Good day, everybody!
I was able to finally acquire some images on 25 November 2020. My intent for this night was only to acquire some images, and if I had the time, I would do calibration frames. Well, again, as a new guy I ran into some speed bumps and hurdles having a hard time getting the NINA auto focus routine to run properly this time. So, this image has no calibration frames, and not a whole lot of data. On top of that, clearly the processing also needs some major work. But, that is expected until I develop myself a normal workflow and get used to using Photoshop again. I was trying for SHO but the last filter set of images in the sequence, my SII, failed to image anything and I just had streaks of stars. I am unsure if I got to the meridian and the mount said, "Nope" or if I lost guiding. I am sure there is a way to figure that out, that I unfortunately do not know. The image I ended up with is HOO that, unfortunately, doesn't have any of the blue tinting that one would expect. Maybe I did something incorrectly? Anyway, this is Ha - 15 images @ 240s and 175 gain, and same for OIII. Tonight is supposed to be a decent night and I would love to try another target, but I think it is best to just collect more data for the Rosette as well as get some darks taken. Temps are supposed to be equivalent to the night of the 25th, so it should benefit.
I was looking through Astrobin to get some ideas of exposure and gain times. It seems to me that people are able to get very good data at very low gain. One had gain at like 60. However, it was great looking. They were running 600 second exposures and had 10+ hours of integration, so I am assuming that is why. But, is there a way to gauge your gain per target? Is it just by taking test/framing shots and going from there? Or is it taking test shots and looking for something specific to help choose the gain setting. I was reading that the higher the gain, the more noise, but if I had my gain down to 60, I feel as though I wouldn't be able to see any data. This is a fun learning experience and even though my first light image isn't spectacular, the whole process was exhilarating to do.
If you would have the time to do so, please do toss out some tips and critiques, positive and/or negative. Maybe folks who have been doing this a while can tell what I have done either wrong or poorly just from the resulting image. Your time is greatly appreciated. Thank you all very much for taking a look! Clear skies!