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Melotte 15 bicolour (28 hours) - redux


x6gas
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It had been a long time since I'd processed narrowband data so I was very encouraged by the response to the image of Melotte 15 that I posted a couple of weeks ago - thank you for all the comments and likes which were much appreciated.

I was really happy with that image when I posted it but as I've lived with it I began to dislike that the central column of gas (that some call the dancing man - but I can also see what looks like a peacock in there!) was so yellow and it also began to look a bit blocky and unrefined.

Thanks to some great advice from @ollypenrice and @Martin-Devon I've done a couple of reprocesses and each time, I think, improved the result.  Now I still think @swag72's version sets the bar, and my rendition comes nowhere near matching hers but I've been over this data so many times that I am calling this finished.

I have, though, learnt so much processing this data (which is the same as before: 10 hours of Ha in 600s subs and a further 18 hours of OIII in 1200s subs) and it makes me want to go back and reprocess a lot of the other narrowband targets that I've never really been happy with!

Anyway, here is the reprocessed version:

486558383_Mel15bicolourv8.thumb.png.49e2bfe84a2c716f08b45e4277ea48a3.png

Same kit, obviously, but for completeness: TS Optics 130 Apo; iOptron CEM40; Atik OAG with QHY5L II; Atik EFW2 with 5nm Ha and 3nm OIII Astrodon filters; Atik 460 ex.  Captured using SGPro and processed using PixInsight and PS.

Thanks for looking,

Ian

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That's a truly cracking rendition. The contrast between acute sharpness in the gas/dust structures and smoothness in the background brings the structures forward and makes them look three dimensional. It also draws the eye towards the features of interest. And all of this is achieved without the image looking processed at all. (The holy grail of processing.)

I reckon you've extracted all that your data had to give and stopped a gnat's crotchet short of exaggeration. Spot on.

Olly

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Ian, that's a brilliant version of Melotte 15, top drawer, the details in the nebulosity and the subtle but effective palette have come through superbly, I also like the handling of the stars, no halos, no sharp edges, just lovely and natural - overall an excellent image, take a bow!

Martin

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9 hours ago, x6gas said:

It had been a long time since I'd processed narrowband data so I was very encouraged by the response to the image of Melotte 15 that I posted a couple of weeks ago - thank you for all the comments and likes which were much appreciated.

I was really happy with that image when I posted it but as I've lived with it I began to dislike that the central column of gas (that some call the dancing man - but I can also see what looks like a peacock in there!) was so yellow and it also began to look a bit blocky and unrefined.

Thanks to some great advice from @ollypenrice and @Martin-Devon I've done a couple of reprocesses and each time, I think, improved the result.  Now I still think @swag72's version sets the bar, and my rendition comes nowhere near matching hers but I've been over this data so many times that I am calling this finished.

I have, though, learnt so much processing this data (which is the same as before: 10 hours of Ha in 600s subs and a further 18 hours of OIII in 1200s subs) and it makes me want to go back and reprocess a lot of the other narrowband targets that I've never really been happy with!

Anyway, here is the reprocessed version:

486558383_Mel15bicolourv8.thumb.png.49e2bfe84a2c716f08b45e4277ea48a3.png

Same kit, obviously, but for completeness: TS Optics 130 Apo; iOptron CEM40; Atik OAG with QHY5L II; Atik EFW2 with 5nm Ha and 3nm OIII Astrodon filters; Atik 460 ex.  Captured using SGPro and processed using PixInsight and PS.

Thanks for looking,

Ian

Trully amazing!!scared-emoticon-with-a-dropped-jaw-vecto

Roger

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11 hours ago, ollypenrice said:

That's a truly cracking rendition. The contrast between acute sharpness in the gas/dust structures and smoothness in the background brings the structures forward and makes them look three dimensional. It also draws the eye towards the features of interest. And all of this is achieved without the image looking processed at all. (The holy grail of processing.)

 

2 hours ago, Martin-Devon said:

Ian, that's a brilliant version of Melotte 15, top drawer, the details in the nebulosity and the subtle but effective palette have come through superbly, I also like the handling of the stars, no halos, no sharp edges, just lovely and natural - overall an excellent image, take a bow!

Thank you very much Olly and Martin.  The improvement is largely due to the sage advice you've kindly given me - directly on this image, but immeasurably in lots of ways over the years.  I was really struggling to improve this image and as you know felt I'd hit a brick wall.  You've both helped me to understand what it was I felt I was missing and how to begin to address it and I really am grateful. :icon_salut:

Thanks again, Ian

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3 hours ago, newbie alert said:

That's probably one of the best, if not the best merlotte 15 that I've seen..  superb ...Dusty, smooth, sharp, contrasty, not over saturated... the list goes on

Thanks very much for the comment @newbie alert.  I really, really appreciate that.

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Thank you Roger (@ApophisAstros)!  Thank you @MarkAR!  Really appreciate it.  I don't think I have ever spent so long on a single data set but as I said I learnt so much processing this data that I am sure will help with future images.

Really appreciate you taking the time to comment :icon_salut:.

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1 hour ago, ultranova said:

Blimey that's a draw dropper,

Congratulations on gathering and processing the data so well.

wall hanger for sure.

well done 

Paul

Thanks Paul - much appreciated.

To be honest gathering the data was the easy bit!  I neglected to mention in this thread but I captured the data back in January / February.  I was essentially doing an extended test of how well my new CEM40 was able to handle my 130mm refractor... and the answer was pretty well as I didn't lose a single sub to bad guiding.  Unfortunately I then had a nasty accident at home that resulted in a severe concussion and I wasn't allowed any screen time so couldn't process the data straight away.  Whether it was the bang on the head or just a busy work-life I sort of forgot that I had the data but when I did the pre-processing it was obvious that the data was good.  That was part of the reason for trying to get the most out of it that I could as I knew I had no excuses there...

It's a lovely target that even show up well at shortish focal lengths and I do encourage people to have a go if you've not tried it before.

Thanks again, Ian

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9 hours ago, rubecula said:

That's a truly beautiful image. @ollypenrice's comments say it all.

Ah well I have to thank you too, Robin, for your encouragement and thoughts on the various iterations - always good to have an independent opinion on whether you're heading in the right direction!

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