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Thread: Astrophotography Processing Challenge number 4!

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    Default Astrophotography Processing Challenge number 4!



    Announcing the AstronomyForum.net Astrophotography Processing Challenge number 4!


    Everything is pretty much the same as the previous Challenges:


    About once a month a new 'Challenge' photo will be made available, these will be announced in a new thread 'stickied at the top of the Astrophotography Processing Forum. Members may click on the link and download the calibrated 16 bit .tif file (Keep in mind these will be very large files so give them some time to download to your computer) These images will be full sized 'pre-processed' images (darks, flats, bias removed and stacked). However now is when the fun kicks in!


    We ask that the members use what ever software they want, GIMP, Photo Shop (or PS Elements), Pixinsite, Images Plus, StarTools, AstroArt, IRIS or whatever your little heart desires to post process the image. Attach the completed image (please post as a .jpg max 1000 x 1000 pixel size) on the same tread and include the methods you used to get to the end result. Please submit your methods with as complete of detail as you can so others will have some idea how you got to the final result.

    ___________________________________________
    Example:


    Post processed using Photoshop CS2 with Noel Carboni's actions


    1. levels and curves to bring out DSO

    2. Noel Carboni's plug in "Soft Color Gradient removal"
    3 Set black and white points using levels
    4 Noel Carboni's plug in "Local contract enhancement"
    5 Did some minor cosmetic fixes using PS clone stamp.
    6 Increased saturation using Adam Blocks method. (can give details if you like.
    7 Noel Carboni's plug in "Increase star color"
    8 A final pass of levels and curves, used curves to help pull out the contrast.
    9 Noel Carboni's plug in "Deep Space noise reduction" and a couple of passes with the "Denoise" PS plugin.
    10 PS "Smart Sharpen" tool (Shadow, fade 80%
    Highlight, 20%
    Power, 65%)
    11 Resized to 1000 px max and converted to .jpg.

    _________________________________________________

    Please export your full history from Photoshop, GIMP or similar programs - How To here: How To Document & Post Your Processing Steps from History Photoshop CS, Gimp Software

    The concept is to allow members to share processing techniques and ideas so everyone can learn and improve. The Challenge is open to all so don't feel intimidated as we are all learning. If you see a post and don't understand how a particular process is being done please ask as I'm sure there will be many new methods.


    The plan is only one Challenge image will be used for each thread so it will be easy to see the different results and methods for a particular image. I may be asking some of our accomplished AP er's to contribute a pre-processed image from time to time so we can get some variety.


    Keep in mind we now have a sponsor for the Challenge!

    Ivo from StarTools will be donating a free license for his StarTools software for the best completed Challenge image, one license will be awarded for the best post processed Challenge image from Challenges 1 and 2 so jump in and give it a shot!

    (more details will be posted later when I get some time to create the polls).

    In the mean time take a look at the latest Challenge image. I'm not going to tell you what it is, but I will say there is something buried in all that dark sky! The image will have some challenging aspects to it so take your time and pull as much from it as you can.


    And just remember to have fun!!!!!

    Challenge 4 image information:
    Author Information: ghswen
    Location of Capture: Murrieta, Ca / Bortle 6
    Capture Equipment Information: Skywatcher 254N (newtonian) on a Orion Atlas (EQ6) mount, guided
    Camera Information: Canon 350d modified
    Software Used to Process: Nebulosity 3
    Stacking Information: 13 light frames, 5 mins each ISO1600
    Darks / Flats / Bias : 15 darks (Bad Pixel Master) / 15 Flats/ 15 bias

    Challenge 4 image..tif
    Gordon
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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Astrophotography Processing Challenge number 4!

    Thanks Gord.
    Have been working for awhile so I missed this. Looking forward to processing it.

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    Default Re: Astrophotography Processing Challenge number 4!

    Thanks Lonnie!

    I was wondering where everyone was! Kinda slow on the Challenge entries this time around.
    Gordon
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    Default Re: Astrophotography Processing Challenge number 4!

    Thanks for the bump, Lonnie! I missed this too.
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    Default Re: Astrophotography Processing Challenge number 4!

    Yikes... Nasty gradient!

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    Default Re: Astrophotography Processing Challenge number 4!

    Hence the name "Challenge"
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    Gordon
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    Default Re: Astrophotography Processing Challenge number 4!

    Yeah I know but... :-)

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    Default Re: Astrophotography Processing Challenge number 4!

    Here's my version. Processed in GIMP.

    I started with a basic strretch Curve, just to see what was there.
    Then, an artificial flat (Duplicate Layer, cut & paste background over the galaxy, Noise Spread 200 pixels, Gaussian Blur 200 pixels, Layer Mode: Subtract; Flatten Image).
    Then more Curves.
    Adjust Colour Balance to reduce the green.
    One more Curve.
    Scale Image to posting size.
    p3..jpg
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    Default Re: Astrophotography Processing Challenge number 4!

    Looks pretty good Keith.

    Give this a try. Take your image as you have it and try "Filters / blur / Selective gaussian blur" Leave the defaults (should be "blur radius 5.0" and "Max delta 50". and see what you get.

    That process removed quite a bit of the red noise in the background and also softened the image a bit.

    PS: you can try running a couple of iterations of the same process and play with the settings on the 2nd pass.
    Gordon
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    Default Re: Astrophotography Processing Challenge number 4!

    Thanks, Gordon. Interesting effect. I can see the noise reduction, but my eye reacts negatively to the softening of the image.

    I played around a bit with the settings. While it takes a radius of 5 to reduce the noise, 5 seems too much for the image as a whole. It makes it look out of focus. I guess my unconscious bias is for sharpness, even if the sharpness is just an artifact of the noise, not part of the image!

    Clearly, I am going to have to play with that some more.

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