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johneta

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About johneta

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    Nebula

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    Dunedin, New Zealand
  1. You may have already tried this approach, but this is a good starter one to select stars and minimize them https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_kArMKV2UY then vid 2 in the process https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tr6FM5lCeOw I dont do his method of color range selection, but instead use Highlights in Color range selection and adjust the range and fuzziness to get a good selection. Lots of trial and error with all the settings in this method to get it right. So this will get stars minimized but you can only do it subtly. Another quick way to get a starmask in PS: Open image copy the image in the layers window so you have 2 the same. now on the top layer, - go to filters tab, noise, dust and scratches, and adjust the Radius slider (have Threshold on 5 or a similar low figure) to get rid off all of the stars, and just have a faint glow on the few brightest stars. Hit OK to complete the Dust and scratches window. Now on that layer, select blend Mode to be 'Subtract" You will get an image with stars only. You can flatten the image and you have a stars only image which you can use as a star mask. Now use it as the mask -on say a curves layer. --Invert the mask so the stars are black and the background is white. (you can also use levels adjustment on just the mask image, in order to increase the contrast between the stars and the background on just the mask-to get a more pronounced effect) --Then when you boost the curves you will brighten the nebulosity/background and not the stars. Again lots of experimenting with values at each step of the process is needed in order to practice, and get good results.
  2. If you havnt done star reduction much before, let me know and I'll look up my links on a starter video (Photoshop) tutorial later on my home PC
  3. PS, I do like your images. Very nice. Although..... as we are discussing, those darn stars do get in the way
  4. Yes, you've touched on , to me the trickiest part of Processing - Managing the stars. Ive tried Starnet++ to make a star free image and then work on the nebula only, but I find it has too many artifacts. Others here believe it is great. I have tried Stratton, an older star removal software which I think is better. But still have to fight with artifacts on massive star fields such as your image. I have also used Imagesplus masks and star reduction, which I probably like the best, but is a more subtle effect on minimising stars. Photoshop star minimising is also OK but you can only get a subtle effect from it before you start getting artifacts. I struggle with them all! This has pushed me lately into narrowband imaging on my dslr which gives a huge reduction in the star field. This makes it a breeze to process. (except for the other issues it brings up )
  5. Are you using a star mask so the curves have minimal effect on them, -just the nebula?
  6. Ive got an EQ5 with around 11kgs on it. Very overloaded. Backlash is a terrible 7secs. Its a struggle and I need to upgrade some day, but I can still get OK results. Gotta balance very well. Ive got a newt and Ive got to balance it for that nights imaging. So get the best compromise of balance for the few hours that I will be pointing at the object. So I estimate the travel the scope will cover and get the best balance (Newts have a twisted type of balance that requires balancing for the area of sky you will cover in that imaging session) Make sure Polar alignment is really good. I use sharpCap for that. I use 2.5 sec PHD exposure time to smooth out seeing. I guide in both DEC directions and due to good polar alignment I can still get good results. Also Predictive PEC mode on RA in PHD works well. The EQ5 really isn't a great mount, and I guess the HEQ5 has similar mechanics? Maybe spend more time on getting belts tight and adjusting worm mesh as I reduced the massive backlash I had with a good few hours of tweaking in the daytime. Its very fiddly. (yes my backlash was even worse before the tweaking) I can get 0.6-0.9 total RMS on a good night. As hinted to above, weather and seeing is king. A stable night with good seeing and transparency will give good results. More $$ would also help
  7. Solved this to some extent. Canon RAW EXIF data (with orientation on it) is odd or APT has trouble interpreting it according to APT forum. I hope they can fix it, but a work around is to set image save to L+RAW in APT and this stops the image from rotating. perhaps the correct orientation is attached to the jpeg? It works, but you do need to delete all the jpegs from the folder when you are done, and if you look through the image folder on the imaging night then you have to wade through all the unnecessary jpegs that you have saved.
  8. +1 for Chrome Remote Desktop. Also works on an app on phone, so I can easily monitor progress while I snooze
  9. I started using Deep Sky Stacker but use Siril now, considerably better IMO. Try this starter video. You can stack with very basic operation and get great results
  10. I deleted my post - thought I had something to add, but no
  11. Nice images. Stars look nice,with the exception of one image with star trailing. Exciting times for you. Looks better than some of my first outings. Have fun and enjoy the thrill, I remember being amazed that anything showed up on the screen at all. (A pic showing up on the LCD of the camera still excites me) +1 for Davey-T ... when you settle on one target a night and get longer and more images of it, and then stack them I predict you will get a lot of satisfaction from that. I watched a camera lens astro tutorial when I first started, that encouraged 1 object a night and its really good advice. I still occasionally try for a couple of targets in a night but usually dont do either justice. Enjoy, you are doing well already!
  12. I haven't seen this type of streaking before without star trail. Definitely give dithering a go if you are guiding with PHD etc.- pretty easy. When I started dithering and stopped using darks on my images (DSLR), everything got a lot easier. (except for Dec Backlash, but that's another story)
  13. I used DSS for a long while but was never happy with it. Tried APP -found the results were good, but I didn't like the UI. My best results have been with a trial version of Pixinsight, so I would vote for that. But I haven't bit the bullet yet and bought a paid version. I use Siril now (free) and find the results very good. Note: current documentation on Siril is pretty lacking
  14. Not sure about the Photoshop issue but I did have problems with the default Windows photo viewer on Windows 10. They got rid of the Photo viewer that was on Win 7. The Win7 one was better. The new Win10 one seems to have some sort of auto enhancement going on and seems to make all images sparkly and really pop. Maybe they think that helps most photos out, and is better for social media?? But to me, it ruins the images. You can get the win7 viewer (which is more natural looking to my eye) by running a script in the windows command line, which enables it again. It seems its still there in the OS, but just not enabled. Also the Win7 viewer can open Camera Raw files too. Let me know if your interested and I'll dig out the link to the script.
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