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M31 (Andromeda) - 7 hrs. Re-processed

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#1 xiga

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 07:45 PM

Hi guys

 

No imaging getting done at all these days, so to keep things ticking over i decided to re-visit a data set from last year, as i was never truly happy with how my original version came out back then.

Details:

 

Nikon D5300 (Ha modified)

24 x 300s with IDAS-D1 (ISO 200)

51 x 360s with IDAS-D1 (ISO 200)

SW 80ED w FF/FR

HEQ5-Pro

 

Flats & Bias. Stacked in APP, processed in PS. 

 

I used a new method this time, which involved using 2 layers. The bottom layer was done using a light arcsinh-stretch, mainly just for the stars. Above that, i placed (using 'Screen' blend mode) a Starless version, made using Starnet on a low DDP-stretched version (done in APP). With further curve adjustments to both layers, i was able to enhance the galaxy and keep the small stars shining through, and without dark halos. So this image has had no star reduction applied. 

 

Much happier with how this has come out, i think it's probably my best image so far. Would love to hear feedback from others though, as we sometimes look at our images for too long and end up going blind to their issues. 

 

CS!

 

31657904788_a67709b324_b.jpg

 

get.jpg?insecure

 

 

ps - Just for reference, here's a link to last year's awful version!   https://astrob.in/373639/0/


Edited by xiga, 12 December 2019 - 07:47 PM.

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#2 whwang

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 07:58 PM

Looks very nice.  My only complaint is that the image is flipped.


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#3 xiga

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 08:15 PM

Looks very nice. My only complaint is that the image is flipped.


Thanks Wei-Hao!

I agree it is flipped, and this will no doubt mess with some heads. Hopefully it's not too much of a faux-pas to do this? It was originally the correct way around, but when I got to the end of the workflow I flipped it just out of curiosity, and I preferred it this way, so I just went with it 😋
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#4 petert913

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 08:23 PM

With 5 and 6 minute subs,  how did you keep the central area from becoming blown out?  It looks great !


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#5 Alen K

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 08:31 PM

If I were you I would flip it back. There is no real justification for a mirror image. While you may prefer it that way, you will get questions and comments about the reversal from everyone who knows M31's true appearance. This is one case where marching to a different drummer is not a good thing. 


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#6 jerahian

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 08:59 PM

Much happier with how this has come out, i think it's probably my best image so far. Would love to hear feedback from others though, as we sometimes look at our images for too long and end up going blind to their issues. 

 

CS!

 

 

...

 

ps - Just for reference, here's a link to last year's awful version!   https://astrob.in/373639/0/

I think it looks fantastic.  You seem to have nailed it with the processing this time around.  Excellent detail in the dust lanes and gorgeous color throughout!  I never get sick of M31.

 

...and hey, if you want it mirrored, mirror it.  It's your image, and it's beautiful.

 

BTW, I would have "liked" this on The.Bin, but I'm get a 504 gateway time-out there again :(


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#7 Jim Waters

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 09:09 PM

Real nice work xiga.  How did you process the central bulge?


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#8 xiga

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 09:18 PM

I think it looks fantastic. You seem to have nailed it with the processing this time around. Excellent detail in the dust lanes and gorgeous color throughout! I never get sick of M31.

...and hey, if you want it mirrored, mirror it. It's your image, and it's beautiful.

BTW, I would have "liked" this on The.Bin, but I'm get a 504 gateway time-out there again :(


Thanks mate 😃

Astrobin is down at the moment (at least it was right after I posted this). I'll double check the links tomorrow.

#9 xiga

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 09:19 PM

With 5 and 6 minute subs, how did you keep the central area from becoming blown out? It looks great !


Cheers! I use ISO 200, which means I got lots of Dynamic Range, and can shoot for longer without blowing the highlights.
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#10 xiga

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 09:24 PM

Real nice work xiga. How did you process the central bulge?


Cheers Jim.
The key is having a starless layer to work with. This time around, instead of using traditional sharpening methods, I actually used the Clarity filter in PS (a first for me). It seemed to work just like sharpening, but without as many artefacts. Perhaps traditional sharpening would bring out more detail, but with more noise? I don't know, but either way, I liked the natural look of this.

#11 xiga

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 09:29 PM

If I were you I would flip it back. There is no real justification for a mirror image. While you may prefer it that way, you will get questions and comments about the reversal from everyone who knows M31's true appearance. This is one case where marching to a different drummer is not a good thing.


I know what you mean. It is messing with my head slightly I have to say, and I know it won't sit right with many. I am mostly in the 'pretty picture' camp though. I will flip it back again tomorrow and check if I still have a strong preference with this one. Watch this space.
Thanks for your comment 😃

#12 sunnyday

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 10:02 PM

hubble piece 


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#13 whwang

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 10:06 PM

Personally I think everyone is free to do anything to his/her own image.  It's the nature of art creation.  On the other hand, astrophotography is more like half art half science, not purely art.  I think we are still free to do anything we want. However, if we create something that significantly departs from reality (like creating an image of the El Cap in the foreground and Large Magellanic Could in the background sky), I believe at least we should inform the audience.  

 

Because of this belief, on Astrobin when I saw a flipped image, very often I left a comment saying that the image is flipped.  Most of the time the author thanked me, because he/she didn't even realize that the image is flipped.  Occasionally the author said that it is intentional.  I am fine with intentionally flipped image. In that case, at least my comment makes the audience know that it's not what the celestial object is supposed to look like.

 

Sorry, I should not hijack this thread.  Ciarán, the processing is really superb.  

 

Cheers,

Wei-Hao


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#14 xiga

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 10:45 AM

hubble piece 

thanks sunnyday :-)


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#15 xiga

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 10:48 AM

Personally I think everyone is free to do anything to his/her own image.  It's the nature of art creation.  On the other hand, astrophotography is more like half art half science, not purely art.  I think we are still free to do anything we want. However, if we create something that significantly departs from reality (like creating an image of the El Cap in the foreground and Large Magellanic Could in the background sky), I believe at least we should inform the audience.  

 

Because of this belief, on Astrobin when I saw a flipped image, very often I left a comment saying that the image is flipped.  Most of the time the author thanked me, because he/she didn't even realize that the image is flipped.  Occasionally the author said that it is intentional.  I am fine with intentionally flipped image. In that case, at least my comment makes the audience know that it's not what the celestial object is supposed to look like.

 

Sorry, I should not hijack this thread.  Ciarán, the processing is really superb.  

 

Cheers,

Wei-Hao

I like to call Astrophotography 'technical art'. I certainly don't consider myself artistic, I can't draw to save my life! So it's definitely not in the same category as regular art, or I wouldn't get very far, lol.

I think it's good that you point these things out, because as you say, some may not know.

 

I don't mind the discussion Wei-Hao, it's all part of why we post our images. I will try reverting it tonight when I am on the computer again, just to see what I think.


Edited by xiga, 13 December 2019 - 10:49 AM.

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#16 UncleHoot

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 02:20 PM

I like to call Astrophotography 'technical art'. I certainly don't consider myself artistic, I can't draw to save my life! So it's definitely not in the same category as regular art, or I wouldn't get very far, lol.

I think it's good that you point these things out, because as you say, some may not know.

 

I don't mind the discussion Wei-Hao, it's all part of why we post our images. I will try reverting it tonight when I am on the computer again, just to see what I think.

As far as being art, it's probably a lot like photography itself.  An artist can spot a good photo and manipulate it as needed to achieve an artistic goal.  Throughout the process, subjective decisions are made.  In contrast (no pun intended), someone with absolutely no artistic talent (assuming there is such a thing) might occasionally produce interesting images, but would have no idea why some were and others were not.

 

Anyway, I don't have a problem with anyone doing whatever they want with their images.  In a way, we all "lie" during this process; our final images bear little or no resemblance to what our eyes actually see; we stretch, we saturate, take long exposures, etc.  


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#17 xiga

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 09:53 PM

Ok here's the same image but flipped horizontally, to show it in the traditional manner. 

 

49215847031_625c0f288d_b.jpg

 

I don't know, i'm not proud of myself, but i think i still prefer the flipped version! crazy.gif

 

Maybe i should stop thinking about it, lol. lol.gif


Edited by xiga, 13 December 2019 - 09:53 PM.

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#18 Starman27

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 10:56 PM

Flipped or not, it is still an excellent image.


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#19 17.5Dob

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 11:05 PM

Thanks Wei-Hao!

I agree it is flipped, and this will no doubt mess with some heads. Hopefully it's not too much of a faux-pas to do this? It was originally the correct way around, but when I got to the end of the workflow I flipped it just out of curiosity, and I preferred it this way, so I just went with it

That is the way it is most commonly presented, correct or not, and how I always present mine.

Excellent image !!


Edited by 17.5Dob, 13 December 2019 - 11:05 PM.

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#20 james7ca

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Posted 14 December 2019 - 07:17 AM

It's a very nice image and I agree that everyone is welcomed to their own interpretations (flip or not?). That said, the original flipped image almost makes my eyes want to cross -- uncomfortably so (I guess I've looked at M31 too many times). Thus, I like the second version a lot more. Also, much improved from last year's version.


Edited by james7ca, 14 December 2019 - 07:37 AM.


#21 Alen K

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Posted 14 December 2019 - 08:43 AM

That is the way it is most commonly presented, correct or not, and how I always present mine.

You show mirror images? This is not about having South on top, which is also my preferred orientation because it makes the spiral nature of M31 more "3D" (if you know what I mean), at least to my eyes. A mirror image, OTOH, makes M31 spiral around in the wrong direction. (If it is turning counterclockwise from our vantage point, a mirror image makes it seem to be turning clockwise.)


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#22 Teddythefinger

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Posted 16 December 2019 - 06:54 AM

I wouldn't flip it. Everyone sees things differently. Plus it's creative license.
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#23 astroseyer

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Posted 16 December 2019 - 06:32 PM

Nice shot! Flipped or not, the color is bright but not over powering, background is flat, stars are rich = success. Ready for print.


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#24 xiga

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Posted 16 December 2019 - 10:00 PM

It's a very nice image and I agree that everyone is welcomed to their own interpretations (flip or not?). That said, the original flipped image almost makes my eyes want to cross -- uncomfortably so (I guess I've looked at M31 too many times). Thus, I like the second version a lot more. Also, much improved from last year's version.

Thanks James!

 

I know what you mean about the cross-eyed thing. Weirdly, i think that's why i probably prefer it. Best i can guess is, i think it's confusing my brain, which in turn is fooling me into thinking it looks better. Like yourself, i too have looked at too many images of M31 over the years to count, so you would think i would prefer the traditional framing, but i've always found M31 to look a little flat if i'm being honest, which is probably why i'm subconsciously looking for that 'something else' in an image of it. 

In any case, i have both versions saved, so i have one for every occasion lol.gif



#25 xiga

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Posted 16 December 2019 - 10:01 PM

That is the way it is most commonly presented, correct or not, and how I always present mine.

Excellent image !!

Thanks Dave! :-)




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