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oldannie

New to CCD imaging - help with processing please!

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My first two attempts at imaging using a CCD set up resulted in lots of star trailing and other odd artefacts on quite a few subs.  (and lots of frustration!) Eventually I discovered a faulty connection between filter wheel and power so  last night decided on a short image run in the hope that a new cable resolved the issues. Though not the ideal fov for Takahashi fsq 106ed and Atik mono 460ex after reading another thread I decided to have a go at the Heart nebula - 12x300sec Ha and 4x300sec each for RGB. It looks as though a new cable was what was needed.  No sign of trailing or any other odd artefacts. Have stacked and aligned in DSS, processed the stacked Ha in PS cc and merged the RGB channels in PS.  Is my processing of the Ha somewhere near what it should be?  Also have not had any success processing the merged RGB - I can't seem to get much definition and wonder if that's something to do with the fov or just poor processing skills?  Am attaching the unprocessed merged RGB - is it possible to glean anything from this.   Unfortunately my broadband speed is so low that uploading anything other than JPEG's is nigh impossible.   

I was hoping to use this image to practice other techniques and was thinking I would try blending the Ha with the red channel?  Should I then use the Ha again as luminance? Am in any case going on to re-visit Carole's excellent u-tube videos which cover some of this.

Annie

 

Autosave_Herart_duplicate_16bit copy_JPEG.jpg

Untitled-1 copy_RGB_merge copy_JPEG.jpg

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I'm sure your colour layer has more to give. I doubt that it can be considered fully stretched as it stands.  Once you have the dark background up to a reasonable level (at least 20 in Ps) you can stretch it further in Curves by pinning the background sky at 20, putting in a fixing point below that and lifting the curve above these points.

The worst way to intensify the colour is to use the saturation tool. It provokes lots of noise. Try these:

!) Go to Image-Mode and convert to Lab colour. Go to Channels and activate the 'a' channel. Go to Image Adjustments, Brightness and Contrast and up the contrast by a lot, say 40. Do exactly the same for 'b' channel then reconvert to RGB mode.

2) Make 3 copy layers. Set the blend mode in the top layer to Soft Light and flatten it onto the middle layer. Set the blend mode on this to colour and flatten.

I add Ha to red in blend mode lighten. (The blend mode is crucial.) I may add a tiny bit as luminance at a maximum of 15% opacity but Ha is deep red so it is clearly false to light the whole image in red light.

Olly

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Thanks Olly - the colour image is entirely unprocessed.  I rarely use saturation.  The rest is new to me and am looking forward to having a go at that and will post my result.  Don't hold your breath though as I'm a slow learner - well with deep sky imaging I am!!

Cheers

Annie

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I had a go at the process Olly kindly outlined for me but for some reason couldn't get it to work for me so tried another way and came up with this result though not sure about it.  I will have another go at the way Olly suggested as it should work and would like to find out where I went wrong.

Heart_Block_firstprocess copy_JPEG.jpg

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