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| p.7 #10 · Nightscapes using AstroTrac Tracking Mount |
Looks like its coming along nicely!...there's always a point where the stretching brings out more noise than data.
It usually takes several iterations of stretching with the levels tool to bring out the nebulosity on this object. Try repeating it 4-5 times, each time setting your black point and white point (without clipping) and moving the midtone slider a bit to bring out a little more detail each time.
If you do have a lot of light pollution, it may wash out a lot of that nebulosity. Some micro-curve adjustments in the curves tool can help with that.
As mentioned above, there's a lot more to it, but levels (and eventually curves) are the basics and will get you a long way.
Did I read earlier in this thread that you have a guide-capable Astrotrac? If you get out to some dark skies on a dry night, you should be able to manage 10 minute subs with an autoguider! I started out with DSLR, but eventually moved to a cooled CCD because the hot Texas summers create too much thermal noise in the images for DSLR-astrophotography.
The nice thing about the Astrotrac is that it can be guided, and many CCD cameras have Canon and Nikon lens interfaces that allow you to reuse your existing glass investment. So, its possible to do great things with DSLR, or eventually move to an astro-CCD with lots of equipment reuse.