Digital Photo Magazine Star Field Tutorial

One of our members tried the interesting Photoshop tutorial about star field images, in the March issue of Digital Photo magazine. It’s all about capturing a night sky image in RAW file format and then processing it, so you can use it as background in a finished composition, or just as an astronomy night sky image.

First step was to download the (free) Adobe RAW file plugin for Photoshop, together with their DNG (digital negative converter) to convert the .CR2 files from the Canon camera. Some version juggling and a couple of hours, was needed to make it work with an older version of Photoshop. But it did!

Applying the suggestions from the magazine to a night sky image already taken and already on the laptop, it was encouraging. First stage only, but below is the star field image produced, ready for use in an image composition.

And below the processed image, there is a small section cropped from the BEFORE version of the same image, to the same scale.

AFTER

Processed Star Field Image

Processed Star Field Image

BEFORE

Section of the  same image BEFORE processing

Section of the same image BEFORE processing

IC443 Image (the ‘Jellyfish’ nebula)

IC443 the Jellyfish Nebula by G Caller

Image of IC443 by Graham Caller

Another excellent image by our member Graham Caller. This time it’s IC443 also called the Jellyfish Nebula.  It’s a supernova remnant in the constellation of Gemini.

Click the thumbnail image above for a larger version, though note that this has been reduced in resolution for the web.  The original is even more impressive.

Graham comments:

Last week was IC443 week. A couple of clear nights and I grabbed 8 hours worth of 15mins subs. Topped up this week with another 2.5 hours to improve the signal to noise ratio further.
Resultant image stacked in PixInsight and processed.

Oh! this was taken using an Ha filter.

We are hoping Graham will give us a lecture in the future, on his astroimaging techniques.

Dumbell, Cigar, Triangulum, Orion, Pleiades and Moon Images

Here is a collection of astronomical images captured by our member Simon Powell. (click each thumbnail for a larger version of the image)

All were taken using a Skywatcher 200PDS telescope on an HEQ5 Equatorial mount, with a Canon 70D DSLR at prime focus. The deep sky shots were stacked in Deep Sky Stacker with darks, bios shots and flats. Post processing was done with Photoshop.

Simon comments..

“Most of these were taken from central Maidstone, so light pollution is an issue, hence the Dumbell and Cigar have a lot of noise in the image. Now I’ve moved to Biddenden I’m hoping not to have that issue again!”

We welcome Simon to our area and our astronomical society!

Andromeda Galaxy M31

M31 Andromeda Galaxy by Kevin Brown

M31 Andromeda Galaxy, Canon 1000D, ED80, DSS, Kevin Brown

Here is another go by Kevin Brown at M31, the Andromeda Galaxy. This time using sub-images captured in Canon 1000D RAW format.

This resulting image is made from 5 lights plus 1 dark, each of 180s exposure at 1600 ISO, stacked using Deep Sky Stacker software.

The settings used with DSS were rather random (more experience needed), so a better final result is probably possible…