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About Adreneline

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  1. Hi Stuart, I am also very new to AP so really not the best person to help, however, I took your STACK.TIF and extracted the background in PixInsight; I also performed a single non-linear stretch. There is something there - definitely a galaxy! - but I am not able to offer insight into which one it might be from your "random patch of sky"! I only started AP in October 2016 and as I owned a copy of PS CS6 I persevered with that for quite some time trying to extract detail from my stacked images. I then decided to try AstroArt, ImagesPlus, Nebulosity and PixInsight (all trials) before deciding PI suited me best and seemed to work for me in terms of extracting every last photon from my hard obtained subs. I am still at the very bottom of the learning curve so I am sure someone more expert with PI would make far more of your stacked image. Hope this helps Adrian Stacked_ABE.tif
  2. Thank you to you and Spill for your comments. I think overall I prefer a more 'pastel' coloured final image - so many colours seem over-blown and I know I have been guilty of doing just that with some of my first images. I am finding controlling the level of colour saturation and detail much easier with PixInsight than with Photoshop. I am sure I have barely scratched the surface with PI. I am getting to like the 414ex osc the more I use it. When I first started using it last year, having started with an un-modded Canon 70D, I really thought I'd done the wrong thing. Pretty well every image seemed disappointing compared with my initial modest attempts with the 70D. I feel I am now making progress because I better understand how to use the Atik in terms of exposure times, focus, general set-up and the use of dither and I've started getting to grips with PI which I am sure facilitates getting the best out of your hard earned subs. Despite all the advice on this forum I am going to resist spending money on the mono+filters route - I am determined to extract every last bit and photon from my osc. So 'yes' I would recommend the 414ex osc - it suits my approach to this fascinating hobby. This is M81 that I also captured last night (just 10 x 300s subs - I was in a rush to get at M51) - with a bit more colour courtesy of PI! Is there too much though? The story continues
  3. In my quest to make a good go at using an OSC I managed to grab 3 hours of images of M51 last night with an 80%+ Moon to contend with. After more like 6 hours of playing in PixInsight I managed to produce this. Trouble is I'm never quite sure when I'm finished. Is image processing ever finished? Or is it an ongoing past-time for cloudy nights? Any comments on the image and what additional tweaking might improve it would be really appreciated. Adrian Scope : ED80DS Pro + NEQ6 Pro + 0.85 F/R Camera: Atik 414ex osc Software : SGP + PHD + PI _2017_03_15_M51_dss_ABE-lin+nonlin.tif
  4. Here's the jpg for a more 1-to-1 comparison.
  5. Just finished my first attempt with PI - using exactly the same lights and calibration frames. I used the Batch Preprocessing script and then followed the LVA tutorial on M31.I think I prefer this one to my attempt with PS. M81-M82-PI.tif
  6. Very nice. I really like the end result. I am interested that you didn't use dark, flat or bias frames. I tried StarTools and found it to be a bit like Dawn in having a somewhat different approach to processing; perhaps I need to persevere a bit more with it. I also ponder on whether a mono + filters might have been a better option but am still persuaded that the convenience of osc is worth persevering with recognising our fickle weather. I also wonder whether a second mono 414ex to capture a luminance image could be combined with the osc rgb image to improve definition. In fact I find myself pondering and wondering about a whole host of things to do with this hobby! Thank you for sharing your image of M101
  7. Hi Alexxx Hopefully this link: will provide you with access to the original M101 osc lights plus associated Bias, Dark and Flats that I used. This link: should provide you with access to the Dawn files where I have used Dawn to debayer and separate the red, green and blue channels, and then done the same for the Bias, Dark and Flat frames. Never having used a mono ccd I assumed you have to use flat/bias/dark files for each filter but I may be completely wrong on that aspect of imaging. I used DSS to obtain separate master red, green and blue images. I then chose to sharpen the red before combining using a Carboni action in PS. I've included the 'raw' DSS stacked images and the luminance/saturation applied stacked images. I would be very interested to know how you get on and the details of your workflow in PS. I use the Hasta La Vista Green filter and then a combination of PS with Noel Carboni actions on my osc processing. I usually finish up with one application of Block layering, maybe two. Thank you again for your interest in my image and for the offer of help. I hope it all makes sense!
  8. Hi. I had a very similar experience using a Huion Adjustable Lightness 17.7 Inch (Diagonal) LED Animation/Artcraft/Tatoo/Quilting/Tracing Light Box - A4 - purchased from Amazon (I use it for macro photography of transparencies and negatives and works really well - and no, I'm not a secret tattoo artist!). In the end I gave up trying to use it to create flats with my Atik 414ex and just went for the uniform gray sky day (plenty of those round here) and a white teeshirt over the end of the scope - which gave what I thought were very good results. Adrian
  9. Hi Alexxx My Atik 414ex is a osc camera so there is no L! I stumbled across the facility in Dawn to save the individual channels from the rgb image so I thought I would give it a go, just to see if there was a benefit in manipulating the individual channels before combining them again. On this occasion I found I got a better a result with relatively little PS processing, but with M82-M81 (my first post on SGL) I found the rgb image was relatively straight forward to process in PS - although far from perfect it was to me an acceptable result. I searched SGL to see if anyone else had used Dawn in this way but didn't find anything; indeed Dawn doesn't seem to get a very good following - I guess you could say it has a somewhat orthogonal approach to image processing. DSS can give variable results although on the whole I get on well using it for registration and calibration. With my limited experience I have found it generally seems to work best with lots of longish subs. I would be delighted if you want to have a go at my subs and calibration frames to see what you produce. I am barely on the learning curve let alone progressing up it! I can copy them up to Dropbox and post a link - probably tomorrow (Tuesday). Thank you again. Adrian SW80ED DS Pro, 0.85 f/r, NEQ6, Atik 414ex osc, IR/UV filter Sequence Generator Pro, CdC, EQ Suite, DeepSkyStacker, Photoshop CS6, Atik Dawn
  10. Hi Alexxx Thank you for your comments. I only managed to take 16x300s subs before the clouds rolled in, so no where near enough really. I can't understand why I was having so many problems getting a half decent result from the usual approach of calibrating and registering in DSS and then going straight into PS to complete the processing. That was why I decided to deconstruct the subs in Dawn and process them separately before combining in PS. I'm sure it would have been better still with a separate luminance layer; I'll have to have a go at creating one from the rgb. I use SGP to focus; it uses multiple targets to achieve a best result. I have checked it with a mask and it seems to confirm that all is well but the end result is still a little soft. I did notice when processing the individual deconstructed channels that the red image appeared to be not as sharp as the green and blue. Maybe I should try some deconvolution on that one component. I don't recommend deconstructing unless it is pouring with rain outside - there have to be better things to do with your life
  11. I decided to have a play with Atik Dawn using just 16 lights of M101. I had tried the usual DSS route along with 50 off Bias/Dark/Flats but was really struggling to get what I considered to be a half acceptable end result in PS. Just for the hell of it I decided to deconstruct the original lights in Dawn, taking each of the lights, bias, dark and flat files, debayering and saving the separate red, green and blue channels. I then used DSS to calibrate and register the individual channels to obtain 'master' red, green and blue channel images. I then used RGB Combine from the Carboni Actions in PS to bring it all together and with a bit of processing obtained this image. I'm sure I have a focus problem (I'm working on it!) and I have no idea whether the colours are correct but it was an interesting exercise that has produced a better result than processing the original osc image in PS. As usual any constructive comments would be appreciated. Adrian SW80ED DS Pro, 0.85 f/r, NEQ6, Atik 414ex osc, IR/UV filter Sequence Generator Pro, CdC, EQ Suite, DeepSkyStacker, Photoshop CS6, Atik Dawn
  12. Thank you again for the comments. I went with 120s because I had already tried 180, 240 and 300 and found the centre of M82 would tend to be over exposed and lack detail/structure. I've taken Olly's advice and sampled the background in the tif file in four areas of the image background and it comes out at 22/23/20 RGB so I'm in the right ball park I think. I should have mentioned I also used the Topaz DeNoise plugin in PS. Finally I took the 100 dpi image which results from the 414ex and increased it to 300 dpi without changing the image dimension. That's probably cheating but it seemed to help smooth the final image quite a bit - to my eyes! Thank you again for all the helpful comments.
  13. Thank you again for the kind comments and suggestions. I thought long and hard about a mono 414ex but decided I would make a go of the osc. Clear skies are rare around here and light pollution is a problem until after midnight when many streets lights are turned off; even then I can really only image N-thru-E-to-S. Dithering has markedly improved the background noise problem. Colour balance is a challenge; I get different results from the PC to the MacBook to the iMac - in the end I go with what I like the look of! Perfecting my skills in PS is clearly the name of the game so I'll be trying to better understand the benefits of masks next I think. I'm inclined to leave the hardware exactly as is for now as it took me an age to get everything spaced correctly and even now it would seem I still have an issue with focus which thus far I have left to SGP to handle. Adrian
  14. Thank you Mike and Steve for your comments. It seems that every aspect of this hobby represents a challenge so I am delighted to receive your positive feedback. I've read my copy of MEPC so many times over the past four months it has literally fallen apart from the binding. Clear nights are few and far between in the East Midlands hence my decision to go for osc, but at least I get plenty of time to try to perfect my PS skills. One of my biggest challenges has been creating a 'useful' luminosity layer from the original rgb image. Once I've succeeded I'll share my M63, M101 and M51 images. Thank you again.
  15. I obtained my first telescope (ED80DS Pro with NEQ6) in October 2016 and experimented with some success with an unmodified 70D, slowly getting to grips with EQ-suite, CdC, DeepSkyStacker and BackyardEoS whilst taking a large number of varying quality images of M31, M33 and M42. In November I bought an Atik 414ex osc and have been on a real journey of discovery. Having finally got to grips with PHD guiding, Sequence Generator Pro and dithering, and spent hours experimenting with Photoshop and various pieces of trial image processing software here is my first result that I feel reasonably satisfied with. To the expert eye I am sure it has a wealth of shortcomings so any constructive comments would be very much appreciated. The image comprises 62x120s high-dither lights with fifty darks, flats and bias frames (all at -10 degrees C), and what feels like 2x62 hours of time spent processing! I will take this opportunity to thank so many on this forum who have unknowingly helped me make progress over the past four months. I have read many, many posts on a vast range of topics and learnt more than my brain could cope with. Thank you to all for sharing so much. Equipment: ED80DS Pro with 0.85 f/r, focussing unit and USB interface, NEQ6, IR/UV filter, Atik 414ex osc Software: Sequence Generator Pro, Cdc, EQ Suite, DeepSkyStacker, Photoshop CS6