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Hello everyone!
These are my first DSO photos. Also, this is the second time I've used Adobe Photoshop.😁 
My purpose for this thread is to share with you my first try and to gather constructive feedback, to help me improve my skills (use of equipment, stacking, image processing, etc.)


M31 - Andromeda Galaxy
Imaging telescope: William Optics Zenithstar 61
Imaging camera: Canon 450D
Mount: ES EXOS-2 PMC8 (unguided)
Field Flattener: William Optics ZS61 A
Software: DSS, Siril and Adobe Photoshop
Lights: 75 x 60s ISO 800
Darks: 15
Flats: 20
Bias: 20

Andromeda 07.11.20.tif

 

M45 - Pleiades
Imaging telescope: William Optics Zenithstar 61
Imaging camera: Canon 450D
Mount: ES EXOS-2 PMC8 (unguided)
Field Flattener: William Optics ZS61 A
Software: DSS, Siril and Adobe Photoshop
Lights: 60 x 60s ISO 800
Darks: 15
Flats: 20
Bias: 20

Pleiades 07.11.20.tif

 

I appreciate any kind of feedback!


Thank you,
Vlad

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Usually we post JPEGs directly on the forum and links to full resolution files if we're asking for a more detailed analysis. Some members don't like downloading files from unknown sources and some (like me!) have slow internet connections.

Olly

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2 hours ago, ollypenrice said:

Usually we post JPEGs directly on the forum and links to full resolution files if we're asking for a more detailed analysis. Some members don't like downloading files from unknown sources and some (like me!) have slow internet connections.

Olly

 Didn't think about it. I'm sorry about that.

Here are the resized pictures

1179402763_Andromeda07_11_20.thumb.jpg.1ad9dc82c39037d8ee07cde94985c3f4.jpg

 

692694994_Pleiades07_11_20.thumb.jpg.4e0495fd3d2a01f5b74d1f0bcd6e87b6.jpg

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Those are super first images. You might want to up the number of calibration files a bit and include dark flats. I'm feeling the blue is a little intense. There's a couple StarGaZine episodes you might like to watch on processing, plus as you are using Photoshop Dark Art or Magic Bullet book is quite handy.

Nice setup with your telescope.

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3 hours ago, michael.h.f.wilkinson said:

Really nice first images. I would be very happy with that. More exposures helps reduce noise and bring out even more detail. The framing of M31 is very nice, M45 could be framed a bit better

Thank you for your kind words and for your advice.

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That's a great start. In Photoshop the Eyedropper menu has a Colour Sampler Tool. Set this at the top to 3x3 radius or 5x5 and you can put four sample points on the background sky around your image. It must be background without nebulosity. The info palette will then show the readings in red, green and blue for your background. I aim for 23/23/23 for a neutral background and this also gives an idea of the image's overall colour balance.

Olly

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12 minutes ago, happy-kat said:

Those are super first images. You might want to up the number of calibration files a bit and include dark flats. I'm feeling the blue is a little intense. There's a couple StarGaZine episodes you might like to watch on processing, plus as you are using Photoshop Dark Art or Magic Bullet book is quite handy.

Nice setup with your telescope.

I will go with more calibration files for the next session. I guess StarGaZine is a YouTube channel.

Thank you so much!

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3 minutes ago, ollypenrice said:

That's a great start. In Photoshop the Eyedropper menu has a Colour Sampler Tool. Set this at the top to 3x3 radius or 5x5 and you can put four sample points on the background sky around your image. It must be background without nebulosity. The info palette will then show the readings in red, green and blue for your background. I aim for 23/23/23 for a neutral background and this also gives an idea of the image's overall colour balance.

Olly

Great! I'll keep that in mind.
Thank you!

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These are great first images, well done! You should be proud of them, it's onwards and upwards from here. This is often up for debate, but I personally wouldn't use dark frames for calibration with a DSLR due to the fact they need to be taken at the same exact temperature as the light frames. That's tough with an uncooled sensor as it will fluctuate noticeably throughout the night. 

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Oh wowsers!  That is an amazingly good first astro image, M45 is good but it is M31 is extremely impressive.  It is actually a very difficult object to process and I think you have nailed it.  The core looks very luminous (people often overdo the HDR processing) and the colour looks good.  You have avoided the temptation of over cooking the data, a big "well done" for that.  

As you progress you will become a data junkie and will start gathering multiple hours of data.  This will allow stretch the histogram without introducing noise.  So my advice would be to carry on as you have started aiming to do longer imaging runs.

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It took me ages to produce images as good as those. I don’t know what you’re doing right but whatever it is keep doing it! :) You can only get better.  Guiding or better alignment would help to make the stars rounder, but you probably realise that. You will then be able to take longer exposures at a lower ISO. The 450D noise is marginally better at 200 and 400ISO. I don’t use darks now either. I prefer to dither between subs and just take as many subs as I can.  It always seems such a waste of good sky time taking darks when I could be taking lights. As already said  M31 is tricky because of the intensity range between the bright core and outer regions. It’s taken me three goes to get anything I was even vaguely happy with. 

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3 hours ago, Phillyo said:

These are great first images, well done! You should be proud of them, it's onwards and upwards from here. This is often up for debate, but I personally wouldn't use dark frames for calibration with a DSLR due to the fact they need to be taken at the same exact temperature as the light frames. That's tough with an uncooled sensor as it will fluctuate noticeably throughout the night. 

3 hours ago, MartinB said:

Oh wowsers!  That is an amazingly good first astro image, M45 is good but it is M31 is extremely impressive.  It is actually a very difficult object to process and I think you have nailed it.  The core looks very luminous (people often overdo the HDR processing) and the colour looks good.  You have avoided the temptation of over cooking the data, a big "well done" for that.  

As you progress you will become a data junkie and will start gathering multiple hours of data.  This will allow stretch the histogram without introducing noise.  So my advice would be to carry on as you have started aiming to do longer imaging runs.

2 hours ago, Ouroboros said:

It took me ages to produce images as good as those. I don’t know what you’re doing right but whatever it is keep doing it! :) You can only get better.  Guiding or better alignment would help to make the stars rounder, but you probably realise that. You will then be able to take longer exposures at a lower ISO. The 450D noise is marginally better at 200 and 400ISO. I don’t use darks now either. I prefer to dither between subs and just take as many subs as I can.  It always seems such a waste of good sky time taking darks when I could be taking lights. As already said  M31 is tricky because of the intensity range between the bright core and outer regions. It’s taken me three goes to get anything I was even vaguely happy with. 

 I'm so glad I made a good impression.🤩 I thought M31 is a failure, with that bright stain in the lower right. Now, all that positive feedback made me happy.😊

I'll consider stacking with no darks as you have suggested and also lowering the ISO. The next step is to get some gear for guiding.

Thank you all for your feedback. I really appreciate it!

 

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