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NGC 869

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#1 DanMiller

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Posted 18 March 2023 - 10:25 PM

i REALLY hate how this came out.  But I spent too much time on it, and for what ever reason.  It looks terrible when posting from my gallery.  So here is a link to a full size on astrobin.

 

 https://www.astrobin...WUwpqzrACkpKClI

 

Seriously, I REALLY don't like this image.  


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#2 Tkall

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Posted 18 March 2023 - 10:32 PM

Pretty double cluster.  I like it. What don't you like about it?


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#3 Kitfox

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Posted 18 March 2023 - 10:34 PM

I’m shocked!  That’s with a Bigma?  I am impressed. Turn that frown into a smile!  Cheesy, I know…

 

…but a Bigma, really?  bow.gif


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#4 smiller

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Posted 18 March 2023 - 11:07 PM

I find open clusters sometimes difficult…  it seems for some reason the higher density of stars doesn’t really differentiate itself that much from the background stars and I’m not sure why.


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#5 Robert7980

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Posted 18 March 2023 - 11:34 PM

Open clusters are just hard to make look good, nearly everyone’s shots look nearly identical… I don’t really care for mine either… What you got looks fine, it’s just the nature of the beast… I think less time on them actually helps… most the ones I’ve got I only spent a few minutes on just for curiosity… I shoot around twenty 30 second subs and move on… 


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#6 EPinNC

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Posted 19 March 2023 - 07:43 AM

I like DanMiller's image.  It's a nice capture of a spectacular subject. waytogo.gif

 

I find open clusters sometimes difficult…  it seems for some reason the higher density of stars doesn’t really differentiate itself that much from the background stars and I’m not sure why.

 

Open clusters are just hard to make look good, nearly everyone’s shots look nearly identical… I don’t really care for mine either… What you got looks fine, it’s just the nature of the beast… I think less time on them actually helps… most the ones I’ve got I only spent a few minutes on just for curiosity… I shoot around twenty 30 second subs and move on… 

These are interesting points.  I think Robert7980's point about "less time" actually helps with the differentiation problem.  Too much integration time can bring out too many background stars, diluting the cluster effect.

 

A wider field of view sometimes helps.  Compare this narrow view of Caroline's Rose (67 minutes at 1300mm):

 

NGC 7789 (Caroline's Rose)

 

versus this wider view (127 minutes at 140mm):

 

NGC 7789 (Caroline's Rose) wide-field view
 
If there is more than one cluster in the view that can really add some appeal.  M46 and M47, with bonus NGC 2423 (only 25 minutes at 140mm):

 

Messier 46 and Messier 47 (and friends)
 
These have me flummoxed though -- I just couldn't seem to bring them out very well:
 
IC 4756 and NGC 6633  ("Tweedledee" and "Tweedledum")

 


Edited by EPinNC, 19 March 2023 - 07:45 AM.

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#7 DanMiller

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Posted 19 March 2023 - 08:03 AM

I spent a lot time editing it.  I had downloaded the blurXterminator and decided to see if it would would help this.  I was worried I was too agressive with Xterminator.  Here is/was my work flow.   I have started to create this document for all my images.  One, I don't forget what I used during the session.  But it gives me a reference of how I edited for other sessions.

NGC 869 Double Star Cluster
20230308

Equipment:
	Mount: 			Advanced GT
	Camera:			Modified Canton 3Ti 
	Guid CameraL	        ZWO ASI120MM-S 1.2 MP CMOS
	Lens:			Sigma 150-600
	Guide Scope:	        ZWO 30mm f/4 Mini Guide Scope
	
Softwrae:
	N.I.N.A., PHD2, ASTAP, ASCOM Drivers
	Pixinsight
	
Session Notes:
	Bias:		50
	Darks:		20
	Flats:		0
	Lights:		180 - 30 thrown out due to bad focus
	
	Exposure:		60s
	Focal Length:	405
	
	Seeing Conditions were bad
	Tracking was good, guiding was so so
	
Pixinsight Post Edit:
	WBPP
		Genterate Drizzel files and 
		Optomize Master Dark 
		144 after rejections
	DrizzelInterigation
	DBE
		3 Division/3 Subtraction
	Image Solver	
	SPCC
	SCNR - Blue and Green
	BlurXTerminator
		.36 and -.05
	EZ Suit Noise Reduction		
	Clone Image
	EZ Soft Stretch
		Target Medium 		00.16
		Expand Low			00.04
		Zero in White Point	14.6
	Starnet2	
	Histogram Transformation against starless image.  Clip back artifacts
	Range Selection against starmask .06000
	Apply mask to starmask
	MultiScaleLinearTransforem against StarMask- Apply Chromian	
		Applied Twice	
	AutoColur Against Starmask
	CurvesTransformation - Add color and bring up contrast
	Pixinmath - Add stars back


Edited by DanMiller, 19 March 2023 - 08:17 AM.


#8 EPinNC

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Posted 19 March 2023 - 08:18 AM

Wow.  That's a lot of processing.  I'm not familiar with PixInsight, so I don't know the various effects of all those steps.  Maybe the image actually needed all those steps.

 

As for my own relatively unsophisticated setup (to match my unsophisticated skills), I seem to get better results overall when I:

 

(1) have good sky conditions,

 

(2) get plenty of integration time (varies by subject, of course),

 

(3) have good flats, and decent darks reasonably matching the temperature,

 

(4) go as light as possible on the processing.

 

It seems that the more I do to the stack, the worse it turns out lol.gif

 

Everyone's situation is different, though, so do what makes you happy!


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#9 DanMiller

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Posted 19 March 2023 - 08:20 AM

Wow.  That's a lot of processing.  I'm not familiar with PixInsight, so I don't know the various effects of all those steps.  Maybe the image actually needed all those steps.

 

As for my own relatively unsophisticated setup (to match my unsophisticated skills), I seem to get better results overall when I:

 

(1) have good sky conditions,

 

(2) get plenty of integration time (varies by subject, of course),

 

(3) have good flats, and decent darks reasonably matching the temperature,

 

(4) go as light as possible on the processing.

 

It seems that the more I do to the stack, the worse it turns out lol.gif

 

Everyone's situation is different, though, so do what makes you happy!

Seeing conditions SUCKED.   My star stats were all over the place.  And I amm doing SOMETHING in my process that causes some really nasty artifacts. I think I know what it is, but I am not doing another edit just to find out till I get another target.  Actually, other then WBPP, blurXtermator, and the denoise.  That edit was really quick.  Those 3 processes is what made it a lot.  

 

Chuckle, and I clone in case I don't like how something turns out so that I can go back to a specific step that I am happy with and start over.


Edited by DanMiller, 19 March 2023 - 08:21 AM.

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#10 EPinNC

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Posted 19 March 2023 - 08:32 AM

Seeing conditions SUCKED.   My star stats were all over the place.  And I amm doing SOMETHING in my process that causes some really nasty artifacts. I think I know what it is, but I am not doing another edit just to find out till I get another target.  Actually, other then WBPP, blurXtermator, and the denoise.  That edit was really quick.  Those 3 processes is what made it a lot.  

 

Chuckle, and I clone in case I don't like how something turns out so that I can go back to a specific step that I am happy with and start over.

It seems to me that shooting open clusters can be both more forgiving and more difficult at the same time.

 

Forgiving because they're just stars, and so they are high-contrast subjects that can be imaged when the Moon is blasting or there are hazy high clouds or smoke or instability or whatever.

 

Difficult because... they're stars.  And star shape, color, and crispness are real "acid" tests of your acquisition and processing.  I'm almost never really happy with the way my stars look.

 

I'll bet we all have images that just did not work out for one reason or another.  We only show the better ones wink.gif

 

Keep at it.  Keep those original raw files and come back to them at a future time after you've gotten better at processing.  Meanwhile, shoot something else as a change of pace.  And remember that next year sometime you'll see the same stars again, and you'll have more experience at that point.

 

Looking forward to more images!


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#11 Robert7980

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Posted 19 March 2023 - 08:56 AM

Not a good image… I actually took it so I could see the issues with the alignment of the optics… It’s pretty quick integration, under 10 minutes and I only process just to bring out the star colors, pretty much just stretching to taste and pulling the saturation up until the color comes out… 

 

It ain’t great… and I don’t usually try for good star feild images… but that’s the technique I use to try and make them look nice to me. NGC-1039 below, I think had a little too much time on it… Unfortunately the only two examples I’ve got access to… 

 

med_gallery_432238_22390_1614931.jpg
 

get.jpg?insecure


Edited by Robert7980, 19 March 2023 - 08:58 AM.

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#12 EPinNC

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Posted 19 March 2023 - 09:01 AM

Not a good image… I actually took it so I could see the issues with the alignment of the optics… It’s pretty quick integration, under 10 minutes and I only process just to bring out the star colors, pretty much just stretching to taste and pulling the saturation up until the color comes out… 

 

It ain’t great… and I don’t usually try for good star feild images… but that’s the technique I use to try and make them look nice to me. NGC-1039 below, I think had a little too much time on it… Unfortunately the only two examples I’ve got access to… 

 

med_gallery_432238_22390_1614931.jpg
 

get.jpg?insecure

I like both of these!

 

What's the integration time on the first one (NGC 2158)?  I love that cluster.  Here's my 1 hour 40 minute image of that at 1300mm:

 

NGC 2158 - open cluster in Gemini

 



#13 DanMiller

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Posted 19 March 2023 - 09:59 AM

Thank you for the input, everyone.  I will say that blurXterminator did wonders for the image.  Going to purchase it pay day.  Only get paid once a month, so it will have to wait.  I had held off getting the trial so that the 30 days would cross my payday.  This is the second image I have used it on where I think the improvement is obvious.

 

I guess I just I am spoiled by nebula.  I really like taking those type of images a lot.  I enjoy spending the time bringing out the colors, the details.  I can honestly say though that there are some nebulae that I think the color are just kind of harsh.    Lol, that is why I want to learn how to use Pixinmath to change colors.  I know, it's won't be natural.  But I love playing with the toys of this hobby.  

 

Dan


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