Astrophotography Challenge June 2024

Every month a new challenge!

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Jockinireland Ireland
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Re: Astrophotography Challenge June 2024

#21

Post by Jockinireland »

carastro wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2024 3:18 pm I've done a slightly darker version, as I think my earlier one was a bit too bright, despite lots of you liking it,


and another with some of the stars put back. To be honest IMO I think the latest fad for reducing stars to small dots is going a bit OTT.
]
I think I prefer this second version - a little darker and more contrasty.

I somewhat agree with you about the tiny stars thing. I definitely dont care for totally starless and if they are going to be there they need to have enough of a presence to be a part of the image, they cant be totally irrelevant. But its a tough balance sometimes. In pixinsight I use the ScreenStars script (Bill Blanshan again!!) and it allows for very quick easy adjustment and trials of various methods and strengths to get what you want. I'll sometimes do 5 or 6 different versions and blink through them to decide on whats best.

But it can still be a difficult balance. I find that on imagees like widefields of galaxies, the stars need to be more pronounced to give the feel for size and distance. On widefiled dedicated to IFN I think the stars really need to be less prominent otherwise they make the IFN difficult to see and appreciate. Images like this one above are, for me anyway, more difficult because they need the stars for scale but you dont want them taking away from the detail of the nebulae.

The other thing is that when you put them in aplace like this as a thumbnail, they can look nearly starless and you only get the proper effect when opening the full image.

I'd be interested to hear others thoughts on star reduction.
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Re: Astrophotography Challenge June 2024

#22

Post by Graeme1858 »

Yes, same as that. Whilst a starless image can look ethereal and quite impressive, it's still a starless image. I get best results processing the starless and the stars only separately and I just tweak down the stars intensity a tad with a curve, but not too much and I always put the stars back in for the final image.
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Re: Astrophotography Challenge June 2024

#23

Post by AstroBee »

carastro wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2024 3:18 pm To be honest IMO I think the latest fad for reducing stars to small dots is going a bit OTT
Guilty.... :icon-smile: :icon-smile:
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Re: Astrophotography Challenge June 2024

#24

Post by carastro »

:lol:
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Re: Astrophotography Challenge June 2024

#25

Post by starfield »

I struggle with this. I find with nebula that are tightly imbeded in rich starfields I like to dial back the stars to give things more depth. One thing I'd love to find is a way to show just the very brightest stars. I've seen shots like this that use a few well placed stars to add depth and interest to a starless image. I think the balance you want to strike always depends on the story or features you're trying to highlight.
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Re: Astrophotography Challenge June 2024

#26

Post by Graeme1858 »

starfield wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 10:30 pm One thing I'd love to find is a way to show just the very brightest stars.

A gentle pull down on the the curve of the star only component will do this.
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