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  1. #11
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    Gordon I think you did extremely well and I am not sure how much more you can push that gear. With a 350D and EQ5 Pro you managed to capture Takahashi and SBIG detail!:

    The Veil in HaRGB FSQ STL11000

    I am not sure if there is some battery noise from the 350D showing up in the left corner possibly or maybe that is my poor processing, but besides this the image was extremely clean, good sharpness and tight stars. There was a lot of data to push but I think the faint nebulosity processing needs to be separated from star processing.
    Name: Gus OTAs: ED 100 PRO refractor, Orion ST80 (not the CF), 8" Dob stuck in Canada Mounts:HEQ5PRO Synscan mount, Manfrotto Tripod CAMS: Guidecam Philips SPC900 webcams (4), Canon unmodded-450D DSLR

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  3. #12
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    Thanks Gus,

    I had to really work on the upper left side of the image using gradient removal. I will post my completed one just for giggles and grins.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Gordon
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  5. #13
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    This is a great idea! Should really help all us beginners learn new tricks. Thanks.

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  7. #14
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    Thanks Lonnie!

    Hopefully folks will take a shot at post processing the Challenge image. It takes a bit of work but most AP images do!

    Give it a shot and let's see what you can do with it.
    Gordon
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    Smile Ken (Fogfire) Submission

    Love this..!!!
    What I learned I might have to go back and reprocess previous shots...


    I was getting frustrated with Photoshop...so I imported into the tool I use for my normal photography.

    Adobe Lightroom 3
    Much easier to bring out the nebula

    Settings: (Not mentioned means not changed )
    Tint+2
    Exposure +4.00
    Recovery 100
    Fill Light 0
    Blacks 3
    Brightness +64
    Contrast -50
    Clarity -20
    Vibrance -8
    Staturation _43
    Customer Tone Curve (screen Snip attached)
    Sharpening Amount: 28
    Sharpening Radius 0.9
    Detail & Mask 0

    The I used the Graduated Filter to deal with brighter upper Left
    And an adjustment Brush to deal with some light area left in lower left. In both cases I made took down the exposure and brightness in those areas.

    Final Trick.. I didn't like how Lightroom was exporting the image.. so I used the Windows Screen Snip tool to clip it right out of the Lightroom UI on the screen.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by fogfire; 03-01-2012 at 04:15 AM.
    Ken H. sharing the sky with my 9yr old daughter
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  10. #16
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    Here is my submission with details. I followed the curves tutorial on MyAstroImages.com to bring out the nebula, then the artificial flat method from the Corius Astronomy site to remove the color gradient from the upper left corner. Finally an overlay of a sharpened copy of the image to bring out detail. All processing performed in CS2 and as follows:

    Use Levels to stretch the image to find the brighter portions of the nebula, add markers by holding Shift and left-clicking on the areas of interest and then cancel Levels.

    Duplicate layer to apply all changes

    10-12 iterations of Curves (lost track of exactly how many)

    Duplicate image and create artificial flat as outlined in the link above

    Use Select>Color Range to select the stars in the original image, then inverse selection to isolate them from processing

    Apply artificial flat to original image
    ---------------
    The next set of steps are used to increase detail while dampening the amount of noise introduced into the image and keep stars from blowing out:

    Duplicate image once more and flatten into one layer

    Use Unsharp Mask or Smart Sharpen to increase detail, settings were amount = ~120%, radius = 0.8-1.0

    Duplicate layer and use Filter>High Pass, radius = approx. 8-10; change layer mode to Exclusion

    Flatten duplicate image and copy, paste into original image

    Change layer mode on new layer to Overlay and adjust opacity to taste
    -------------
    There is still a small amount of gradient in the upper left which could be dealt with using another artificial flat but I figured I would stop at this point.

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  12. #17
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    Wow, tough one! Here's my attempt, using GIMP. I can see now why 8-bit GIMP is not the best app for this.

    Colors / Levels - reduced max to 44
    Colors / Curves - steepen
    ** artificial flat **
    - Layers / Duplicate Layer
    - Filters / Noise / Spread 500x500
    - Filters / Blur / Gaussian 500x500
    - Layer Mode: Subtract
    - Image / Flatten Image
    ** end artificial flat **
    Colors / Curves
    Colors / Brightness +61, Contrast +37
    ** artificial flat for top-left corner only **
    - Duplicate Layer
    - Filters / Noise / Spread 100x100
    - Filters / Blur / Gaussian 100x100
    - Rectangle Select Tool: select top-left quadrant
    - Select / Invert
    - Cut
    - Bucket Fill Tool: fill selected area with black
    - Colors / Hue-Saturation / Saturation -100
    - Colors / Color Balance / Blue +32
    - Colors / Color Balance / Blue +32
    - Layer Mode: Subtract
    - Layer Opacity: 63%
    - Image / Flatten Image
    ** end artificial flat **
    Image / Scale Image / Width: 1000
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Great job guys!

    Ken,

    I've never used Lightroom but my granddaughter swears by it for her portrait photography! It's fun to see someone use it for AP. You did a great job with the gradient removal! Congrats

    Kevin,

    Again you eliminated the gradient. I found that to be one of the most difficult parts of processing this image. I love the detail you pulled in the lower middle of the nebula.

    Keith,

    I was curious to see what someone could do with GIMP. Great job!

    Thanks everyone!
    Gordon
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  16. #19
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    some awesome work so far here.
    you guys rock!!!!
    clear skies,

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    andy

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    Thanks for the challenge Gordon. I'm learning a lot from this.
    Rob
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