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Walking on the Moon

Advice re M31


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First go at M31 using WO GT81 { My second attempt at a DSO using current setup}  Took 12 x 300s images with DSLR 600D with darks,flats and bias using an AVX mount and SAGPro guider with 50 mm guidescope.

My problem is that I am hopeless at processing and having a great deal of difficulty in getting any natural colour to come forward without a lot of noise. I would be grateful for any constructive criticism and pointers in the right direction would be much appreciated.


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Try this in PS. Copy layer twice so you have 3 layers. Apply a soft light filter to the top one, merge with the one below. Then apply a colour filter to the new top one, Merge and see how that looks.

You can also boost colours using Lab Colour mode in PS. There are plenty of tutorials on the web that tell how to do that. Hope this helps.. Tim. 

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Hi- Great image -StarTools? Try stacking again without darks. It should help the mottling. Have a go at dithering. In APT it's a simple one click option. It will kill more noise. So with a 700d, I do: light with dither, bias and flat frames. Lose the dark. ISO800. HTH.

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I reckon your colour will come right. The first thing to attack is the gradient, which shows a strong red bias apart from the right hand edge and the top left corner. The top tool for this is Dynamic Background Extraction in PI but if you have Ps then there's a Russ Croman plug in called Gradient Xterminator which is a good second. The PI routine works on the linear image, Grad X on the stretched one.

Next you will never be able to process the colour globally on this one. You need to reduce saturation in the background to get it as neutral as possible (I like a background sky to be around 23/23/23 in RGB in Ps.)

But you will want to boost saturation in the galaxy, using the methods Tim suggests rather than the Saturation slider. This means usng a programme with Layers, so the different layers can be processed differently. (A simpler method would be to use the colour selection tool to find the background, drop the saturation in that, then select the inverse and boost the colour there.)



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