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Beehive Cluster with Nikon 24mm Lens and ASI462MC Camera

Astrophotography CMOS Imaging
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#1 james7ca

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 09:04 AM

The Beehive Cluster (M44) is alternatively known as Praesepe (Latin for "manger") and has been known since ancient times when it was described as a little mist or cloud. This cluster is nicely framed by the keystone stars in the constellation Cancer. Three of the four keystone stars are either orange-red or red giants, those being Asellus Australis toward the bottom right, Theta Cancri to the top right, and Eta Cancri toward the upper left. Asellus Borealis on the lower left is a white subgiant star. North is to the left and please click on the preview to see the full-sized image (1600 x 958 pixels).

 

Taken immediately after the start of astronomical dusk on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 using a Nikon Nikkor AI-S 24mm lens at f/5.6 with a ZWO ASI462MC camera unguided on an Celestron AVX mount. Forty-four subs at 40 seconds each (29m 20s total) with a ZWO luminance filter using a gain of 200 and an offset of 2 from within SharpCap.

 

Image processing with PixInsight, Affinity Photo, Star Spikes Pro, and Photoshop CC2021.

 

I was fighting the typical San Diego marine layer clouds ("May Gray") and lost a few subs to clouds before the session was ended by persistent cloud cover at 9:40PM. Taken under red-orange zone light pollution with heavy haze affecting about one third of the subs. Maybe I'll get another 30 minutes tonight before the clouds arrive. crazy.gif

 

C&C welcomed.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Beehive Cluster with Nikon 24mm and ASI462MC (small).jpg

Edited by james7ca, 06 May 2021 - 09:26 AM.

  • zjc26138, DRK73, chrysalis and 4 others like this

#2 ChiTownXring

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 09:49 AM

Great shot and I like the way you use the black frame around the target to name it and I would use it to position my copyrights.. Do you mind telling me what you used to create the framing.


Edited by ChiTownXring, 06 May 2021 - 09:50 AM.


#3 james7ca

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 11:02 AM

Great shot and I like the way you use the black frame around the target to name it and I would use it to position my copyrights.. Do you mind telling me what you used to create the framing.

Thanks for the comment.

 

The frame was done in Photoshop. You can do this manually in just a few steps (see below), but I usually just use the Astro Frame action that comes with ProDigital Software's Astronomy Tools action set.

 

In Photoshop to create your own frame do the following:

 

1.) Duplicate your image to another layer.

2.) Add a black border using enlarge canvas to one side of your image (on the bottom for bottom text, on the right side for text on the right, etc.).

3.) Enlarge the canvas to whatever you need to provide the final, framed image size (to create another black border, the difference between the starting size and the ending size will determine the size of the border in addition to the text area you added in step 2).
4.) Add layer style of outer glow to the top layer (use the layer's blending options).

5.) Add text in whatever style and color you like.

 

Below is what each step looks like (ignore the white borders, those are just being used in this illustration to keep each step separate from another). Also, the gray area that is surrounded by the black borders represents your image (so, what is gray in these example clips is where your image would appear).

Attached Thumbnails

  • Astro Frame Steps.jpg

Edited by james7ca, 06 May 2021 - 11:07 PM.



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