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Archive 2012 · Processing Astro images
  
 
BennyR
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Processing Astro images


I was looking for tips on processing Astrophotography shots. I've been using Deep Sky Stacker to put the image together using the darks and lights. From there I get a bit lost. What is the best way to get the best image? Also, how do you then save it as a jpg as Photoshop won't allow you to save it as a jpg from the 16 or 32 bit tiff whichever it is. Thank you.


Sep 21, 2012 at 03:00 AM
dgdg
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Processing Astro images


I've done some and am pleased with my results so far. There are more experienced persons here on FM (of course). Maybe astrodave will chime in.

In deep sky stacker (DSS) there is an option on the left to save the final image to a file. I don't bother making image edits within DSS. Save it to a file. I click the option to save with deep sky stacker settings/corrections.
Then you can open it in your image editing software. I use LR4.
My images look too bright and b&Wish at first, but with adjustments to contrast and color balance sliders you should have a pleasing photo. Increased vibrancy helps. You can also try boosting saturation and/or brightness of the reds. Exposure usually is fine, but you can slightly darken if needed after white balance and contrast adjustments. I have not used flats, so I adjust vignetting manually. I apply mild noise reduction and sharpness but the darks/lights are meant to improve your signal to noise ratio making it look better than a single image file. I may apply a bit of each with unsharp mask and see if it helps at all.
Here is a link to some recent images I've done. The first one of the milky way was done with DSS. They are just web images, mind you.
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1148433/0#10957256

Let's see your photos!



Sep 21, 2012 at 01:53 PM
BennyR
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Processing Astro images


Thank you. One of my problems is saving the file as a jpg. Photoshop won't allow me to save them as jpg's. I've done it it the past but don't remember how I got around it. Right now my computer isn't cooperating so I can't open my files in DSS.


Sep 21, 2012 at 02:28 PM
dgdg
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Processing Astro images


Photoshop should permit any open image you have to save as a jpg.
Click on 'save as', then click on the down arrow box to change the image format to jpg.
In LR you would 'export' your image and select jpeg as the format.

Confused about your workflow. Usually you would take your unaltered raw images and put them into DSS. Not sure you should be using in camera edited jpegs for start photos. create your stacked image. Once you have a final image in DSS, you save that file. Then you can open in photoshop or LR for editing.

And with exposure, I actually will do luminance adjustments of the empty sky if needed, I don't reach for exposure first.



Sep 21, 2012 at 03:45 PM
 

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BennyR
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Processing Astro images


I guess I wasn't very explicit. I do take my raw photos in to DSS. I then use the raw darks. I let DSS do its thing and create a tif of the stacked images. I then open it in Photoshop and do whatever processing I can, then jpg is not available as an option to save as. I guess it needs to be reduced to an 8 bit image or something first.


Sep 22, 2012 at 12:55 AM
BennyR
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Processing Astro images


OK, I did it again and did everything the same only on another computer and it worked. Not sure why it wouldn't do it on the other computer. Anyway, I still need practice at processing them but here's the Andromeda Galaxy with just an unmodified 7D and 135mm lens. This is 10 2 min exposures and 10 matching darks.







Sep 22, 2012 at 01:19 AM
dgdg
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Processing Astro images


Nice!
In this situation I next adjust color balance. Mine will have a b&w appearance after DSS processes the images. You may need to increase luminance or saturation of colors once the balance is ok.
See how some noise reduction affects image.
Can try sharpening with unsharp mask tuned to ignore your dark space.
I'm just starting out too....

I've been fortunate to go to some dark skies lately. What is your iso, seems like you have a tracker/piggy back on a telescope if you have 2 minute subs? I found and read an iso of 800-1000 is good. With dark skies at this iso, f3.5, I then have a good exposure at around 4-5 minutes. Not sure what your aperture is, but with a tracker you can stop it down a bit if you have issues with IQ (I don't see any).

Here is one on an astro modified t3i and 20mm lens at f 3.5. About 6 lights and darks, 4-5 minute subs, iso 800. Processed in DSS, then LR4. The reds are more pronounced. I pointed the camera straight up towards the tail of the milky way hoping to catch some meteors during the Perseid shower.

The second one is with a 5DII unmodified, but otherwise the same setup. This looked b&w too at first with DSS. In LR worked on color balance, contrast, and then dark sky luminance slider. Don't be afraid to make what may seem like extreme adjustments compared to a daytime landscape. Vibrancy/saturation can help bring out the nebula colors even with stock camera.




dgdg 2012












Here is the image straight out of DSS without any DSS edits




Sep 22, 2012 at 03:51 AM
BennyR
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Processing Astro images


Yes, I just had a small AstroTrac tracking gizmo. For that one I used ISO 800. I've used 1600 before and been fine. It was much cooler then however. Outside temp seems to make quite a difference in noise levels. One of my first tries at M42 came out pretty good at 400mm on a 7D.


Sep 22, 2012 at 02:46 PM





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