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Struggling with Post Processing, any Help appreciated


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Hi All,

I'm still very new to this and enjoying the challenge & feel like I'm doing things correctly I'm framing fine, plate solving assisted, guiding seems to be going fine so on paper things should be improving but something that is consistently causing me doubts and questions is the post processing, I'm currently trying various flavours of stacking and post processing and tend to default to DSS and GIMP but the results are variable to say the least and I find GIMP is not very intuitive.

I wonder if there is anyone out there that fancies a challenge to see what they can do with the data I've collected ? I'm at the point of wondering if my captured input data is shocking or my post processing is shocking (probably both), I'm hoping that maybe someone can say "your input data is awful because XYZ"

The data below was collected under a bright moon on an unmodified 1300d DSLR, 3min guided exposures at ISO800 and I basically couldn't get anything out of it 😞

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/dsncqroqz2snxd3/AAB56eKYB-h8kAcahdRrjz-1a?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/wse6k0hcgsfmm4j/AAAX_0qB1nQmlYWrEgSwOwoLa?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/4lztkz9d0zauekg/AAC6Ar_nUtKIcdVmlpjKTwioa?dl=0

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The winner of the last imaging process challenge (super image) used PS and shared the steps they had used for a particularly tricky bit. Affinity, GIMP, Paintshop Pro and PS I think are pretty similar

There are three links above.

I am relatively new to astrophotography too.  But i thought i would give this a go as i see it as practice! 😀 I noticed that you do not have any flats.  This would address the dust bunnies/motes t

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22 minutes ago, Chefgage said:

Just had a quick look.  The first link to your lights is empty?? 

The Lights should be there now..... Thanks for taking a look.

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I am on a slow connection at the moment so cannot really download all the image (i will later).  When you say you cannot get anything out of it have you managed to stack all the images?  If you have managed to do some processing in GIMP for exmple can you post up the image here so we can see.

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17 minutes ago, Chefgage said:

I am on a slow connection at the moment so cannot really download all the image (i will later).  When you say you cannot get anything out of it have you managed to stack all the images?  If you have managed to do some processing in GIMP for exmple can you post up the image here so we can see.

Hey no worries, I appreciate you taking time out to take a look, will be interesting to see what you make of it, Yes all stacked using DSS, i actually deleted all the attempts to clear space because I wasn't happy with them, I can see the Nebula is there but I dont have the skills to bring it out.

Either way if anyone can get something half decent out of the data I know its my Post Processing i need to focus on or if everyone says the data is awful i can then focus on improving the acquisition. My suspicion is both need a lot of work.

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Just picking up on what to process with and for example this super image was processed by hand, though using PS it's likely GIMP would have the tools. They even kindly shared the method for taming the bright star.

https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/372988-iko-ic59-ic63-ghost-of-cassiopeia-data-winners/?do=findComment&comment=4048780

A quick Google found a post of topaz denoise (mentioned in linked post) in GIMP.

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I am relatively new to astrophotography too.  But i thought i would give this a go as i see it as practice! 😀

I noticed that you do not have any flats.  This would address the dust bunnies/motes that you have on your images (fairly visible once stacked) and also give you a consistent illuminated image. 

Anyhow - this is my very poor attempt.  Stacked in APP and tinkered with a little bit in Photoshop.  

The more experienced AP's amongst us will work their magic on this i am sure!

 

Clear skies,

Jonny

 

Capture.JPG

Edited by Jonny_H
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1 hour ago, Jonny_H said:

I noticed that you do not have any flats.  This would address the dust bunnies/motes that you have on your images (fairly visible once stacked) and also give you a consistent illuminated image. 

Nice one & Thanks for taking the time to have a go, yours does seem to pop a bit more than my efforts but I see you have the same lens cast/vignetting to the right of the DSO, out of interest what PP software are you using  ? 

I’ve tried flats but I need a better method than what I’m doing as I seem to get dark banding at the top of the image and not consistent enough and they have made processing worse, so until I can get consistent “flat” frames I put up with the artefacts.

I did try using iPad at the weekend but blinking screen kept changing when the scope/T-shirt touched it !!!!

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49 minutes ago, Newforestgimp said:

Nice one & Thanks for taking the time to have a go, yours does seem to pop a bit more than my efforts but I see you have the same lens cast/vignetting to the right of the DSO, out of interest what PP software are you using  ? 

I’ve tried flats but I need a better method than what I’m doing as I seem to get dark banding at the top of the image and not consistent enough and they have made processing worse, so until I can get consistent “flat” frames I put up with the artefacts.

I did try using iPad at the weekend but blinking screen kept changing when the scope/T-shirt touched it !!!!

No worries. As I said it isn't the best as I am new to this myself. I am in fact having a similar issue with my images on NGC2023 and M42 but I think I have found out what the issue is (I believe I had over exposed my flats) although waiting for confirmation from the guru's of this forum.

Definitely a steep learning curve this hobby! Unfortunately with the British weather we don't get many opportunities to practice! 

Re: Software - I used Astro Pixel Processor (APP) for stacking and an old version of PS (CS3) for the tweaking.

Edited by Jonny_H
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I hear you !

im thinking I might need to get something like APP or PS. There seems to be a lot of tutorials with Photoshop and the ones I’ve watched for gimp always seem to compare with what you do in PS. 

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I too am very new to the hobby i had a quick go blew the stars out a bit 🤣 the data s there tho just needs some work

sgl2.jpg

Edited by Paul779
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Nice One, Thankyou.

Interested to know what you both thought about the data when processing it ? did you have thoughts like WTAF is this ? or about the same as you're used to processing ? etc, be brutal, I dont want to spend years trying to process stuff that Trevor AstroBackyard wouldn't be able to get anything from 🤦‍♂️

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1 hour ago, Newforestgimp said:

Nice One, Thankyou.

Interested to know what you both thought about the data when processing it ? did you have thoughts like WTAF is this ? or about the same as you're used to processing ? etc, be brutal, I dont want to spend years trying to process stuff that Trevor AstroBackyard wouldn't be able to get anything from 🤦‍♂️

I didnt think it was to bad,but to be fair i ve only been doing this since August last year so i dont think im the best judge of your data. But i think the Moon is the biggest problem, after stacking it looked really washed out i used PS and LR to get to the image above, im currently messing with Startools i had ago in that but was a struggle still got lots to learn myself. 

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Hi all, 

Ben reading the recent posts regarding processing and I use DSS and Gimp only because they are free. I recently bought a Gimp tutorial book which wasn't cheap to help me out which I am gradually working through. Can anybody say that Gimp is as good as PS and it's just me learning all the ins and out of imaging? 

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I find the PS you tube tutorials easier to follow but hard to translate into Gimp and the guys teaching all seem to refer back to PS “like you would do in PS” well I’ve never used PS so pointless, and I’m reluctant to sign up to a monthly subscription for PS, I’m considering Afinity Photo as it’s a one off payment but it looks worryingly like gimp.

tried startools can’t for the life of me get anything worthwhile out of it, easy workflow in theory.

had some successes with SIRIL, love the stacking scripts & photometry colour balance (when it works).

recently tried sequator fab stacking and it made the best M42 stack for me and REALLY fast. Will be a keeper for sure.

nebulosity is labour intensive but could well be one for future when my data is better and I know more about what I’m doing.

so as I say I tend to default to DSS & gimp.

APP seems to be the gold standard but boy it’s expensive, might have a look at demo version.

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1 hour ago, Newforestgimp said:

I find the PS you tube tutorials easier to follow but hard to translate into Gimp and the guys teaching all seem to refer back to PS “like you would do in PS” well I’ve never used PS so pointless, and I’m reluctant to sign up to a monthly subscription for PS, I’m considering Afinity Photo as it’s a one off payment but it looks worryingly like gimp.

tried startools can’t for the life of me get anything worthwhile out of it, easy workflow in theory.

had some successes with SIRIL, love the stacking scripts & photometry colour balance (when it works).

recently tried sequator fab stacking and it made the best M42 stack for me and REALLY fast. Will be a keeper for sure.

nebulosity is labour intensive but could well be one for future when my data is better and I know more about what I’m doing.

so as I say I tend to default to DSS & gimp.

APP seems to be the gold standard but boy it’s expensive, might have a look at demo version.

You can get a free download of one of the older versions of photoshop (CS2 from memory).

Someone posted it up on this forum a while ago so I will see if I can find it for you.  Nowhere near as advanced as the latest version I'm sure but hey, it's free!

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A mate of mine who's into photography primarily but also likes astronomy swears by photo shop and lightroom and says the monthly fee is justified by the fact that he gets regular updates and it is constantly being updated, in that case ok but you've got to be doing a lot of processing to make it worthwhile, another reason why I'm trying Gimp, maybe my initial image isn't good enough, perhaps, all part of the learning curve as they say!

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