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How to reduce stars?

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I am currently having fun looking at nebula and galaxies, but a lot of my targets drown out in  a huge amount of stars.

Is there a ways to reduce the sheer number of stars, sine when i compare my shots to others mine often drown in stars.

Do i get some special filters? or is it and editing process?

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Star reduction is relatively straightforward to do in post, all of the major astro processing softwares have star reduction routines, and there techniques to do it in Photoshop or GIMP as well. Do a search on YouTube, you'll get loads of videos walking you though it.

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In photoshop at least:

Select > Colour Range  your stars.

Select > Expand selection to encompass the halos if any.

Filter > Minimise (make sure preserve roundness is selected) > go with 0.2 pixel reduction to begin with and see how you fare.

I'm sure other more experienced imagers will have something to add, but thats the basic process.

Should be a similar process in GIMP if you are using free software.

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A quick way I do it which gives a good result is to use starnett++

When I use my samyang 135mm f2 lens I get a sea of stars which drown out the nebula. I know it seems a bit daft to then reduce the amount of stars but for artistic reasons sometimes it is what I will do.

Basically i take my near finished image. Run starnet so I end up with an image without the stars and an image of just the stars. I then process the star image using say levels to basically clip a lot of the data so quite a few of the stars disappear. I then combine the two images to get an image with less stars.

Edited by Chefgage
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Thank you for the info,i am going to try and look in to it.
My goal is to eventually make nebula pictures, that have some texture and have a more 3 dimensional feeling to them.


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