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FaB-Bo-Peep

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Everything posted by FaB-Bo-Peep

  1. Ok so following fireballxl5's lead, (thanks for the ideas ), I had another play in Startools to try and take similar actions and here is the resulting version 2. I took more time with the "wipe" module applying it a couple of times with different parameters in an attempt to eliminate more of the vignetting / gradient and then found the "isolate" feature in the Life module which, (with the help of a mask over the nebula itself), did an amazing job of darkening the background and reducing the visible noise without adversely affecting the stars. I also tried to make the nebula a bit more colourful as I felt the original could do with a boost. Then a few other tweaks that I had applied to the original version finished off with the final noise reduction and voila! I much prefer this version over the original but what do you think?
  2. I cannot possibly offer any constructive criticism as I'm very much just chipping away at the giant iceberg of a hobby that is astro photography but I'm a sucker for Globular Clusters and I like the above a lot so for what it's worth, nice one
  3. No I don't mind at all thank's as feedback is a very good way to learn P.S. I've now added the original FITS file if anyone would like to have a play with the source data.
  4. I was becoming very frustrated with the lack of clear skies recently so when yesterday's forecast showed a 5 hour window from 10 - 3 I was understandably excited and eagerly setup my equipment in anticipation. 10pm came but there was no break in the cloud to be seen A further refresh of the forecast showed that the clear period had now moved and shrunk and was now anticipated to be between 12 - 2. Having gone to the trouble of setting everything up I could not admit defeat and pack up with nothing to show so I thought I'd simply wait. 12 came and a refresh of the forecast now showed that the clear period had disappeared completely! AAARrrrrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhhhh the joys of British Weather!!! Even so I thought I'd wait just a little longer just in case. Shortly after I went outside expecting to bring everything back in but to my surprize I could see stars! I quickly polar aligned, did a 2 star alignment and headed straight for M27. 30 seconds appeared to be the maximum I could go to and it was not long before I realized my subs were getting lighter and lighter and the birds were getting louder and louder, yes it was dawn but at least I had something to show for my efforts. The attached image is the result of a mere 14 minutes worth of 30 second, (RAW), subs captured from my severely light polluted back garden, stacked in Deep Sky Stacker, (with darks but no flats), and processed in StarTools. Although I would obviously have liked to capture for longer, as with my other recent targets this version is still by far the best I've managed of this target to date. I absolutely love the Skywatcher 250PDS and what it can achieve is so little time. StarTools also keeps impressing me, making complex processing easy for novices like me and I'm sure I'm still not using it to its full potential. Camera is a Canon Rebel XS, (1000D). **** P.S. I've now added the original FITS file if anyone would like to have a play with the source data **** ******P.P.S. I've now added a re-processed version taking a bit more time and learning as I go****** M27-FITS-32-INTEGER.fits.FTS
  5. Large aperture Newtonians are a challenge to handle, (I know as I have a Skywatcher 250PDS), but I would not change mine for anything. The amount of light they gather in such a short period of time is amazing and suits my bang for buck imaging style perfectly
  6. The attached image is the result of around 25 minutes worth of (RAW), subs captured from my severely light polluted back garden, stacked in Deep Sky Stacker, (with darks but no flats), processed in StarTools and curves tweaked in Paintshop Pro. I could tell right from the start that this was going to be a real challenge! As the subs rolled in I could clearly see that the contrast between the galaxy and the light polluted sky was poor to say the least. I will undoubtedly re-visit this target again in the near future but while the result this time around is certainly not mind-blowing it's definitely better than I anticipated from the poor contrast subs and at least I have an image that i feel is worth showing so I am again pleased. Scope is the Skywatcher 250PDS and the camera is a Canon Rebel XS, (1000D).
  7. The attached image, (and cropped version), is the result of just over 14 minutes worth of 25 second, (RAW), subs captured from my severely light polluted back garden, stacked in Deep Sky Stacker, (with darks but no flats), and processed in StarTools. Again I might have gone a little over the top making the most of the new found colour that RAW files appear to contain but again this version is by far the best I've managed of this target to date. I am so pleased with my 250PDS and StarTools Scope is the Skywatcher 250PDS and the camera is a Canon Rebel XS, (1000D).
  8. Constructive criticism is always welcome so thanks for your comments. My early images with this scope suffered from coma but I believe that manifests itself with elongated stars around the edges of the image and has become much better now that I use a coma corrector. Light pollution is sever from my back garden location and the fact that I've still not got to grips with flats does not help with the central colour cast. Also what you describe is almost certainly partly down to me trying to find my way with StarTools, (only been using it for about a week), and maybe getting carried away with some of the colour / processing settings, (probably a case of less is more).
  9. The attached image is credit to my scope and the amazing power of StarTools. It's the result of just over 12 minutes worth of 25 second subs captured from my severely light polluted back garden, stacked in Deep Sky Stacker, (with darks but no flats), and processed in StarTools. Given the short total exposure time and the light polluted conditions I'm again amazed it came out as well as it did. Scope is the Skywatcher 250PDS and the camera is a Canon Rebel XS, (1000D).
  10. Thanks, it's not the easiest scope to handle for sure but it's ability to grab bucket loads of light and achieve so much in so little time for me makes it 100% worth the effort. As you say the XS / 1000D appears to compliment it perfectly and I absolutely love being able to control the whole thing from the comfort of my conservatory via Stellarium and Astro Photography Tool. I'm still scratching the surface regarding every aspect of this hobby but I know I have the right tools for me and am constantly amazed by the results achieved with so little knowledge and in such unideal light conditions.
  11. So after being enlightened that having my DSLR set to large JPG's was not the way to go I set it to capture RAW files and had another go at M13. The attached image is the result of just over 20 minutes worth of 30 second subs captured from my severely light polluted back garden, stacked in Deep Sky Stacker, (with darks but no flats), and processed in StarTools, (which I am absolutely loving by the way!). The RAW files definitely contain more colour and make my previous stars look very bland indeed. I might have gone a little over the top making the most of this new found colour but once again this version has surpassed all my previous attempts and taken the crown as my new favourite. Scope is the Skywatcher 250PDS and the camera is a Canon Rebel XS, (1000D).
  12. Thanks so much for the heads up on this. Last night I had a go at capturing M13, this time with my camera set to RAW and although I only had time for a quick play with the data this morning before leaving for work the difference in detail and colour is amazing! I will have a proper play tonight and post the end result in the imaging DSO section
  13. And a quick play with curves in Paintshop Pro to darken the Sky a bit.
  14. So much useful info coming in as a result of this post and I'm so very grateful to all that have taken the time to reply. I gave the above a quick go and below is the result. It was only a quick go but again the result is very pleasing to me. I must say I'm finding Startools an amazing program for a novice like me, I'm sure there's a lot of complex stuff going on in the background but the user interface makes processing images so easy without needing a degree in Photoshop. I'm sure I'm learning more with each attempt but compared to my last go a few years back it's got to the stage where I am pleased with all the versions I'm ending up with now. Can't wait to see what my next target comes out like using RAW files
  15. I like these a lot, very well done!
  16. Thanks again for all the feedback and comments, I'm learning so much. I checked and DSS appears to be defaulting to "embedded" but thanks for mentioning that. My stack comprises of Large JPEGS so I will need to make sure my DSLR is switched to RAW files for my next project and look at taking some flats. Just had another go this time using a 32 bit FITS file saved from DSS as apposed to a 16 bit TIFF, the file is much larger so must contain more data to start with yes? To me it looks like another step in the right direction but it's all subjective and as each time I process in Startools I'm using slightly different settings, tweaks and the masks so obviously it's impossible to exactly replicate previous results, someone could go mad with all this tweaking, does anyone ever truly finish an image? Anyway one things is for sure, I absolutely love Startools as it makes complex image manipulation so easy, (which is perfect for me). Again the attached is a screenshot of my processed image taken with Windows Snipping tool as I cannot save the processed image in the trial version. Time to go and buy a licence!
  17. Absolutely amazing!
  18. Thanks everyone, really useful to see your results and read your comments. I've just had a play with Startools and followed a tutorial on Youtube and that's given me a significant improvement without needing to get too technical. It's early days and I will continue to play with Startools over the next couple of days but I'm pretty sure I will be buying a licence. As you cannot save your work in the free trial version I've attached a screenshot of my initial processed image taken with Windows Snipping Tool. Still more practice needed of course but this is easily my best image of M51 to date.
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