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JGM1971

The "No EQ" DSO Challenge!

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Gradient exterminator is good, but it costs the same as StarTools which has a great wipe tool plus much more.

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I'll have a look at that. Does it need as much computing power as startools?

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Gradient exterminator is a plug in so needs either Photoshop, Photoshop elements or paintshoppro to work on.

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Right. Photoshop is something I've  been flirting with the idea of  actually.  

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I didn't go Photoshop because the subscription cost soon exceeds cost of buying a product and the model didn't suit me. Thankfully there are free trials of everything so you can test what works for you before spending any money.

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I think if you're not careful you can end up spending a lot of money just testing out various software options. Even Photoshop Elements is far from cheap, and PS itself is 'rented' on a subscription basis. PS also does far more than you would need, unless you have an interest in conventional photography as well. StarTools is probably the cheapest dedicated astro processing package, but it may not be to your liking, though the good thing is that it has an unrestricted trial, except it doesn't allow you to save. Pixinsight is quite expensive and from what I understand needs a fair bit of computing power, though it is extremely powerful, and therefore takes a fair bit to become competent with it, especially as the trial is time limited. It's not cheap either.

Anyone know if the PS plug-in will work with Affinity Photo?

Sorry, not much help, but as happy-kat says, make use of trials.

Ian

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Posted (edited)

That is useful  actually.  I've oo'd and arghed  for a long time over paying for a software and the subscription  has put me off ps, the price has put me off pix. Startools  I have tried but it was ever so slow on my laptop.  I did try a German one once but I forget the name, it was pretty decent but I dont recall any option for English so I was winging it more so than I normally do.  I think I'll  wait until I need to replace the laptop and try startools again. 60 Canadian is more than reasonable  in my oppinion.   Thanks for the input everyone.  I'm going to post a wider view of the trifid now which for the 12 minutes or so that was spent capturing  it I'm pretty pleased with... but for the sky.  Is this type of sky colour even fixable with more suitable editing  software or is this just the short amount of exposure , skyglow and my lack of understanding  of histograms ect? 

PSX_20190801_193757-01.jpeg

Edited by Manners2020
Typo

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1 hour ago, Manners2020 said:

Is this type of sky colour even fixable with more suitable editing  software

Gradients and colour balance are common in astrophotography, and astro-orientated software is designed to correct that. That's not to say that it can't be done with other software, but it's not in their genes. I understand your problem with the techno-babble associated with the 'art', particularly if you haven't any previous experience with processing conventional photography images, but with use it becomes more familiar. There's an abundance of information on the internet, but it does all take time to trawl through. No-one said it would be a quick process :smile:, but have patience, you'll get there in the end.

Actually I think what you have is a good start, especially for such a short exposure. When I was doing it I used total exposures up to a couple of hours, all done in 30s chunks! That's a lot of files and it needed a reasonably brisk computer to wade through them all. With 10s subs you will certainly end up with a huge number of subs to process, but it is worth trying to get as much exposure as possible.

Worth pointing out that StarTools doesn't stack subs, so DSS can come to the rescue here. I've heard good reports of AstroPixelProcessor (not tried it myself), and which does stack subs as well. More expensive than StarTools, but a totally different workflow, but not in the same league price-wise as PI . SWAG72 of this forum has done some tutorials on it (https://www.swagastro.com/astro-pixel-processor-tutorials.html), but there are others around.

Good luck, Ian

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On 02/08/2019 at 18:28, Manners2020 said:

I've oo'd and arghed  for a long time over paying for a software and the subscription  has put me off ps, the price has put me off pix. Startools 

My tuppnce on the software thing - I'm really new at this and went around the houses looking at various software. I tried GIMP, and while its free there is nowhere near the level of tutorials etc which I needed (I really had no clue what I was doing). I tried startools and found it to be a bit hit and miss - I did not really understand what the programme was doing to the image so somtimes it came out good (very good even) but others were awful. I could just not consistency or steady progress. I tried Paintshop pro and again could not find my way around to do the functions needed for AP (I'm sure they are there I just could not find them). All this because I HATE the thought of recurring payments on software. But, after months of struggling with various cheaper or free options,  I finaly bit the bullet and took out the PS subscription. And I can honestly say I've not really looked back or regretted it. There is so much available in terms of guidance online and in books that its easy to find various work flow examples and step by steps so its makes the learning thing that much more possible. On top of that there are the plug-ins which are also very useful.

I still REALLY HATE the subscription idea though.

HATE IT!

David

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22 hours ago, mackiedlm said:

I still REALLY HATE the subscription idea though.

I've a different take for Photoshop. I do a lot of non-Astro photograph and have always used Adobe Lightroom to develop and manage my photos. The photographers subscription includes both Lightroom and Photoshop, plus I've also got 1Tb of online storage for my photos. All for £15 per month. I used to pay £7 a month for 1Tb of storage anyway, so I'm getting Lightroom and Photoshop for £8 a month. That's a fraction of the cost of a decent filter or eyepiece or other accessary per year. Given how important the processing of the images are, why be reluctant to spend on the processing tools when you are willing to spend on the data collection tools?

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Subscription on pretty much everything these days. It's just to syphon money from people. Subscription for software like Photoshop doesn't make any sense at all. What if a person struggles for a month or two or a year and they depend on it professionally? If they bought software two years ago they can still use it since they own it (even that is questionable with new policies) but if they have to pay monthly for it and they can't they are cut off and that's it. All is good when all is good until it isn't.

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47 minutes ago, Filroden said:

That's a fraction of the cost of a decent filter or eyepiece or other accessary per year

I hear ya! And I agree that its actually not that expensive when taken in context and considered on a monthly basis - thats why I've taken it out and I am glad I did. Its just the principle of paying a subscription for software that I struggle with. But maybe thats just the dinosaur in me!

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I've had many attempts  at m101 and this is the best I've managed.  I find this one really hard  to capture and to stretch  for some reason. Anyway I'm pleased with it. 120 ×15 second lights, 20 dark and 20 flat.  9.25 evolution  @ 6.3 and asi 294mc.  Processed in snapseed and ps Express.  I've just downloaded  the astro pixel  processor  trial so I'm going to have a mess with that.

PSX_20190907_144801-02~2-01~2-01~3-01.jpeg

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10 minutes ago, Manners2020 said:

I've had many attempts  at m101 and this is the best I've managed.  I find this one really hard  to capture and to stretch  for some reason. Anyway I'm pleased with it. 120 ×15 second lights, 20 dark and 20 flat.  9.25 evolution  @ 6.3 and asi 294mc.  Processed in snapseed and ps Express.  I've just downloaded  the astro pixel  processor  trial so I'm going to have a mess with that.

 

It's nice detail, but it looks like you may have clipped the highlights so the stars look a bit 'flat'. Have you tried making a separate 'star' layer and then mixing it back in?

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I'm a long way from knowing how to do any of that. Literally  downloaded some software last night to try step my game up a bit. I've just been using apps .

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Actually  I did try gimp for a while but I got on better with snapseed. Startools was trialed but my laptop struggled with it.  I've been shying away from processing  really but I'm going to see how I get on with this astro pixel. It's all Greek to me.

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Good luck with trialing the new app, that's a great capture so be interesting to see what you get out of it with the new app.

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12 hours ago, Manners2020 said:

I'm a long way from knowing how to do any of that. Literally  downloaded some software last night to try step my game up a bit. I've just been using apps .

In which case you deserve extra congratulations! Keep your unprocessed data as with time and new skills you will want to go back to it.

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Thx.  Astro pixel looks like something  I'll  be using from here on in. Should be seeing some improvement from now. I do like the lp  remover on it and the very reasonable  price.

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On 09/09/2019 at 21:25, Manners2020 said:

Thx.  Astro pixel looks like something  I'll  be using from here on in. Should be seeing some improvement from now. I do like the lp  remover on it and the very reasonable  price.

Very nice M101 well done.

I have been using APP for a while now, I stack and light pollution removal with APP then process with Star Tools. Sometimes polish with Photoshop express.

Astro Pixel Processor was a big step forward from deep sky stacker for me and Star Tools works well with an APP stack.  Star Tools 1.5 has some good new features, your computer probably struggled with Star tools with a full size image,   bin 50% before starting processing and it will run twice as fast without loosing detail in the image. When you start star tools and open an image, on the left side with the tools is bin.

If your happy with your chosen software, ignore the above :)

Nige.

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Cheers nigel. That's good to know about the 50% on startools. It was only the speed that put me off. I'll  give it another bash.

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StarTools I like to do

Crop Bin Wipe Develop Colour, Then twiddle if needed

But I think I'm going to change habit and do

Bin autodev (only to see what to crop off but not keep) crop wipe develop colour

Edited by happy-kat
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