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tooth_dr

Horsehead Nebula LRHaGB - first RGB from mono camera

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This is my first RGB image using a mono CCD >> plaqued by clouds, all the subs are affected, serious haze around the brighter star, but with literally no clear nights for a long time, I squeeze what I can in between the gaps.

So this is the details

L=16x300s

R=8x300s

Ha=18x600s

B=7x300s

G=6x300s

Processed in APP, manually aligned in PS as APP decided to not work, and adjusted in PS.

 

I think it went ok, but it anyone wants to chip in please feel free :D

 

Thanks as usual 

Adam

 

 

 

 

HH-2.jpg

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Very nice. The type of image that I aspire to!

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1 minute ago, Swoop1 said:

Very nice. The type of image that I aspire to!

Thanks. It was always my ambition to capture the HH Nebula too when I started out, there is nothing quite like it. 

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We can only dream......another cracking image Adam.

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Nice work Adam.   

How do you rate APP ??     

I'm thinking about buying a dedicated software package to help process my data.  With such limited opportunities to collect photons, it seems a shame not to maximise their potential in the image.     Photoshop is perfectly fine for what I am presently doing,  but  I am not too keen on the payment model ( ie £10 a month without any rebate for cloudy conditions.....!!!!! ), and it is a general purpose tool as opposed to dedicated programming.

I am trialing the demo version of Startools at the moment.  Taking a bit of getting used to, due to me not being that bright, but it is relatively cheap, is a one off purchase and the people that 'know' about these things ,  give a thumbs up.    APP seems to be a similar type of product.......   essentially it will do a good job on your data without needing a PhD in computing and does not cost the same price as a decent scope   (  ie,  PixInSight )

 

sean.

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10 hours ago, Craney said:

Nice work Adam.   

How do you rate APP ??     

I'm thinking about buying a dedicated software package to help process my data.  With such limited opportunities to collect photons, it seems a shame not to maximise their potential in the image.     Photoshop is perfectly fine for what I am presently doing,  but  I am not too keen on the payment model ( ie £10 a month without any rebate for cloudy conditions.....!!!!! ), and it is a general purpose tool as opposed to dedicated programming.

I am trialing the demo version of Startools at the moment.  Taking a bit of getting used to, due to me not being that bright, but it is relatively cheap, is a one off purchase and the people that 'know' about these things ,  give a thumbs up.    APP seems to be a similar type of product.......   essentially it will do a good job on your data without needing a PhD in computing and does not cost the same price as a decent scope   (  ie,  PixInSight )

 

sean.

APP - I couldn’t do without. It stacks everything I throw at it, and even registers my older DSLR stuff with new CCD stuff using fancy distortion modelling.

It doesn’t however replace PS completely and I would still spend a few hours in PS processing my data. However it comes out 90% done from APP.

It is a very worthy investment. 

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This image is beautiful - I like the way you've chosen to process it.

Alnitak is always difficult to manage and you've found a nice balance with the rest of the picture - well done 🙂

I note that you've presented the flame with considerably less "orange" than is normally seen - was this a choice or a result of good solid standard approach to processing?

If the former - again well done as it blends well in with the image and we haven't lost anything in the lack of orange - if the latter even better - I love good standard approaches to processing to keep my "artistic interpretations" in check 🤣

Again - I like it 🙂

David

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There's an awful lot to like in the image; focus, framing, control of Alnitak (just separated as a double) and more. Where I'd be working on it if were mine would be the colour balance. The entire image is reddened, affecting not just the colour of the Flame (which really is rather orange-yellow) but also the lovely blue reflection nebula NGC2023. Also the bright multiple star at the top is somewhat magenta, suggesting too much red/not enough green.  For a guess this global reddening may arise from the way in which you combined the Ha with the rest. I don't know how you go about this in APP but what does the colour look like in just RGB or LRGB?

Olly

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Beautiful image...I like the framing which captures the full length of the leading edge of nebulosity (IC434?) behind the horsehead, while also keeping the Flame in there! Perhaps a touch on the red side as others have mentioned...PS has tools to deal with this, maybe?

This is a long-standing target of mine...last night was a clear one but I kept my discipline and added a second full night of M45 data instead before it disappears behind the trees in my garden.

Great stuff!

 

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Well done Adam for your first RGB image from a mono ccd.

As Olly has commented, much to admire and you should be very pleased with this image.  My constructive feedback echos all of the points raised by Olly.  Correcting the colour balance would bring a terrific improvement.

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Thanks for the comments and advice @ollypenrice and @Barry-Wilson 

I didn't want to reply until I had a go at reprocessing it, but struggled, and so ended up not wanting to post the results here :(

I'll try again another time maybe.

 

 

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2 hours ago, tooth_dr said:

Thanks for the comments and advice @ollypenrice and @Barry-Wilson 

I didn't want to reply until I had a go at reprocessing it, but struggled, and so ended up not wanting to post the results here :(

I'll try again another time maybe.

 

 

Hi Adam

I'm surprised APP couldn't handle aligning the data. If you want, I don't mind having a go at it for you. We both might learn something in the process 😋 

As regards getting the colour balance right, I presume you weren't able to run 'Remove Light Pollution' and 'Star Color Calibration' in APP? The latter really helps to set the colour balance for RGB images correctly. 

You could even Re-import the manually aligned PS image back into APP to run the routines. Just remember, after running Star Colour Calibration, you still need to remove the Green. If it were me, I'd do this in PS using HLVG.

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4 hours ago, Xiga said:

Hi Adam

I'm surprised APP couldn't handle aligning the data. If you want, I don't mind having a go at it for you. We both might learn something in the process 😋 

As regards getting the colour balance right, I presume you weren't able to run 'Remove Light Pollution' and 'Star Color Calibration' in APP? The latter really helps to set the colour balance for RGB images correctly. 

You could even Re-import the manually aligned PS image back into APP to run the routines. Just remember, after running Star Colour Calibration, you still need to remove the Green. If it were me, I'd do this in PS using HLVG.

Hi Ciarán!

It was throwing up an error message but I since borrowed my friends gaming pc for a few weeks and the whole thing was processed in about 16 minutes!  Perhaps I overloaded my processor!

I didn’t run star colour calibration. The issue is the pale halo around the brighter stars due to high cloud.  The data collection conditions were not good.  Light pollution tool is removing this halo as LP and creating a really dark background with hard contrasts, it looks unpleasant!

I now have lots of stacks of Lum, R, G, B, RGB, Ha, and LHaRGB to play with! I can transfer them over to you ?

 

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5 hours ago, tooth_dr said:

Hi Ciarán!

It was throwing up an error message but I since borrowed my friends gaming pc for a few weeks and the whole thing was processed in about 16 minutes!  Perhaps I overloaded my processor!

I didn’t run star colour calibration. The issue is the pale halo around the brighter stars due to high cloud.  The data collection conditions were not good.  Light pollution tool is removing this halo as LP and creating a really dark background with hard contrasts, it looks unpleasant!

I now have lots of stacks of Lum, R, G, B, RGB, Ha, and LHaRGB to play with! I can transfer them over to you ?

 

Glad you got APP working for you Adam 😀 

I feel your pain as regards the conditions lately. Its been near impossible for me to get anything at all really these last 2 months. It sounds like gradient reduction might not work on this particular data set, but i would still expect the Star Color Calibration to do it's thing. 

Sure PM me links to the individual stacks (not the ones you've combined already) and I'll have a quick play with them this evening. If i find the data is usable then I'll let you know what settings I used in APP. 

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1 hour ago, Xiga said:

Glad you got APP working for you Adam 😀 

I feel your pain as regards the conditions lately. Its been near impossible for me to get anything at all really these last 2 months. It sounds like gradient reduction might not work on this particular data set, but i would still expect the Star Color Calibration to do it's thing. 

Sure PM me links to the individual stacks (not the ones you've combined already) and I'll have a quick play with them this evening. If i find the data is usable then I'll let you know what settings I used in APP. 

Hi Ciaran, I've emailed you the link to the stacked fits straight outta Compton (APP)

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Thats a cracker!!! Never got my head around LRGB, prefer OSC or mono Ha imaging myself....

Alan

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23 hours ago, tooth_dr said:

Hi Ciaran, I've emailed you the link to the stacked fits straight outta Compton (APP)

Hi Adam

I had a quick play with the data last night. I see what you mean about the conditions, they obviously weren't great. But here's my main takeaways:

1. The Green data looks weak. You might be better asking other mono imagers who have imaged the HH before, to find out if they usually up their Green exposures a bit (or just get more of them) compared to the others. The Flame Nebula we know is supposed to be an Orangey colour, and for this i think it needs a good bit of green data, so that could be the main problem you were having. 

2. Did the Red flats work ok? I thought i could see a large ring running around the periphery of the Red stack.

3. The Ha stack is rotated quite a lot from the other stacks, so a pretty big crop was needed (exactly as you have done). If i were in your position right now (i.e doing filter work with a mono camera, requiring multiple nights on the same target) i think i would prioritise something like SGP next. The importance of returning to your target, not only within a few pixels, but crucially within a fraction of a degree's rotation, cannot be stressed enough. FYI, i rotate manually in SGP and it usually only takes me 5 mins (10 at most) to get within 0.5 degrees. It's been a long time since i've used APT (my first acquisition program, so it will always hold a special place in my heart) so i don't know what tools it has for getting accurate rotation once it's done it's plate-solving. 

As for the processing, i first made a simple RGB combine file (so no Ha or Luminance at this stage) as we're only dealing with pure colour at this stage. On this I didn't run 'remove light pollution' in APP, but i did run 'calibrate background', as 'calibrate star colors' needs this to be ran first. It was hard finding areas of true sky background (or the closest to it) so i used the stretched Ha stack as a guide, and placed a few boxes on the areas that looked darkest on it. Here's how it came out:

CBG.thumb.JPG.9fe0897f214937d9019c60b9a8d0c14d.JPG

As you can see, the colour of the Flame is already starting to separate from the main Ha nebulosity.

Next up was 'calibrate star colors'. I'm not sure about this step myself if i'm being honest, i only have the Video Tutorial over on the APP website to go by. In the end, i had to use what felt like some crazy high numbers to get the right balance. I don't know if this is down to the fact that the data is so lacking in Green, or if i was just doing it wrong, but at least visually i thought it looked better. Anyways, here is the settings i used:

1735360932_SCC2.thumb.JPG.943524f513282deb5af1a6afeffca2a2.JPG

After this i popped in PS. I added your Super Lum file as Luminance, by adding it to the Brightness Channel in LAB mode. I then added the Ha to the Reds in blend mode Lighten. I then used a layer mask to layer in a small amount of Ha as Luminance but only around Alnitak, just to tame it a bit. Then it was just the usual stuff, HLVG, some saturation, a spot of sharpening, some NR, and added a bit of vibrancy. All in all probably about 30 mins in total. 

Hope that was of some use to you Adam. I've shown the output below, and thanks for letting me play with it, as i've never worked with an HaLRGB image before. 🙏

89366880_HHNebula_CoD.thumb.jpg.b071c04dc54f119dbf767a8fd5c5857e.jpg

Edited by Xiga
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@Xiga Ciaran

 

Thanks so much for taking time out to look at the data.

1.  I'll look into the green side of things, at the minute I'm just keeping things the same in terms of exposure.

2.  I'm using a single flat from the Ha filter.  I didn't taken any flats with other filters.  I noticed the ring, that will be the cause of that :o

3. The Ha stack was taken 4 months ago.  I have since repositioned my cameras, marked them and no longer move them.  That was why it is out.

 

It is significantly improved on my attempt.  One thing I notice is the large spicules of light around from Alnitak in my image.  You have removed these in your version.  How did you do that?

 

Best wishes

Adam

 

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In all the mono cameras I've had I've shot equal amounts of R,G and B.

Great job by Ciaran. I, too, apply Ha to red in Ps Blend Mode Lighten.

Olly

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By the way @tooth_dr rotating the camera really isn't that bad if your capture software can tell you the angle from a platesolve.

I do it manually in N.I.N.A. in the same manner i suspect Xiga does, not that bad!

I don't know what software you use for capture, but I would be happy to help you set up NINA if you don't feel like shelling out for SGP. It is really quite straight forward.. The framing and mosaic wizard will help you immensely with framing. :)

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8 hours ago, jjosefsen said:

I think this looks very good! So well done @tooth_dr and @Xiga!

@Xiga where did you do the main stretching? APP / PS ?

Cheers!

I tend to do the main big stretch in APP. Then any smaller curve adjustments in PS. 

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8 hours ago, tooth_dr said:

@Xiga Ciaran

 

Thanks so much for taking time out to look at the data.

1.  I'll look into the green side of things, at the minute I'm just keeping things the same in terms of exposure.

2.  I'm using a single flat from the Ha filter.  I didn't taken any flats with other filters.  I noticed the ring, that will be the cause of that :o

3. The Ha stack was taken 4 months ago.  I have since repositioned my cameras, marked them and no longer move them.  That was why it is out.

 

It is significantly improved on my attempt.  One thing I notice is the large spicules of light around from Alnitak in my image.  You have removed these in your version.  How did you do that?

 

Best wishes

Adam

 

Ah that makes sense then why the Ha was so off from the others. 

As for the area around Alnitak, you can see that the extreme glare and spicules of light that are present in all the other stacks, are not present in the Ha stack. So with the Ha stack, you basically already have a pre-made 'smaller stretch' Alnitak to call upon. So all i did was layer in the Ha in blend mode Luminosity, then masked out the whole layer, and then (using a low opacity, soft brush) gradually punched a whole around Alnitak through the mask until the glare was reduced just enough. 

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It's an easy job to set the camera orthogonal to RA and Dec by creating star trails during a slew in one axis and getting them horizontal or vertical. When I have to take off a camera I lock the mount in one position and attach a small bubble level to the camera. I can then put it back at just the same angle.

Olly

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