

That's a great first attempt!

 

Here's where you can improve:

 

1. Don't use Lightroom. I wouldn't recommend that program to do anything further than small tweaks to pictures, for example when shooting family&friends.

Get Photoshop and get familiar with it, it will definitely be worth it.

 

2. Protect your bright core and stars by using a star(highlight) mask when stretching the image.

 

3. You're right, your image has a blue overcast, that should be easy to fix with a small curves adjustment in the blue section.

 

4. You already have a great amount of detail in the fainter parts of the galaxy. If you want even more, you're going to have to at least double/triple your exposure time. 5 hours will be a good point to start, the more the better.

 

Keep it up! waytogo.gif


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#6 bobzeq25

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 06:11 PM

Very nice.

 

Astro Pixel Processor is relatively inexpensive and easy to learn.  Has an excellent gradient reduction tool, very useful, especially if you image in light poluted skies.  Both stacks and processes, which makes life simpler, avoids a potentially troublesome transition.


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#7 zakry3323

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 06:21 PM

That's so, so much better than my first attempt at Andromeda!

You're clearly crushing it on the physical aspects of photography. There are a few other things to start thinking about now, and the big one is processing. I'm amazed at what Lightroom can do, and I sometimes still use it on my final .tif exports to touch up a little for screen-viewing. However, if you want to get the most out of the data you've painstakingly learned so well how to capture, you've got to bite the bullet and up your game on the processing side. Processing is consistently my biggest challenge, and I end up spending much more time in editing rather than acquisition!

 

I saw the vote for PS, and I've seen amazing work done with it. A free alternative that many folks swear by is GIMP. For me, neither are intuitive for me to use, and I've not learned how to use either to their best potential. There are several other options that can do just as well, if not arguably better, that are made strictly for astronomy-based processing. PixInsight is hard to not to recommend. It's a steep learning curve, but it's fantastic. Astro Pixel also comes highly recommended :)


Edited by zakry3323, 11 September 2019 - 06:22 PM.


#8 holyroller11

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 07:50 PM

After a few outings working out the technical stuff, this is my first serious attempt at imaging. Its about 300 subs of 25 second exposures (QHY168C, gain 10, offset 40). On other images of Andromeda that I've seen, I see bluish stars around the very edge.  That data just isn't there on mine. I have maxed the blue saturation and I think overall my image is a little on the bluish side but I'm not picking up those details on the outer edges.  Any advice?  Should I be trying longer exposure times?  Btw, I only have Lightroom for editing. 

I can only hope my first attempt looks close to that good. 




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