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  1. Hey all, I made an acquisition and processing tutorial a while back (3 years ago? Yikes!) and it is fairly dated in terms of what I'm doing these days. I've been asked for a long time to make a new one showing what I'm doing these days. Specifically how I'm processing a single shot image for both the surface and prominences and how to process them together to show prominences and the surface at once. I've abandoned doing split images and composites and strictly work from one image using layers. Acquisition does not use gamma at all anymore. Nothing terribly fancy, but it's not exactly intuitive so hopefully this new video will illustrate most of the fundamentals to get you started. Instead of an hour, this time it's only 18 minutes. It's real time from start to finish. I'm sorry for the long "waiting periods" where I'm just waiting for the software to finish its routine, it lasts 1.5 minutes and 30 seconds tops typically at first. The first 4 minutes is literally just stacking & alignment in AS!3. I typically will go faster than this, but wanted to slow down enough to try to talk through what I'm doing as I do it. Hopefully you can see each action on the screen. I may have made a few mistakes or said a few incorrect things or terms, forgive me for that, this is not my day job. I really hope it helps folk get more into processing as its not difficult or intimidating when you see a simple process with only a few things that are used. The key is good data to begin with and a good exposure value. Today's data came from a 100mm F10 achromatic refractor and an ASI290MM camera with an HA filter. I used FireCapture to acquire the data with a defocused flat frame. No gamma is used. I target anywhere from 65% to 72% histogram fill. That's it! The processing is fast and simple. I have a few presets that I use, but they are all defaults in Photoshop. A lot of the numbers I use for parameters are based on image scale, so keep that in mind, experiment with your own values. The only preset I use that is not a default is my coloring scheme. I color with levels in Photoshop, and my values are Red: 1.6, Green 0.8, Blue 0.2 (these are mid-point values). Processing Tutorial Video (18 minutes): https://youtu.be/RJvJEoVS0oU RAW (.TIF) files available here to practice on (the same images you will see below as RAW TIFs): https://drive.google.com/open?id=1zjeoux7YPZpGjlRGtX6fH7CH2PhB-dzv Video for Acquisition, Focus, Flat Calibration and Exposure (20 minutes): (Please let me know if any links do not work) ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Results from today using this work flow method. Colored: B&W: SSM data (sampled during 1.5~2 arc-second seeing conditions): Equipment for today: 100mm F10 Frac (Omni XLT 120mm F8.3 masked to 4") Baader Red CCD-IR Block Filter (ERF) PST etalon + BF10mm ASI290MM SSM (for fun, no automation) Very best,
  2. Hello, This is my first post and I need some help and suggestions if you all would be so kind as to provide your much more experienced input. I just received my Lunt LS50THa with the B600 blocking filter. I have some eyepieces that I use with my Orion Dob but after some initial (kind of disappointing) viewing I think I may need to invest or try some other items. My goal is to capture some images I can share with my elementary school age son that is showing interest in astronomy. (AKA nothing massively pro but still something I can be proud of.) So three things; I need a tripod and mount solution that won't break the bank. The Lunt connects to my photography tripod that can easily hold the 6 lb scope but movement/tracking is a pain. Does anyone have any suggestions for a good and relatively inexpensive tripod/mount that can be used with my small scope? Or perhaps an adapter that I can use to hold a good mount and have more precise control and still be able to rest it on my photography tripod? I took some lazy pictures just with my iPhone against the eyepiece and I kept getting some concentric circles overlaying the image that are really obtrusive. Any suggestions for alternative eyepieces that will improve both imaging/viewing? I've been able to take some decent moon shots this way without those strange circles. (The circles are NOT visible just viewing with your eyes.) It almost looks like when you point a camera at a television. Filters? I have a neutral density filter that I use to view the moon. Would that help or hinder viewing/imaging solar filaments? Should I use a color filter to help bring out those details? Thank you in advance for your help.
  3. Here's a few snaps from my solar eclipse test run on 1st March. A wonderful spring morning so I couldn't resist! Evostar Skywatcher 120mm, Baadar solar filter, Canon 1000d, ISO 100, 1/1600th Second. Colour balance in PS (Too orange IMO! oops) Bresser 70mm, 25mm SW EP, White card! :-) Times, locations, maps and more for 20th March here- http://www.solareclipse2015.org.uk
  4. Hi, As the title suggests. Poor weather here, but it would be good to see other people's images! John
  5. Here my last video. You can watch at the evolution of a solar image through several stages of processing, from what you usually see in the telescope up to what you find in the final image. The effect of seeing of the first clip is evident and even if there are few moments where you can understand the structure and details, they are ususally blured by turbolence; in the frames stacking you already notice a superior quality, no noise or turbolence, while in the wavelet stage you can finally discover the inner details normally not visible. The last animation is the final work, colored and tuned to show better. I used as subject a close up portion of the Sun of 26 May with the evolution of a huge prominence during an hour of observation. Images taken with a 100 ed refractor using a Daystar h-alpha filter at a focal of 2000mm. Hope you enjoy it and will follow my channel. Follow YouTube Channel
  6. Hi guys After seeing a lack of solar imaging talk in the imaging discussion and thinking my thread may get lost in there decided this is probably a better place where the active solar imaging guys are. I am using the 6MP ZWO ASI 178MC (colour camera) on my LUNT LS60THa with Sharpcap capture software and have a couple of questions regarding the use of..... I read in another thread some one saying that a mono cam is better than a colour one as it gives better resolution I have been often using the mono mode in Sharpcap and I seem to notice it is better quality than in colour mode. 1) Is Sharpcap actually putting the 178MC into a true mono mode, or is the image just being desaturated in software ? 2) If it is putting the 178MC into mono mode, is that good enough, or am I still better off buying a mono cam ? Hopefully someone can "shed some light" ( pun intended) on that for me please regards Dave
  7. Hi guys well the ZWO ASI 1600MM finally arrived ( after the postal system sat on it for 3 days ) I did some comparisons between it and my ZWO ASI 178MC that had been the main solar cam up till today both using my Lunt LS60THa and a B1200 (12mm) blocking filter these first two are unprocessed ( SOOC ) , just resized for the forum and ALL images are single frame only ( no stacking) firstly ... the ASI 178MC using mono mode in SharpCap Now the ASI 1600MM NOTE:, tho the image from the 178MC looks more detailed. Strong brightness variation can be seen across the image compared to the 1600MM What I discovered in processing was that the 1600MM image processed so much better and resulted in a significant increase in finer details ASI178 processed ... ASI1600 processed .... There isn't really any comparison between the two ..... the ASI1600 shows much better detail. Specially seen around the Active Region Next post .... prominences Dave
  8. Hello everyone, I am currently trying to prepare, for the upcoming total solar eclipse in August. I tried imaging the sun a few weeks ago and quickly realized that I was in need of a focal reducer, to widen my field of view and subsequently fit the entire sun in my images. I just received the focal reducer on Monday and waited until I had a not so cloudy day to test everything. Today was that day, but it proved to be quite a disappointment. I am still unable to image the son's full disk, even with a focal reducer. I started off by connecting my camera to the T-Mount and inserting it in my Baader Click-Lock star diagonal, which was of course connected directly to my focal reducer. I realize that I most likely should be connecting my T-Adapter directly to the focal reducer, rather than going through a star diagonal, but when I do this, it places my camera's sensor closer to the focal reducer, hence I fit even less of the sun's disk into my image. The image I provided seems to be the very best I can do. In order for me to even produce the attached image, I had to completely bottom out my focus, which is not good. Even with doing this, it is evident that I am still not in perfect focus. I have listed all of my equipment below, in my current sequence for the optical train. If anybody can PLEASE provide some insight, I would be most appreciative! I am an avid researcher of information and think I am on the right track, but I am also VERY new to all of this. I am hoping that my camera's sensor is not too small for me to pull this off. Thank you so much in advance. I look forward to your advice! Larry Equipment: Celestron Edge HD 11" Celestron .7x Focal Reducer Baader Click-Lock Visual Back Baader Click-Lock Star Diagonal T-Adapter Canon T5i DSLR (Full Spectrum Modified)
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