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First Ever Astrophoto


TerryJ
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Hi all,

Wasn't going to show this image at first but then thought "What the heck, just do it."  M42 for my first attempt, maybe should of tried something easier, but hey ho. Firstly, I do not have the greatest gear,  Skywatcher EQ3-2 goto mount, Celestron Nexstar 102slt, and started with a second hand Canon 450d EOS. Reason I say started with the Canon was that I left it switched on as I faffed about setting it all up, then went in for dinner and left it outside in the bitter cold, and it promptly died soon after, so I switched to Nikon D5300 dslr.

Thought I was good to go so started taking light frames with BackyardNikon software.  I took 32 lights  of 30 seconds at ISO 800 and 10 darks.  And then realised I was shooting jpeg only. Start again with RAW, Nikon battery dies....🙄( note to self, sort out constant power supply). Thats when I switched to a bit of visual observing so as to not waste the evening. 

Anyway, decided the next morning to stack the images in DSS and then process in GIMP just to practise.  Heres the result. Its not focused to well ( dodgy eyesight and first time with bahtinov mask), unguided, polar alignment wasn't fantastic ( too old to be grovelling around on the floor with a polar scope lit by mobile phone so I could see the reticle) and post processing is first time trying. But its my first go and therefore I am happy, and now hooked (wave goodbye to wallet).

Two images, one in colour and then converted to greyscale for fun

Thanks for looking,

Terry

m42_non_raw_crop.png

m42_non_raw_crop_bw.png

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Thank you Carole and Nigella, looking ahead to more clear skies, but not looking like anytime soon down here in Devon. So I will keep reading, watching YouTube and looking to improve.

Terry

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57 minutes ago, TerryJ said:

Thank you Carole and Nigella, looking ahead to more clear skies, but not looking like anytime soon down here in Devon. So I will keep reading, watching YouTube and looking to improve.

Terry

Where abouts in Devon? I'm in Devon, lol. The old saying is "where it rains 8 days out of 7" lol. 

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Great start to imaging! It's amazing how just seeing that first image appear from a few frames gets that 'wow, I took that!' amazement feeling going.

Definitely keep watching YouTube and most importantly checking here and asking questions so that the wallet doesn't get wasted on stuff you wont need!

Fingers crossed you get some clear nights! 

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It's funny how Beginners tend to go for Andromeda and M42, I did the same, I guess it's because it is so bright and easy to find, but M42 is one of the most tricky targets to process because of it's high dynamic range.  The Rosette Nebula is a much more suitable first time target, nice and bright, but no especially bright bits.

Carole 

Edited by carastro
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Nothing at all wrong with your equipment, and certainly nothing wrong
with your very first Image either Terry. There are so many Deep Sky targets, so you are 
quite ready to tackle many of them in your own time.
You have made an excellent start. 👍
Ron.

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Very nice and a great start. It does get expensive (and addictive) as you are probably aware. Lots of things you see that are "must" haves (equipment I mean).

Edited by TerryMcK
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That's a great start Terry! It's much better than my first images and my take on M42 which came later. 

Looks like you have a good signal to noise ratio (snr). Have a look at the YouTube video on applying a false luminance layer. It's shown in Photoshop, but gimp is so similar I'm sure it can be used for that too.

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