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Ben Ritchie

Another double cluster, feedback on processing welcome!

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Here's a double cluster from last night ... 40x360s (i.e. four hours total), ST-4000XCM at -22C, AP130EDT @ 1.7"/pixel, shown uncropped at 50% size. Moderate transparency with some high mist/haze and (i'd estimate) moderate seeing. 10x360s darks median combined, no flats. Calibrated in AstroArt v4, abused in Photoshop CS3 on OSX10.5 ... feedback on the processing very welcome, because I find myself really struggling with it at the moment (and if anybody competent wants a go with the original data you'd be very welcome! I think this could be processed much better. PM me.).

Still have a few flattener spacing issues which were fixed by a mild lens-correction filter in CS3, but I really need to crop the corners to remove the after-effects.

dblCluster_test.jpg

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Ben I think the processing looks perfect.

Simply amazing.

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Ben, I was taken aback by this image when I opened it, great focus and colour, and a great immediacy to it.

What are your concerns regarding the processing?

Cheers

Rob

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Stunning Ben. One of the best double clusters I've seen. Interested in the long exposure time. I had a go at this recently and used much shorter subs because I was worried about saturating the brighter stars but yours is way better than my effort, much more dynamic so the longer subs are definitely better.

As for processing, you have got to the stage of dancing around on the head of a pin. It looks beautifully done. You can certainly take liberties tweaking the saturation of stars and so on when you don't have background nebulosity to worry about and I think your liberties have paid off.

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I'm with the others. Your image looks immediately appealing. The star colours just jump out, they are stunning! One of the best double cluster images i've seen.

It's funny, i always thought this would be one of the easiest targets in the sky to image but my attempts always fell flat. And i'm not alone. Almost everytime i see a double cluster image i just feel it's lacking something. But as Martin has said, you've managed to capture a real intensity to the stars and their colour without over saturating them. And maintain a wonderful velvet black background.

Fantastic!!!!

Russ

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Ben,

Lovely star colour in a superb image.

You're concerns on processing are unfounded.

A true classic and a strong contender for Image of the Week (IMHO).

Barry.

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Thank you everybody, your comments are greatly appreciated - i've felt for the last year or so that i'm stuck in a rut with imaging and not getting anywhere, especially with processing which is still largely a mystery to me. Hopefully things are starting to come together (although the processing of this still left me with more questions than answers :smiley: ) .

I have the full size 2048x2048 version of this, which is interesting - the problems are more apparent at full scale. I'd post it but it would instantly suck up my meagre bandwidth, if anyone can host it i'll put it up.

Interested in the long exposure time. I had a go at this recently and used much shorter subs because I was worried about saturating the brighter stars but yours is way better than my effort, much more dynamic so the longer subs are definitely better.

My view is that with open clusters you'll saturate the bright stars come what may (unless you go really short) so you might as well accept that, do what you can at the processing stage and go long to bring out the background, makes them look a bit more interesting. Need to be slightly careful though if the cluster's in a rich field and/or not that remarkable, I tried 12x600s of M103 and the cluster pretty much disappeared into the background...

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It works on my Mac, but I have to click on the image that appears from the URL to get the full sized one, I don't know how to go direct...

edit: ah, i'm getting 1600x1600 for some reason, don't know quite what I did :smiley:

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Just caught up with one Ben, and I think you are doing yourself an injustice.

Its a beautifully captured image, well processed, and certainly nor deserving of any criticism.

Sometimes in our struggle to achieve the impossible (perfection), we can get too self critical, which considering the poor to average conditions that we image under here in the UK, is in many cases, unjustified.

Nice work!!

Dave

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Hi Ben , that is one beautiful image , dont touch it , on my screen it has a touch of sparkle and draws u into the image . so the processing to me looks great ,i would be well pleased if that was my image .

Excellent work.

Rog

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It's a terrific image of the Double Cluster Ben.

The only thing I would mention, is that I found that the 'Increase Star Colour' action separates the stars into blue and gold which seems a tad artificial- however that is only really a matter of taste!

Regards

Mark

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