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Walking on the Moon

Tulip - Have I lost my way? You decide......


swag72

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I'm throwing this open to you guys for some guidance on this image........ It is very different to how I normally process now, but I couldn't help but think that with something called the 'Tulip' it deserved..... no needed ..... something different to the norm.

Perhaps this really is a case of what a difference 3 channels makes as well, as I've collected Ha, OIII and SII on this one, whereas I have definitely become lazy of late and stuck to bi colour and lots of colour manipulation.

Yes, it's bright and bold........ You will benefit from some sunglasses!!! So before I consider another go at this, I am all ears and welcome your thoughts good and bad about the processing and whether this works. I should also say that I was actually after a slightly softer feel than I usually do as well.... Does this work? Have I lost my way (and my sanity!) entirely? 

I haven't got a full res version to link to as I've not uploaded this anywhere as I was hoping for some pointers and some ideas about whether this is one that is for the bin in it's current state :)

 

Tulip_SGL.jpg

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You have lovely colours in that Sara, star colour is great and the nebula exhibits the full gamut of light yellows to deeper reds that you only get by adding the SII channel. The blue OIII is very localised in this object and provides the contrasting highlight. It does seem a tad soft but only you can say what the original Ha channel looks like - that will be contributing the bulk of the definition on this one. You could try blending in a sharpened copy of the Ha channel as a luminance layer perhaps?

ChrisH

 

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Far from me to criticise Sara,but that's not your usual top billing,not quite one wave short of a ship wreck(got that from Freddie).

No seriously,its a lovely image,but as you say you have gone softer,and that's not your style.the sharpness of your previous images,created depth,and really were outstanding.

The colours for me are too vibrant,and don't quite work with this image.

But theirs nothing wrong with changing things to see how they will work.Your images normally stand out above the rest,but this to me does,nt.

This all coming from a mediocre imager,might make you laugh,but hey ho.

Maybe post an alternative,once you have done your magic again.

Mick.l

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Hi Sara.

What an great image again from you!

I absolutely love the somewhat mystical effect your colouring has. The only thing that bothered me from the start (but maybe nobody will share this opinion with me) is that the star colour is distracting and in my opinion doing the 'smarty effect' how i like to call it. Its hard to pinpoint, maybe too much saturation in the majority of mid- and small sized stars (i'd probably leave the large stars as they are).

And again, its such a personal opinion, maybe you just ignore it :)

Kind regards, Graem

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Hi Sara

A very good image Sara - as you say, definitely bright and bold. The only item that I'd change would be the stars which I find too distracting and too saturated. I like the soft looking effect.

Alan

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Hi Sara I immediately thought the same as the above two posts when I first looked at the image.  So from a very inexperienced imager I would answer your question as "actually no" because I like the Tulip part. What I would like to see is the same image without the stars or at least just the major players in that field?  Similar fashion to Rob (@Uranium235).

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It works as a piece of 'art' but is not a stand-out astro pic.

I feel cautious about criticising something I couldn't do... but I would drop the saturation across the whole image. A quick unsharp mask suggests that some skilful sharpening could reap dividends.

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As someone who has managed precisely one HA sub of this target I like to see everyones take on it.

Nothing wrong with experimenting and if it was mine I'd be happy with it but as you have set the bar so high previously I think you've made a rod for your own back.

If you browse the net there are all sorts of leery colour versions that make yours look quite restrained :grin:

Dave

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Thank you very much to every single person who has made a comment. Whether you are an experienced imager or not, whether you have produced one image or one hundred, your opinion is totally relevant and useful. It's interesting to read what people think and so it looks like it's back to the drawing board with some points if I want to meet others expectations. I've really been having a hard time of late with regards my imaging, I don't feel that anything has been of a particularly decent starndard.... I am having a crisis with my stuff for sure. Not sure how to move on from that :(

But your thoughts have given me some pointers, so a very big thank you to you all :):) 

 

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Hi Sara.

I am absolutely sure that you're feeling is only temporary. I guess as you've been at this for a long time maybe you're at a point of trying to re-invent yourself and your standards have gotten very high.

As a beginner myself i would like to say that you're an inspiration to me, and i am sure many of others in the same position.

Don't loose faith!

Kind regards, Graem

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Hi Sara - No need for crisis but never any harm in reviewing what you are doing.

I think as already mentioned the stars distract a little, the colour at the core is fine just the fringing halo exaggerates the issue.  Maybe a quick fix would be a star mask expand a couple of pixels and run a colour noise reduction just to tame.

As for the nebula and its colours it may be too early to judge, eyes are easily fooled, maybe it will have a different feel once the stars are 'defringed'.  Is it a little more red/colourful than your typical image, maybe - but its NB so you have a certain amount of license and i don't think this has wandered into any extreme areas.  Personally i think the colours in the core are nice but maybe the red in the outer parts and finer surrounding areas are not so much the wrong colour but all close to the same colour which creates perception of less detail which i do not think is the case.  Is there a little more range that can be extracted?  Maybe reduce saturation and and increase more locally once range is clearer.

Certainly would not be stressing over the image its nice work and trying something different is the route to new discoveries (at least that's what I keep telling myself)

Paddy 

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For me, the star colours haven't worked as they over-power and the image is soft in comparison with your normal razor sharp images. However, the nebulous part of the image does have that gorgeous bubble of blue and a good range of tones so the SII has made its presence felt and was well worth capturing and including.

It is always tricky to work from a JPEG but I have extracted a 'Luminance' channel from your image and it looks nice with a tiny bit of sharpening.  Applying that to a toned down version of your colour data produces what for me is a more pleasing image but, Sara, as you know only too well, we all have our own ideas on what an image should look like and there is no right or wrong, especially with narrowband imaging.

You should continue to experiment, look where it has got you already!

'Luminance' extracted from JPEG

tulip_mod_lum.png

Re-combined image

tulip_mod.png

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This is a very good image (I would be made up if I could get this sort of quality)  but as you said its not your usual I tend to agree with all that astro mick has said above. The last one of your images i looked at was M16 bi colour which was nice and sharp great contrast and depth to it and I think this image falls short of that very high standard.

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I'm not sure what to make of it but it doesn't work for me as well as your regular style. This isn't a natural colour palette so colour in the stars is not very meaningful for me. One of the things I like about NB images is that the stars can all but disappear or reduce to tiny white points, allowing the nebulosity to command they eye. Here they are colourful (but not in an informative way) and rather halo-affected and soft.

I find this a distraction from the nebulosity, which is lovely.

Olly

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Thanks Olly - I have been back to this and ended up with something more like my usual style....... But do you know what.... I don't think I like it!!! I've removed the coloured stars from the image so that will be better.

Perhaps I should have been clear about whose image I saw that made me think about changing my usual style and posting the first rendition .... http://www.robgendlerastropics.com/Tulip-BYU.html - This image is really something different and was the changing factor in this process. It's soft and it's bold....... I love Rob Gendlers images and one is no exception.... So now you know why I was going for the 'soft' look :)

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Rob Gendler's image is indeed soft and although I am a great fan of his work -  a true master - I don't really like the 'softness' of his Tulip image either!

You know what? Right now, I'd be happy to capture any image in any colour, soft as you like but the skies ain't happening for me .........

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36 minutes ago, swag72 said:

Thanks Olly - I have been back to this and ended up with something more like my usual style....... But do you know what.... I don't think I like it!!! I've removed the coloured stars from the image so that will be better.

Perhaps I should have been clear about whose image I saw that made me think about changing my usual style and posting the first rendition .... http://www.robgendlerastropics.com/Tulip-BYU.html - This image is really something different and was the changing factor in this process. It's soft and it's bold....... I love Rob Gendlers images and one is no exception.... So now you know why I was going for the 'soft' look :)

Very interesting Sara, I see where you are going with this one now I have seen the Gendler image. It is bold and it is soft, I think the data lets him get away with it as reading the description it is from an almost 1 meter OTA!

I normally look at my images in 3 parts - object, stars and finally background, and I have to say I think that both yours and Mr Gendler's nebula are great, no issues from me there. But I am not so keen on the stars or background in either image. Much food for thought.

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I agree with most of the comments above, particularly from Olly and Steve (steppenwolf).  TBH I prefer your image to Mr Gendler's.  I'm a great fan of your usual style :)  This one is certainly very nice though I would do something about the stars - I too find them distracting and meaningless.  I think I would apply "Reduce star size" in Ps.  Personally I would suggest you stick to your usual style which I really like enormously.  I think this current image is far from ready for binning - just wants a bit more attention.  Hope that helps.  Hope you get your interest back as I really enjoy your images :)

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Your link to Rob Gendler's image explains where you were going. As John points out, though, he was using a huge telescope which would naturally give tiny stars. When the nebula is soft and  the stars are soft the whole thing looks soft. Rob's works because the nebula is soft but the stars are tight, so you believe the image is fundamentally right rather than somehow erroneous. His stars, like yours, have colour and I would prefer them not to have. It just looks like an artefact of the palette to me. I'd prefer just small white dots. It does seem to represent a change in style for him, too. I rather like it, but the small tight stars are an essential counterpart to the soft nebula.

Olly

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Cheers guys - Lots of ideas..... I probably should have linked to the Rob Gendler image from the off, so you actually had an idea as to why I'd made the change with this particular image..... Maybe one day I'll post the finished version. For now it sits on my PC and still gets a few tweaks a day.... Once there's been no tweaks for at least 3 days then I consider it done :)

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This is a very interesting thread that I have come to late. I see where you were aiming with this one Sara and it is commendable to challenge yourself and try something different. It doesn't have the impact of your 'normal' images, but I very much like the colour palette that you have here. The biggest issue and the biggest difference with the Gendler rendition is the quality of the stars. As has been said, smaller and whiter would probably make a big difference. I don't think it is too far off becoming a corker. Good luck with the tweaks to it and I look forward to seeing version 2 (which is a great effort in itself, I find it very hard reprocessing an image!).

As for struggling at the moment - that is simply your demanding nature I reckon. You are never happy with anything less than the best you can possibly do and when you can't do well enough, in your eyes, you suffer. Don't despair! That is the only way to improve - to demand better of yourself. As Steve says, at least you have the skies to get frustrated with your data... we are stuck with just getting frustrated with the clouds!

Clear skies.

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