Revealing the very faint

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Ken Crawford
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Revealing the very faint

Post by Ken Crawford » Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:32 pm

Well I had a few minutes to look at some data from Dec26 and saw there was a bright prominance but also some very faint ones. Even with stacking lots of frames theses seemed very faint at just a few counts above the background. So I thought I would try some of the methods I use for digging out faint details of minor galaxy mergers (star streams) on these faint structures. I should take the time to show a before and after overlay I think you get the picture. Sorry I did not have time to insert the surface details yet.




I thought I would show you the mask I used for applying sharpening, brightening, and color adjustments. The CS5 refine mask tool is amazing as it has properties that are great for compositing hair against a background. If it can handle hair it can do pretty good with feathery filaments.




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Re: Revealing the very faint

Post by Montana » Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:43 pm

Superb head of hair that sun has :)

Great picture Ken!

Alexandra



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Re: Revealing the very faint

Post by marktownley » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:00 am

Yes, impressive stuff Ken! Thanks :)


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Re: Revealing the very faint

Post by Cschur » Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:14 am

Interesting idea. The big problem I see in implementing it is that most of us cant afford the latest and greatest PS. But the older photoshops like CS2 have a filter called the "Shadow/Highlights" which can work nearly as well. Try it!


Chris Schur

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Birch Mesa Observatory, Payson Arizona

Clear Creek Canyon Observatory, Happy Jack, Arizona

Ken Crawford
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Re: Revealing the very faint

Post by Ken Crawford » Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:01 am

Interesting idea. The big problem I see in implementing it is that most of us cant afford the latest and greatest PS. But the older photoshops like CS2 have a filter called the "Shadow/Highlights" which can work nearly as well. Try it!

I agree S&H is a very useful tool and I do use S&H in my workflow. But I find that it can pull extra background noise foward long with the faint stuff if you are not very careful. Much of Photoshop's power was built into layers, selections, and masks from the begining and you don't need CS5 to use them. CS5 does make it easier but not required to succesfully leverage masks.

I agree that software can be expensive, but we send lots on aquiring the data. I want as many tools in the processing tool box that I can fit ;)



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Re: Revealing the very faint

Post by Pedro » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:54 pm


I always use S&H for my HR imaging with the LUNT152. It reveals the diks as well as the proms in a single avi file. I use it also for my deep-sky work as well as Levelizer (Starizona Photoshop Plugin Package). With Levelizer the background noise is much lower.

The icluded image was processed in PS CS5 using S&H

best



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Re: Revealing the very faint

Post by solarchat » Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:28 pm

Well, I guess I hate to admit it but I am not at all in favor of adding any more time to my processing. Maybe my images suffer but the only thing i do is process about 400 frames in registax 6, add some wavelets and apply some curves in PS5. The only filter in my van is a 1.25 inch Celestron #58 green that I use for white light imaging and I dont use anything for other wavelengths. I have tried a lot of the suggestions on here and CN but I have never really noticed any significant difference. Its probably my aged, submarine beaten-air traffic controller eyeballs that cant see subtle differences.


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Re: Revealing the very faint

Post by Ken Crawford » Fri Dec 30, 2011 3:59 pm

This is very good! Our methods are kind of like golf in that everyone has a difference swing and a different approach but the scores can be all very close.

I have always been a bit nuts to try and bring out every faint detail but that is just me. As far as processing time Solar wins hands down as I can spend many hours on DSO processing to get things just right. Solar image processing is like instant gratification. You can almost push a couple of buttons and POW - you have a nice solar image.

I have a passion to learn all of the processing tools avalible to me and even contiunue to take online Photoshop classes every week. Then I try what I have learned to see if there is anything that can improve my images or improve the workflow. When I do work something out that I feel works better than what I was doing before, I like to share it just in case someone is interested. My close DSO friends and I always talk processing and AIC is built around sharing that type of knowledge.

I am sorry if I am cluttering this forum up with too many processing methods and I don't mean to push anything on anyone. It is just in my nature so I promise to keep it down to if someone asks.

The beauty of all of this is that each image is a one of a kind that is representive our individual tastes.



Pedro

Re: Revealing the very faint

Post by Pedro » Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:14 pm

I like the golf analogy. We are always trying new things to get better results. I also like to share my image processing flows with others. It keep us going, hopefully towards better images.

best regards



Suncityan

Re: Revealing the very faint

Post by Suncityan » Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:11 pm

Pedro,

I agree with you, sharing is what sets the bar higher for me anyway.

I've spent hours looking through your website and have enjoyed every bit of the info posted therein. Just the other day I looked at the postings of all the observatories in your area of the world. Seeing what others do to enjoy amateur astronomy is certainly an incentive for me to get out there and do it no matter how restricted my observing site might be.

My light polluted retirement community (5000 rooftops) is crowded to say the least; hence the need to move into solar observing from the six foot square top of the steps out into my yard. Fortunately my telescope can see the horizon looking east.

Thank you and please keep posting those great images along with your narratives, Tommy



Pedro

Re: Revealing the very faint

Post by Pedro » Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:27 pm

Thanks Tommy:

We have an active community of amateur astronomers in Portugal. I have been involved in outreach activities since the seventies. Our amateur astronomer's association (APAA) was founded in 1976 and has about 1500 members.

best regards



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Re: Revealing the very faint

Post by swisswalter » Fri Dec 30, 2011 7:34 pm

Hi Ken

just great, shot and processing


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