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About Midnight_lightning

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  1. Midnight_lightning

    IC1805 - First HST Attempt

    I agree entirely about the filter wheel, I only bought 5 position and would say it’s the only part of my rig that I got wrong. Should have got 7 position. That said I am going to experiment with bicolour NB which means I can keep RGBHaOiii in my FW. Check out what Steve Cannistra has achieved with bicolour using a synthetic SII layer ? I only used the Star Tools Wipe, Develop and Heal modules for this one, all the colour work was done in Affinity. That said, I rate ST very highly and when I do RGB that’s usually all I use. It’s a doddle to use on defaults but does indeed have a lot of depth when you get into it. Try this In the colour module - generate star mask, go into Colour and keep mask. Click sample then Mask. Clear and invert mask and Keep. For most RGB this gives an excellent starting point. Cap green to yellow also works wonders. Thanks for the comments - NB rocks, good luck.
  2. Midnight_lightning

    IC1805 - First HST Attempt

    Thanks for the feedback - seems like I am making some progress.
  3. Midnight_lightning

    IC1805 - First HST Attempt

    And another attempt..... I'm finding HST processing a real challenge but the tools in Affinity are much better than Elements and I think I am learning (slowly). Does anyone know how to do star reduction in Affinity? Thanks Jon
  4. Midnight_lightning


    Thanks Peter, the blue helps, I will probably reprocess more fully when I get chance. I'm really impressed with Affinity, there was no way I would subscribe to PS at the price they charge but this is excellent and 16 bit, plus the tutorial videos are outstanding.
  5. Midnight_lightning


    Grabbed a couple of hours on Friday night to take 7 x 300s of RGB each. M51 is on the small side for my rig so this is quite a heavy crop, I have included the original for reference. Stacked and Registered in APP, Processed in Star Tools and finished in Affinity (I just discovered Affinity - what a find!!!! Under £50 for perpetual license and as far as I'm concerned better and easier that Photoshop - I just need to learn it ).
  6. Midnight_lightning

    Markarian's Chain

    Thanks for the positive feedback, it could have done with more subs but I'm quite happy for a first attempt.
  7. Midnight_lightning

    Markarian's Chain

    I took these on 20th April but had lots of Gremlins, and it didn't help trying to Plate Solve with the Ha filter instead of Red - that took half an hour to dawn on me, so another fairly short session. Just 8x300s of RGB each. Markarian's Chain Crop2.tif
  8. Midnight_lightning

    M3 RGB

    The Skies cleared briefly in mid-April, first time since early February, so thought I would have a go at a cluster. I haven't tried before because they are on the small side for my outfit but at least it allowed me to keep my hand in and to remember some things I'd forgotten since February. Just 7 x 180s each of RGB M3 v2 Crop1.tif
  9. Midnight_lightning


  10. Midnight_lightning

    Leo Triplet - Esprit 100 First Light - At Last!

    Very nice Triplet. I've got the Esprit 80/400 Pro - very happy with it.
  11. Midnight_lightning

    IC1805 - First HST Attempt

    I had another go at this following Sara's suggestions, I haven't tried the luminance layer yet but it's already looking better - I'm quite excited about it so thought I'd share. I'm thinking I might try removing the stars prior to processing and adding them back in later, Melotte 15 is over-exposed and needs correcting, and I've overdone the noise reduction. (Edit. I just noticed I haven't cropped some of the edges enough to remove alignment artefacts) Ha light process NR.tif
  12. Midnight_lightning

    IC1805 - First HST Attempt

    Thanks for the kind comments, I think I have a way to go yet but the positive feedback has given me a boost to keep trying. Steve, I didn't use the Colour Module much in this one though I know what you mean. If you haven't already tried it perhaps try the following.... Create a Star Mask including all stars of any significance, Go into Colour, Select Sample, Go back into Mask and Clear then Invert and Save. This uses the stars as basis for "White" and ST usually produces excellent colours based on this. It's best for RGB but worth a try for NB as well. I love Star Tools, easy to use initially but so much hidden depth that after two years I am still learning. Sara, thanks for the tips, I will try those over the next couple of days. It would certainly save some time to only process after combining. I'll need to work out how to generate a luminance image from Ha but that makes a lot of sense, I think that will make quite a difference. Jon
  13. Midnight_lightning

    IC1805 - First HST Attempt

    This isn't going to win any prizes but I have been trying to work out how to process HST images for months and this is the first time I have come close to producing the image that I have in my mind. I'm using data from my initial NB attempts last year and I think there are calibration issues which are probably not helping but my processing needs work and I would be grateful for any tips. This was my approach: Register and Stack HA, OIII, SII in DSS Process each colour in Star Tools (Crop, Autodev, Wipe, Dev, HDR, Decon, Sharpen, Life, Save) Combine the three colours in Photoshop Elements Layers Use Hue/Saturation layer set to colorise - Assign SII-Red; OIII-Blue; HA-Green Use Colour Curve and Brightness/Contrast layers to adjust each colour Use Star tools to remove fringing from stars and reduce stars, do noise reduction I don't like using Elements for this as it's only 8 bit but I haven't worked out how to do it in Star Tools yet (or whether it can be done in Star Tools) and don't have anything else suitable. I'm struggling to know how much processing to do before combining the three colours and what to do after, for example should I do Decon/Sharpen before or after combining the colours? I would welcome any suggestions. Thanks for looking Jon IC1805 HST 2.tif
  14. Midnight_lightning

    WHich Binoculars will be right for me?

    Mikey, you hit one of the bigger nails on the head there, a key reason for me wanting some bins is to get to know the constellations and where everything is. I have found imaging so intense that all of my meagre brain cells have been focussed on just getting everything to work and I haven't taken much in outside of the targets I've been aiming for. My scope came with an eyepiece which has never been out of the box - imaging time is so precious that I cant bring myself to "squander" a clear night just viewing. So hopefully the bins will help address this, Despite my shortlist above I finally went for the Helios LightQuest 10x50 from FLO, should arrive early next week - hope I made the right choice its more than I wanted to spend but if I use them for 10-15 years I should get a good return. Jon
  15. Midnight_lightning

    WHich Binoculars will be right for me?

    Thanks that's very helpful, I will check out Vortex and the FLO site and also try and find a local retailer. I usually just buy online but it would be good to at least compare size and how they feel in the hand. Having done a bit more digging I have come up with a shortlist and would be interested in any thoughts on the following: Revelation 10x42 SF (£69) - eye relief less than some at 14mm but good reviews and light - I wear glasses. Nikon Aculon A211 10 x 50 (£93) - lowest eye relief of the list at 11.8mm but otherwise seems ok. Helios Stellar-II 10x50 £139 - I'm routing for this one, seems to tick al the boxes Opticron Adventurer 10x50 (£79) (or MKII version with roof prism and nitrogen for £109) - Also seems to tick most boxes. Vortex Diamondback 10x50 (£199) - excellent on paper and light - but are roof prisms good enough at this price? It seems to me that within this sort of price range the Helios Stellar II would be a good choice but would be great to hear any views, are the cheaper ones as good, is it worth paying a bit more for something else? Thanks Jon PS. Michael your post came in whilst was writing the above so will also think about the 15x70 again, although the 10x50s should be a bit easier to pack away for holidays.

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