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swag72

M16 Pillars of Creation in mono

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5 minutes ago, steppenwolf said:

Yes, indeed I do.

Thank you, I hope you enjoy it!

I hear its the bible.. Lord help me.  I use PI, much of the reason why I have trouble following commonly provided processing advise. Looking forward to reading it.

Rodd

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Rodd - Just for info, there's an app that measures SQM - It's called DSM Pro.  The good news is that  it only costs $0.99 (I have no affiliation - honest! :))... The not quite so good news (for Android owners) is that it's Iphone only.   I seriously doubt it's as accurate as a pukka SQM, but it gives you a reasnonable idea.  (For what it's worth, I struggle to get a reading of 17.9 :()

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54 minutes ago, AndyUK said:

Rodd - Just for info, there's an app that measures SQM - It's called DSM Pro.  The good news is that  it only costs $0.99 (I have no affiliation - honest! :))... The not quite so good news (for Android owners) is that it's Iphone only.   I seriously doubt it's as accurate as a pukka SQM, but it gives you a reasnonable idea.  (For what it's worth, I struggle to get a reading of 17.9 :()

Thanks Andy--unfortunately (or fortunately in my opinion) I am smart phone free :happy11:. I think those bloody things are a scourge to society.  My wife and daughters are virtually missing in action!   I guess the one positive aspect of this is it leaves me free to image to my hearts content (just kidding--its not that bad--but sometimes it seems like it is). 

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I find image processing the most important part but I do have good skies here (when you can see them).  I too take the processing very slowly and probably spend more time processing than capturing the data.  Small steps is definitely the way to go otherwise things can quickly get out of hand.  I currently use PS but seriously thinking of getting PI.

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6 minutes ago, Gina said:

I find image processing the most important part but I do have good skies here (when you can see them).  I too take the processing very slowly and probably spend more time processing than capturing the data.  Small steps is definitely the way to go otherwise things can quickly get out of hand.  I currently use PS but seriously thinking of getting PI.

PI is amazing--it's shortcomings are me, not the software.  It is definitely more complicated, but it is very empirical and scientifically based.  One has the utmost control of the data--but it requires mastery of the theory to effectively use the tools.  Spend some time on the PI forum and ask Juan and the other gurus questions and they will quickly convince you (and show you) that PI's potential is astounding.  I understand it is not for everyone--the time commitment and learning curve are severe.  But, I figured that would be true for me no matter what software I chose to use.  So I dove in.  The monthly subscription thing with PS was the deciding factor I think.  

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15 hours ago, Rodd said:

One has the utmost control of the data--but it requires mastery of the theory to effectively use the tools.

Rodd I'm going to have to disagree with you here, I think this is the one thing PI cannot provide, it is like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut most of the time. Now don't get me wrong, I do love PI and it is essential to my image processing, but at a certain point I must move out of PI in to CS5 because it cannot provide me with the finest and most delicate touch that I need.

This is not for want of trying, I began processing exclusively in PI in 2010, but gradually introduced more and more steps conducted outside of the program to the point it's now 50/50 and sometimes less in the favour of CS5.

At the end, even if it only makes up 20/30/40% of my processing routine, I still wouldn't be without PI! :)

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37 minutes ago, johnrt said:

Rodd I'm going to have to disagree with you here, I think this is the one thing PI cannot provide, it is like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut most of the time. Now don't get me wrong, I do love PI and it is essential to my image processing, but at a certain point I must move out of PI in to CS5 because it cannot provide me with the finest and most delicate touch that I need.

This is not for want of trying, I began processing exclusively in PI in 2010, but gradually introduced more and more steps conducted outside of the program to the point it's now 50/50 and sometimes less in the favour of CS5.

At the end, even if it only makes up 20/30/40% of my processing routine, I still wouldn't be without PI! :)

That is why this obsession is a frustrating pursuit--In the beginning those of us who know nothing ask the experts and try to learn as best we can.  But for every expert there are 10 opinions.  My head spins like a top.  What is one to do when seasoned imagers spout conflicting opinions?  The debate regarding the PI/PS issue is very polarized.  Based on the arguments and supporting data (as presented) I hear, the PI side seems to be ahead.  Can't go by the images because both produce world class images.  To really judge, we would need to hear the specific reasons why you feel the way you do about PI, then present the same circumstances to a PI expert who feels the opposite, and see what he has to say. In the past, the PI aficionados have always convinced me with objective reasoning.  My opinion does not matter.

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28 minutes ago, Rodd said:

That is why this obsession is a frustrating pursuit--In the beginning those of us who know nothing ask the experts and try to learn as best we can.  But for every expert there are 10 opinions.  My head spins like a top.  What is one to do when seasoned imagers spout conflicting opinions?  The debate regarding the PI/PS issue is very polarized.  Based on the arguments and supporting data (as presented) I hear, the PI side seems to be ahead.  Can't go by the images because both produce world class images.  To really judge, we would need to hear the specific reasons why you feel the way you do about PI, then present the same circumstances to a PI expert who feels the opposite, and see what he has to say. In the past, the PI aficionados have always convinced me with objective reasoning.  My opinion does not matter.

Now I may be wrong but outside of the PI forums where understandably everyone is *very* much in favour of PI and nothing else, the main consensus is very much in favour of a mixture of software to get the best results. Now that might be PI & CS5. PI, Registar & CS5. CS5 & DSS or Nebulosity, or Maxim or who knows what!!!! I certainly don't think there is a definitive one stop processing shop, every piece of software brings something new to the table :)

But, I'm certainly no expert, just someone with an opinion! :p

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37 minutes ago, johnrt said:

Now I may be wrong but outside of the PI forums where understandably everyone is *very* much in favour of PI and nothing else, the main consensus is very much in favour of a mixture of software to get the best results. Now that might be PI & CS5. PI, Registar & CS5. CS5 & DSS or Nebulosity, or Maxim or who knows what!!!! I certainly don't think there is a definitive one stop processing shop, every piece of software brings something new to the table :)

But, I'm certainly no expert, just someone with an opinion! :p

That is probably true--though it seems that all the tools are the same--its just the style of tools one prefers.  Is wavelet sharpening in Registack really any different than the sharpening portion of MSLT in PI?  At the most basic level, they probably do the same thing.  Its the UI that is different.  Of all the software I have fiddled with (5-6, some major like PI, some minor like RS), it seems that the most tweekable, the one where the tools have the most settings and options, is PI.  The real question is would you have the same opinion if you were to use PI "the way it was designed to be used?" (assuming you are not a PI master). PI is a hugely deep platform.  One minute I think I have a tool down, the next someone like Juan or Vicent adds several completely non intuitive steps and makes me realize that I am just scratching the surface.  Its like learning physics in 10th grade--in graduate school (or long before) one is told that "that is not how it really is!"  Personally--I hate processing.  When I take a picture of the Tower of London, I don't have to do anything--just look at it.  Its objective (99%--except for things like framing etc etc).  I want to image what is there--I do not want to influence what I see in the image by "manipulating data".   I don't want a style.  I don't want any "me" in my images.   Processing is like painting.  There is Picasso and there are the realists (though Picasso could draw realism too--he just preferred not to).  In the end its images speak for themselves--except the ones that can't talk like mine. I am looking for the objectivity in this hobby.:icon_biggrin:

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If you hate processing... perhaps this hobby is not for you.... I say this in all sincerity based on the fact that I will spend in excess of perhaps 8 to 10 hours on processing ONE image. One has to enjoy the processing side in my opinion as sadly there's not a one button to press to get the perfect image.

Then there's the bit about manipulating data and imaging what is there .......... how do you feel about Narrowband imaging? As the colours you see are most definitely NOT there and are manipulated in one form or another. If you look at 20 images of M16 for example, you will see 20 different images, none will be the same as there just isn't that level of objectivity in imaging...... it's all subjective in my opinion. 

 

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18 minutes ago, Rodd said:

The real question is would you have the same opinion if you were to use PI "the way it was designed to be used?" (assuming you are not a PI master).

I believe I do use PI as it was intended to be used.

I'm backing Sara here, if you really do hate processing then you have picked the wrong hobby. My most recent image of M94 consisted of 12 hours of exposure time, during all of which I wandered off to do something else, or was asleep. I then processed the image possibly 15-20 times before I was happy with the result, each time looking at where the processing took me and adapting the process to get it right. I have no idea how long it took because I didn't keep track, but we're talking hours.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, swag72 said:

If you hate processing... perhaps this hobby is not for you.... I say this in all honesty based on the fact that I will spend in excess of perhaps 8 to 10 hours on processing ONE image. One has to enjoy the processing side in my opinion as sadly there's not a one button to press to get the perfect image.

Then there's the bit about manipulating data and imaging what is there .......... how do you feel about Narrowband imaging? As the colours you see are most definitely NOT there and are manipulated in one form or another. If you look at 20 images of M16 for example, you will see 20 different images, none will be the same as there just isn't that level of objectivity in imaging...... it's all subjective in my opinion. 

 

Sorry, you cant get rid of me that easily:happy9:  As soon as one of my images turns out decent, I am sure I will be happy.  I don't mind spending 8-10 hours processing--seeing that I spend weeks obtaining the data--its 8-10 hours wasted that I hate. Its doing the steps one is supposed to do and ending up with a mess that I hate. As far as NB--I love it--except for the fact that my Hubble Pallet images look too green--and I'll use the same processing that someone else uses (well, obviously not, but you know what I mean).  You may be right about the colors not being real--then again, science would disagree--the wavelengths of the Ha are in the red area, the OIII in the blue/green (teal) zone etc.  Physics is real.  I understand one can make the images appear to be any color.  Then again, there is an accepted Hubble Pallet that when I violate it (which is always), I hear pretty quickly why my color balance is off.  Here's the real test--put one of your images up against one of mine and lets see how many people like mine better.  There is science behind much of this, which means by definition, there is objectivity.  I am just saying that I am not qualified to be subjective at this point.  I may as well throw red paint against the wall and call it the Eiffel Tower.

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8 minutes ago, johnrt said:

I believe I do use PI as it was intended to be used.

I'm backing Sara here, if you really do hate processing then you have picked the wrong hobby. My most recent image of M94 consisted of 12 hours of exposure time, during all of which I wandered off to do something else, or was asleep. I then processed the image possibly 15-20 times before I was happy with the result, each time looking at where the processing took me and adapting the process to get it right. I have no idea how long it took because I didn't keep track, but we're talking hours.

 

 

At least you made progress.  That's all I ask.  One day, when I am as accomplished as the rest of you--I will be better able to say what I mean.

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4 minutes ago, Rodd said:

Its doing the steps one is supposed to do and ending up with a mess that I hate. As far as NB--I love it--except for the fact that my Hubble Pallet images look too green--and I'll use the same processing that someone else uses (well, obviously not, but you know what I mean).

I genuinely don't think anyone is trying to get rid of you, quite the opposite, I think everyone wants you to be successful, but you are getting honesty. :) 

I picked out the quote above because there are *no* steps that you are supposed to do, never follow the steps someone else has taken, just because their image looked good. You need to apply the processing steps that *your* data *needs* for it to sing.

For example, I apply no noise reduction to my images at all, not a sausage, I use lots and lots of data capture instead. 15-20 subs won't so this, I need 60-70, a technique that would send some scientific die hard's quoting the laws of diminishing returns at me to run screaming in to the hills crying "maniac". However this is what my data needs to process with the best results.

Have you ever shared your raw data with some processing gurus to see what they make of it? It might help for you to do so, and get some thoughts on how they interpret your data in terms of how they set about processing it.

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11 minutes ago, Rodd said:

....... Its doing the steps one is supposed to do and ending up with a mess that I hate. .........

Perhaps this is in part some of the problem ............ You cannot have prescriptive steps that you use for each image. OK, so the initial stretching is the same, but beyond that it's a much more touchy feely process. You look at the picture and decide what it needs, then think about how you can do it. You don't go through a prescribed number of steps in a prescribed way...... each image will react different to each step, each image will require more of one, less of another or perhaps some new step that you've not encountered before.

The point I'm making is that there are no steps that 'one is supposed to do' ............. It's a creative iterative process....... and one that in all honesty PI doesn't encourage.

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1 hour ago, johnrt said:

I genuinely don't think anyone is trying to get rid of you, quite the opposite, I think everyone wants you to be successful, but you are getting honesty. :) 

I picked out the quote above because there are *no* steps that you are supposed to do, never follow the steps someone else has taken, just because their image looked good. You need to apply the processing steps that *your* data *needs* for it to sing.

For example, I apply no noise reduction to my images at all, not a sausage, I use lots and lots of data capture instead. 15-20 subs won't so this, I need 60-70, a technique that would send some scientific die hard's quoting the laws of diminishing returns at me to run screaming in to the hills crying "maniac". However this is what my data needs to process with the best results.

Have you ever shared your raw data with some processing gurus to see what they make of it? It might help for you to do so, and get some thoughts on how they interpret your data in terms of how they set about processing it.

But certain processing techniques increase noise as well as signal, so one must either only target signal, or reduce noise after it is increased by whatever method one uses to "process".  Do you deactivate all "noise reduction" elements when using various PI tools?

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1 hour ago, swag72 said:

Perhaps this is in part some of the problem ............ You cannot have prescriptive steps that you use for each image. OK, so the initial stretching is the same, but beyond that it's a much more touchy feely process. You look at the picture and decide what it needs, then think about how you can do it. You don't go through a prescribed number of steps in a prescribed way...... each image will react different to each step, each image will require more of one, less of another or perhaps some new step that you've not encountered before.

The point I'm making is that there are no steps that 'one is supposed to do' ............. It's a creative iterative process....... and one that in all honesty PI doesn't encourage.

One shouldn't have prescribed steps--but on must have prescribed tools--after all, there are only so many tools available.  Let me rephrase what I said earlier...."it's when no matter what I do reduces the image quality" that I hate.  This is true no matter the image, or tool chosen.  Once my image is rendered non linear--its downhill.  I have not yet tried the tiny increment and million iteration approach.  Maybe that is, indeed, the answer. 

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1 hour ago, swag72 said:

Perhaps this is in part some of the problem ............ You cannot have prescriptive steps that you use for each image. OK, so the initial stretching is the same, but beyond that it's a much more touchy feely process. You look at the picture and decide what it needs, then think about how you can do it. You don't go through a prescribed number of steps in a prescribed way...... each image will react different to each step, each image will require more of one, less of another or perhaps some new step that you've not encountered before.

The point I'm making is that there are no steps that 'one is supposed to do' ............. It's a creative iterative process....... and one that in all honesty PI doesn't encourage.

Here is what I was trying to say about PI--I found this on line.  True...or false advertising?...." "PixInsight and Photoshop are two very different applications. They are in fact so different in their goals, in the way they have been conceived, and in how they are being developed, that we actually think that PixInsight and Photoshop represent, in many aspects, two opposite ways of understanding image processing. So if you are using Photoshop, or a similar application, then PixInsight cannot be a replacement: it can only be a change.

PixInsight pursues a scientific, highly technical approach to image processing. Most of our tools have been designed to solve the problems specific to astrophotography and other technical imaging fields through rigorous and flexible implementations, where the user has full control on every relevant parameter of each applied process. While we try to design and implement our tools to facilitate the user's work as much as possible, ease of use is not one of our main goals. In general, we make no concessions to simplification: there are no fast-food solutions in PixInsight. Versatility, efficiency, powerful tools, rigorous implementations and the development of astrophotography through image processing culture are the main elements of our vision and our mission as the developers of PixInsight.

Photoshop has not been conceived or designed to solve the kind of problems that arise in highly technical imaging fields, of which astrophotography is one of the most demanding ones. Photoshop is a general-purpose image edition application. It is excellent for image edition and retouching but it doesn't qualify for astrophotography because it lacks the necessary algorithms and tools; it is simply not based on the correct principles to provide the required solutions. Photoshop pursues a simplified approach to image manipulation, where the user has little or no control over the applied processes. Due to its lack of resources and to the inadequacy of its implementations, Photoshop is being applied to astrophotography through tricky procedures, including arbitrary manual manipulations and retouching practices without documentary and algorithmic basis that we consider unacceptable in astrophotography.

Hand-painted masks, arbitrary manual selections, retouching, unrigorous layering techniques and other 'magical recipes' are just the opposite of what we understand by astrophotography. Contrarily to what it may seem at first sight, these procedures tend to block your creativity: they teach you nothing about your data and don't require you to understand your images and the actual problems you have to face and solve to build them.

PixInsight provides you with a completely different platform where you can develop your astrophotography with solid foundations. With PixInsight we want to grow your image processing knowledge, as the best way to materialize your creativity and your pursuit of excellence.

The PixInsight project originates from the inside of astrophotography. It is a software platform made by astrophotographers for astrophotographers. PixInsight is not a general-purpose product made by a large multinational company with mass-market interests. It is a highly specialized platform in constant evolution, for which astrophotography is its natural ecosystem. ........."

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Rather an elitist statement on behalf of PixInsight I would have thought - like, no decent astrophotos were ever created before PI was available? I don't buy that. It's impossible for us mere mortals to argue the case with PI gurus based solely on technical reasoning but the sheer abundnace of brilliant images that were created without using PI should tell you something. So many times I've glanced at someone else's image and it has screamed 'PIXINSIGHT!' at me just from the way it looks, and more often than not I'm correct.

ChrisH

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Cross posted (or rather created) with you Chris and I have said much the same thing - anyway, here is my spiel :-

Perfectly true - PI is dedicated astro image editing software and PS is very much general purpose.  OTOH there are many astrophotographers who produce very acceptable or even great images using PS who have never touched PI.

As for image processing being personal and an art more than a science, yes that's how I see it (or a bit of both).  Is there anything wrong with that?  I don't think so.  If you don't like the images I produce sobeit - there are probably people who don't like my style of watercolour painting either.  Does that concern me?  Answer - not a lot - though like everyone I do like praise, of course.

I also agree with Sara and others - each image - or should I say collection of frames, need processing differently.  How images need processing to produce a particular effect takes experience - years and years of experience and novices obtaining great results could well be down to "beginners luck" because a certain amount of luck does come into it.  You may be very lucky with the weather, seeing, clarity and other factors that all affect the set of images (or frames) you get from imaging.

The production of a great astro image needs luck and enormous patience, tenderly tweeking the image to gradually mold it in the direction you want.  If you feel you aren't getting there, stop and give it a rest, come back later with a fresh mind and make sure you have no distractions.

Finally I wish to re-emphasise that image processing is a major part of AP not to be taken lightly.

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7 minutes ago, ChrisLX200 said:

Rather an elitist statement on behalf of PixInsight I would have thought - like, no decent astrophotos were ever created before PI was available? I don't buy that. It's impossible for us mere mortals to argue the case with PI gurus based solely on technical reasoning but the sheer abundnace of brilliant images that were created without using PI should tell you something. So many times I've glanced at someone else's image and it has screamed 'PIXINSIGHT!' at me just from the way it looks, and more often than not I'm correct.

ChrisH

It is easy to go too far in PI.  I would agree that that is not good.  

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5 minutes ago, Gina said:

Cross posted (or rather created) with you Chris and I have said much the same thing - anyway, here is my spiel :-

Perfectly true - PI is dedicated astro image editing software and PS is very much general purpose.  OTOH there are many astrophotographers who produce very acceptable or even great images using PS who have never touched PI.

As for image processing being personal and an art more than a science, yes that's how I see it (or a bit of both).  Is there anything wrong with that?  I don't think so.  If you don't like the images I produce sobeit - there are probably people who don't like my style of watercolour painting either.  Does that concern me?  Answer - not a lot - though like everyone I do like praise, of course.

I also agree with Sara and others - each image - or should I say collection of frames, need processing differently.  How images need processing to produce a particular effect takes experience - years and years of experience and novices obtaining great results could well be down to "beginners luck" because a certain amount of luck does come into it.  You may be very lucky with the weather, seeing, clarity and other factors that all affect the set of images (or frames) you get from imaging.

The production of a great astro image needs luck and enormous patience, tenderly tweeking the image to gradually mold it in the direction you want.  If you feel you aren't getting there, stop and give it a rest, come back later with a fresh mind and make sure you have no distractions.

Finally I wish to re-emphasise that image processing is a major part of AP not to be taken lightly.

Well put.  It is definitely both. Though I think there is very little luck in processing--acquisition...yes, though really only with regard to the atmosphere.   Even pure art like painting/drawing has a science--one such element is perspective.  There are "rules" of perspective (mostly geometry).  Can one violate these rules and still make pictures people like (Yes-Picasso).  But, I guess my position is, and we are taught this in art school, that before one can start being truly successful with the subjective elements of painting--the non subjective elements must be mastered (drawing, perspective, shadow/light direction etc. etc.).  Once you know the rules, you can break them.   Writing is the same-- there are rules of grammar, sentence structure, spelling, theme etc...There must be some element of this in AP as well.  One simply must learn how to calibrate, align, and integrate before one can render a RGB image, no?  Another rule (quasi rule or suggestion), espoused on this thread, is don't take huge steps in processing.  If you were to actually sit down with experts and categorize the subjective/objective nature of  "image processing" I bet you'd end up calling it somewhere near 50/50.  Maybe 60/40 or 40/60.  I think that to learn the subjective stuff first is not the way to go.  At least it is not for me--that is why I tend to be more objective oriented.  Later, when I mater the objective tools, I will be in a much better position to reveal my artistic side.  Sara asked me about NB imaging and said it was all subjective--but not if you just shoot Ha--you get a mono image that can be spectacular.  No color decisions, just whether the image is good--will it cause the  veterans on this forum to say  "wow--nice image"  and mean it.

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55 minutes ago, Rodd said:

Here is what I was trying to say about PI--I found this on line.  True...or false advertising?...." "PixInsight and Photoshop are two very different applications. They are in fact so different in their goals, in the way they have been conceived, and in how they are being developed, that we actually think that PixInsight and Photoshop represent, in many aspects, two opposite ways of understanding image processing. So if you are using Photoshop, or a similar application, then PixInsight cannot be a replacement: it can only be a change.

PixInsight pursues a scientific, highly technical approach to image processing. Most of our tools have been designed to solve the problems specific to astrophotography and other technical imaging fields through rigorous and flexible implementations, where the user has full control on every relevant parameter of each applied process. While we try to design and implement our tools to facilitate the user's work as much as possible, ease of use is not one of our main goals. In general, we make no concessions to simplification: there are no fast-food solutions in PixInsight. Versatility, efficiency, powerful tools, rigorous implementations and the development of astrophotography through image processing culture are the main elements of our vision and our mission as the developers of PixInsight.

Photoshop has not been conceived or designed to solve the kind of problems that arise in highly technical imaging fields, of which astrophotography is one of the most demanding ones. Photoshop is a general-purpose image edition application. It is excellent for image edition and retouching but it doesn't qualify for astrophotography because it lacks the necessary algorithms and tools; it is simply not based on the correct principles to provide the required solutions. Photoshop pursues a simplified approach to image manipulation, where the user has little or no control over the applied processes. Due to its lack of resources and to the inadequacy of its implementations, Photoshop is being applied to astrophotography through tricky procedures, including arbitrary manual manipulations and retouching practices without documentary and algorithmic basis that we consider unacceptable in astrophotography.

Hand-painted masks, arbitrary manual selections, retouching, unrigorous layering techniques and other 'magical recipes' are just the opposite of what we understand by astrophotography. Contrarily to what it may seem at first sight, these procedures tend to block your creativity: they teach you nothing about your data and don't require you to understand your images and the actual problems you have to face and solve to build them.

PixInsight provides you with a completely different platform where you can develop your astrophotography with solid foundations. With PixInsight we want to grow your image processing knowledge, as the best way to materialize your creativity and your pursuit of excellence.

The PixInsight project originates from the inside of astrophotography. It is a software platform made by astrophotographers for astrophotographers. PixInsight is not a general-purpose product made by a large multinational company with mass-market interests. It is a highly specialized platform in constant evolution, for which astrophotography is its natural ecosystem. ........."

Steaming tosh! Utter steaming tosh. And both pretentious and insulting.

Oooooh, that feels better. I've been wanting to say that for a long time. :D. Here's why:

PI uses masks rather than layers. The hubris of the (autistic?) PI mentality is that it can somehow derive from the data everything that is needed to manipulate the data into 'correctness.' They say it is scientific. The mask, or the algorithm, will be perfect. 

Will it heck. PI is a graphics programme. In DBE the user defines what should be neutral background. Well that's scientific!!!  Same as Background Neutralization. Equally scientific.  Tell it your subjective impressions and it will scientifically confirm them. Which is just what you do in Photoshop. The mask parameters are these. Who made them? I did.

Scientific?  Get outta here!

I'm not knocking PI and I use it myself, but I'll have none of this 'scientific' claptrap. If you don't want to get involved, personally, with your images and do your best to shape them into what you believe to be true or informative then you are in the wrong job. Don't imagine that some kind of spurious 'objectivity' in PI will lead you to the truth. It won't.

Our data is imperfect. It's damned good but it's imperfect. How do we know? We look at it! Our eyes are remarkably sophisticated. ANd we do use them to look at the finished picture, remember...

Olly

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Rodd said:

Here is what I was trying to say about PI--I found this on line.  True...or false advertising?...." "PixInsight and Photoshop are two very different applications. They are in fact so different in their goals, in the way they have been conceived, and in how they are being developed, that we actually think that PixInsight and Photoshop represent, in many aspects, two opposite ways of understanding image processing. So if you are using Photoshop, or a similar application, then PixInsight cannot be a replacement: it can only be a change.

PixInsight pursues a scientific, highly technical approach to image processing. Most of our tools have been designed to solve the problems specific to astrophotography and other technical imaging fields through rigorous and flexible implementations, where the user has full control on every relevant parameter of each applied process. While we try to design and implement our tools to facilitate the user's work as much as possible, ease of use is not one of our main goals. In general, we make no concessions to simplification: there are no fast-food solutions in PixInsight. Versatility, efficiency, powerful tools, rigorous implementations and the development of astrophotography through image processing culture are the main elements of our vision and our mission as the developers of PixInsight.

Photoshop has not been conceived or designed to solve the kind of problems that arise in highly technical imaging fields, of which astrophotography is one of the most demanding ones. Photoshop is a general-purpose image edition application. It is excellent for image edition and retouching but it doesn't qualify for astrophotography because it lacks the necessary algorithms and tools; it is simply not based on the correct principles to provide the required solutions. Photoshop pursues a simplified approach to image manipulation, where the user has little or no control over the applied processes. Due to its lack of resources and to the inadequacy of its implementations, Photoshop is being applied to astrophotography through tricky procedures, including arbitrary manual manipulations and retouching practices without documentary and algorithmic basis that we consider unacceptable in astrophotography.

Hand-painted masks, arbitrary manual selections, retouching, unrigorous layering techniques and other 'magical recipes' are just the opposite of what we understand by astrophotography. Contrarily to what it may seem at first sight, these procedures tend to block your creativity: they teach you nothing about your data and don't require you to understand your images and the actual problems you have to face and solve to build them.

PixInsight provides you with a completely different platform where you can develop your astrophotography with solid foundations. With PixInsight we want to grow your image processing knowledge, as the best way to materialize your creativity and your pursuit of excellence.

The PixInsight project originates from the inside of astrophotography. It is a software platform made by astrophotographers for astrophotographers. PixInsight is not a general-purpose product made by a large multinational company with mass-market interests. It is a highly specialized platform in constant evolution, for which astrophotography is its natural ecosystem. ........."

Crivens! If I'd read that utter rubbish before I bought Pixinsight, I wouldn't have touched it with a bargepole!! And for what it's worth I'm yet to find a single magic recipe in any version of photoshop.

Edited by johnrt
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