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Photoshop advice please..


skye at night
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Hello,

Still using an old version of PS elements I got with a printer or camera years ago...

So looking to upgrade ..

My options are either PS elements 8 or for around a little over twice the price PS CS4 extended....

Can anyone tell me what advantages cs4 may have over elements 8 in terms of AstroPhotography...

I am aware of some of the additional features for daytime and video, some of which I could make use of, and some not..

Purely wondering if Elements would be adequate for AP (I have Nebulosity also) and another package in mind for non-AP if so..

thanks

Steve

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Hi Steve, I was using elements version 7 and have just upgraded to CS4 not the extended version as I could not see any benefits in the extended features.

The principal reasons for the upgrade were:-

1) CS4 will take the HDR output files from DSS whereas they must be saved as 16 bit files for elements.

2) Elements does not have the curves tool.

3) Most people at the Sunderland AS use photoshop so I can get help if I am stuck.

Andy

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Steve,

Just to throw something into the mix: do you definitely need Photoshop? Is there anything it does which Gimp doesn't do for free? In particular, have a look at Gimpshop: a version of free Gimp designed to look and feel just like Photoshop. There's a really good chance that will do what you need.

Of course, you might want to do some very esoteric stuff, in which case you'll probably be answering your own question: the more complex and unusual an imaging process is, the more expensive a verison of PS you usually need.

PS Gimp has all that good stuff like a Curves tool, and there are LOADS of tutorials online.

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Hi Steve,

I've been using PS CS3 since its release and when I come to purchase another license for work we ended up going with Elements (version 7 I think) but purchasing adobe lightroom too.

I'm not sure how advanced your PS skills are, but I've found elements fine for most day to day. Lightroom seems more suited to my workflow though, although I'm still getting used to it at the moment.

It's still possible to edit levels on a per channel basis etc. The only main annoyance is lack of CMYK colour space and 16bit functionality. If you're planning on doing print work or High dynamic range overlays then this may be an issue.

But since PSE can be had for around £50 whereas PS CS4 is more like £500, I'd stick with Elements.

HTH

Michael

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In April 2009, I bought a CS3 Extended from Amazon for £136.

Photoshop 10, Adobe Illustrated, Adobe Encore3, Adobe Premiere Pro,In Design, Adobe Bridge, and more. Automatic Updates on all progs. Incredible bargain. I couldn't believe the price at the time.

Ron.:icon_eek:

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There is a very good plug in for PS elements and Noel Carboni does a version of his tools for elements although it isn't as powerful as the PS version.

Not up to speed with the latest versions of elements so I will tell you what I use most in PS beyond histogram stretching tools. I think it is best to draw up a spec and assess any software against that

A plug in for FITS but not essential because you can covert to TIFF before transferring. Selection tools complete with an ability to expand, contract and feather the selection. Minimum filter for reducing star bloat. Layers - very powerful and versatile, you can do a huge amount with layers and masks. I wouldn't be without. Gaussian blurring, unsharp mask.

Russ Croman's gradient exterminator is a very effective and easy to use tool for removing gradients.

The thing that PS doesn't have is point spread function including deconvolution.

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Martin, sorry but have to ask..... What on earth is deconvolution?:icon_eek:

It is a very powerful sharpening tool. It can produce better results than any other sharpening method with the right image and a bit of care.

Stars should be points of light. The fact that they aren't is down to the blurring effect of the atmosphere. Deconvolution takes a section across a star and looks at the brightness profile. It then works out the mathematical correction required for the star to look as it should do (creating something called a point spread function) and then applies this to every pixel in the image. Theoretically it eliminates the blurring effect of the atmosphere, it doesn't of course but it is has a go. It does it in small iterations and so you can control how far to push it. There are different methods which, I think, use the point spread function in different ways e.g. Lucy Richardson, Maximum entropy and positive constraint.

Maxim, AstroArt, CCDstac, ImagesPlus all have deconvolution routines. CCDsharp is a stand alone deconvolution tool which is free and works very well.

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Thanks All...

Still unsure though.

TBH I think it all comes down to whether PSE 8 has curves or not! a fact I have as far been unable to determine....

But I think Elements 8 along with Nebulosity should suit as i have as far managed with Elements 3 and Nebulosity..

Thanks

Steve

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Can't help you there I'm afraid. PSE 7 has limited curves (RGB only not individual channels) but you can shift levels on individual channels.

Best suggestion would be to download the trail software and have a play. Be sure to report back though as I guess a few folk'll be interested.

Cheers,

Michael

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The main difference is the bit depth... at least with the older versions of elements and gimp. They are 8 bit, whereas PS is 16 bit. This makes a big difference with how far you can stretch the data... Of course you can stretch it in DSS first then load it to elements. Martin, I read somewhere that the smart sharpen tool, to correct lens blur is a form of deconvolution.

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I totally agree with Martin's list and with the point that curves is essential, 100%, and not live-able without. It is THE tool. (I must pester you Martin, when you come down, because I can never get a grain of bemefit from deconvolution in Astro Art!)

Olly

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I totally agree with Martin's list and with the point that curves is essential, 100%, and not live-able without. It is THE tool. (I must pester you Martin, when you come down, because I can never get a grain of bemefit from deconvolution in Astro Art!)

Olly

I've heard that the AstroArt deconvolve is pretty good. I'm now using CCD stack which works well. With all the fancy layer and mask techniques, high pass filters and smart sharpening I guess you can happily manage without. We'll put it to the test!

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I look forward to the report Steve.

Martin, is there anywhere on the interweb that has deconvolution tutorials or examples of before and after using different techniques? I'm a little discombobulated over here...:icon_eek:

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