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my first astrophotography: the milky way

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this is my first astrophotography ever, hence I started with the milky way.
I used a Canon 6D with a Samyang 24mm f1.4 lens.
16 lights and 16 darks (no flats, and it shows on the photo imho), 21s @ ISO3200 (no tracking obviously :-) ).
Stacked with DSS and post-processed with PixInsight (that i'm learning slowly)
Unfortunately I didn't have any interesting foreground to put in frame, we therefore don't get a very dramatic FOV from the 24mm. But otherwise, for a first, I'm happy I got some different colours, especially considering I've read somewhere that the winter milky way is less photogenic/more boring than during may-summer.
If anyone has time to give me some feedbacks, that'd be very nice :-) (and please ignore my other milky way photo on my flickr, that was a disastrous post-processing attempt with photoshop. I'm planning on re-doing it with DSS/PixInsight...)
Anyway, here it is:

Milky Way by -ChoJin-, on Flickr 

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very nicely captured, i guess it would look a little more interesting with something in the foreground. some nice detail showing, including some faint nebulosity so i would very happy with it.

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Good start, you've got nice colours there. Can see the North America Nebula clearly and I think that's Andromeda at the top right.

You might be better star shapes by reducing the exposure time a little and by stopping down (not sure what aperture setting you used), but at the expense of losing some of the fainter nebulosity. I like a corner-to-corner framing for the Milky Way as it shows more of it.

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thank you very much for the feedbacks.

I also prefer corner to corner, and in fact I tried with a set like that first (as you can see on my flickr album) with photoshop but that was an epic fail and I got sick of this image staring at it for hours, and therefore wanted to experiment on another set  :smiley: (and you're right, that's andromeda, it's more obvious in some other sets I have)

I actually shot every set with two exposure settings (iso3200 and iso800), not knowing what would give the better result noise-wise. I'll give the iso800 set a try then. But even with 3200, I think I'm far from a ETTR exposure since I was using the on-camera histogram, which is apparently completely off. Next time I'll copy the exposure test shot to the computer for proper analysis instead on relying on the on-camera histogram. I should get better noise results that way, even though the Canon 6D is quite low noise.

I'm also wondering whether or not I should smooth/"denoise" the image to get smoother "nebula feel"... I'm undecided. The current "gazillon stars look" looks fine from a distance, but isn't so pleasing in full screen... Do you think it would look better?

I'm currently experimenting with the TVGDenoise algorithm from PixInsight, but it's tricky to choose the parameters to remove the noise while keeping a sharp image at the same time.

Thanks again!

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Thanks :-)

And no, it's not modded, I wouldn't dare modding my almost brand new Canon 6D ^^

(I use it for normal photography anyway)

I have my now-retired Canon 300D I could mod, but I'm not sure it would be worth it given the low light noise performance of the 300D (that camera is 12 years old, first consumer DSLR! :-) ). I'll probably just buy a dedicated CCD camera for the telescope I just bought when I'll have the budget (I even didn't have time for a first light with it yet).

In the meantime, I'll just use the 6D as-is. There are billions of stuff I need to learn/practice first anyway (good polar alignment, phd guiding, post-processing...) :-)

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Hello again,
I've made a 2nd version :-)

Using the first version as a starting point, I used a starmap to generate a mask and apply a median transform and morphological operators to remove some of the overwhelming tiny stars. The result was then bent back with the image using PixMath to bring up some details in the nebulosity and back some stars.
Now I guess I should redo the whole workflow to do these steps earlier in the process. It should enable better noise reduction/control in the final image. That will be for v3 :-)

Let me know what you think (to me it looks better, I hope you agree)

Milky Way v2 by -ChoJin-, on Flickr

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