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Hi All,

See the attached. Took this the weekend before last.

36 x 5min
Explore Scientific 102 ED Triplet
Astronomick CCD LPR

I cannot put this down. The lower right is version 7, and the other three are panoramic stitches combining two or more of the previous 6 "finals" of this image. Shot in Maxim. Calibrated and Combined using Sigma Clip. DDP's in Maxim. Converted to Tiff and taken to CS2. Played with the Histo to balance the color (but kept it leaning redish as a preference) Carboni lightened and enhanced. HLVG. Did some hi-pass filtering via layers at 15 and 60. Also layered in a surface blur. Moved to microsoft added diffuse glow, enhanced the color, removed some blemishes and lightened the background. Converted to jpeg.

All images went through same process but in different order and or intensity. Oh yeah, forgot to mention, I did Hopp's little fake Alpha H thing too. Hopp, don't know where you got it from or how well known it is but have to credit you as you showed me.

Okay gents...hit me with it. Did I go too far, not far enough? I know there is other stuff in there, how do I bring it out without killing something else. I am pretty tough and will be able to handle anything short of "this is the worst piece of %$#@ I have ever seen."


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I like right top . Sharp detail , nice color , and dark back ground .
cheers !
Thanks Sam!
Well Trevor, I'm thinking each one has something to offer. The upper left pulled out more of the blue. The upper right has more depth. The lower left shows more stars. The lower right could be a blend of the other three.

I too have been messing with my own version of this DSO and have come up with this so far.... I'll attempt to upload it for your review.
And therein lies the problem...each version yields something new and better than the versions that came before...which causes me to tease a little more...than a little's a viscious circle!

Yours is nice. Huge FOV. What did you shot it with? How long?
Thx Trevor. I shot it with a C-11 & Hyperstar. DSS stacked 24 of my 29 lights at 45 seconds each. Darks, Flats & Bias of course. It's still a work in progress. Might crop it about 50% later.

Gradient Xterminator... best buy of my processing arsenal. Get it - you won't regret it.

Gradient...$50? Maybe. Maybe I'll drop subtle hints to my wife for fathers day :)
Sorry - Canon 450D Hap Modified, UV/IR filter.
I like the top right followed by the bottom right. I find the left sided images too soft, that is the nebula blends in too much with the background stars. Do you use GradientXterminater? What I found in using it was that it tamed the background just enough so it was not "as red", but that just may be a personal preference. Either way it is a very nice image.
Thanks Steve. I don't have the GradientXterminater. I know there are a bunch of guys that swear by that software, but I have not picked it up yet myself. I do like the red in the background, but it is a touch too much. To be sure there is plenty of red in the field that belongs there. Most of the really deep images of this region show it, but for some reason that night I picked up more than my fair share...even through my filter.

Do you all agree that there may be something more here that I am missing? Maybe a little tweak that I should try? Come on guys, I have seen some of the magic that you have all posted and refuse to believe that the above is the 'best' I can coax out of my setup. I know there are some tricks I have not tried, and the little improvements that my feeble attempts have produced have convinced me that there is more here to do....of course, maybe Hopp is right and I am 'chasing the dragon' here, lol. The first step to getting better is admitting you have a problem, right?

I think the amount of red that you have in the background IS the correct amount and I think it would look great in a widefield or a mosaic of the region. As a stand alone M20 I think reducing the red back ground will bring more of the attention to the nebula. I'm a simple man...have you isolated the nebula with the marguee tool, feather to 100, do a inverse select and then alter you stretch in the red channel?
Huh? I have not...but I will! Lemme try that one out. Alter the mean to have me reduce it?
yes...I hope this helps.


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