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narrowband imaging questions

Started by The Mad One, 12/17/2012 03:38PM
Posted 12/17/2012 03:38PM Opening Post
Lo all,

I am considering doing some narrowband imaging with a monochrome camera (atik 314L plus) and would like to start out doing more "true to rgb color" rather than the HST style. Main reason for the shift is increasing LP in my area. I have researched about some & see the Ha, OIII, OIII method as seeming to produce the closest match to a more traditional RGB format. My question is this, in simulating the Blue channel with the Ha, OIII combination where does one turn if they do not have or want to shell out for PhotoShop to put together the simulated blue or green channel? I sometimes use GIMP at the 2.8 level, but GIMP still has the limitation on color bit. Can the simulation be handled in the actual stacking & combining of the subframes?

My plan is to go ahead and buy a full Ha, OIII, SII filter set & move into the various filteer palettes later, but for now I just want to reproduce more traditional LRGB DSO images. Thank you in advance for any input!

Mark Jordan
Greenfield, IN
http://www.thestardeckobservatory.com

Posted 12/17/2012 03:49PM | Edited 12/17/2012 03:49PM #1
Mark Jordan said:

Lo all,

I am considering doing some narrowband imaging with a monochrome camera (atik 314L plus) and would like to start out doing more "true to rgb color" rather than the HST style. Main reason for the shift is increasing LP in my area. I have researched about some & see the Ha, OIII, OIII method as seeming to produce the closest match to a more traditional RGB format. My question is this, in simulating the Blue channel with the Ha, OIII combination where does one turn if they do not have or want to shell out for PhotoShop to put together the simulated blue or green channel? I sometimes use GIMP at the 2.8 level, but GIMP still has the limitation on color bit. Can the simulation be handled in the actual stacking & combining of the subframes?

My plan is to go ahead and buy a full Ha, OIII, SII filter set & move into the various filteer palettes later, but for now I just want to reproduce more traditional LRGB DSO images. Thank you in advance for any input!

Mark Jordan
Greenfield, IN
http://www.thestardeckobservatory.com


Mark,

I think that it is a poor use of your funds not to include Photoshop as part of your basic imaging tools. Not only is it unmatched in capabilities, but there is a body of knowledge and tips within the astronomy community that is built around photoshop. I personally thing photoshop is every bit as important a tool as the camera you have selected.

Good luck,

Russ
Posted 12/17/2012 04:34PM #2
Yes, you will need some additional high level image processing software. Photoshop has been around the longest, has quite a large number of adherents and many astro imaging specific add-on tools and techniques. PixInsight is a newer and quite significant astronomical image processing package worthy of a look as well. Either are going to require a lot of investment in your time to learn in order to do what you are planning.
Posted 12/18/2012 09:49PM #3
Russ, Richard,

Thanks for your input, after doing a bit more research & reading I am seriously looking into downloading the PixInsight trial & giving it a run. I have & have used Iris in the past for some image processing along with Stark Lab's Nebulosity. Primarily use the Nebulosity for capture, calibrations & alignment purposes, then do most of the LP gradient reductions & such on the finished Color or separated color channels out of Nebulosity & into Iris. Most of my AP in the last 4 years has been with a Canon Hutech Modified 350D other than the Solar System stuff.

I usually go with the command line interface in Iris as it has more functional power than the GUI, so I think shifting to something like PixInsight may not be too bad of a learning shift. I'm sure there is a way to do the Narrowband blending of different filter data into a simulated color channel in Iris, just haven't ever explored it or researched it. Maybe not! Just never need to go there until beginning to study on doing some narrowband imaging with the new Atik 314L I just bought last month.

I really purchased the Atik with I deal of having a middle ground imaging scale for the smaller scale objects such as a lot of planetary nebulae, galaxies, clusters & other such objects. Along with having the ability to do some narrowband imaging. Seems like the only time I ever get any time & clear sky for AP is when the moon is shining bright. During the Spring, Summer & Fall seasons I am usually too busy between my regular 24hr duty shifts & my lawn & landscape P.T. business to have much time or energy for AP & astronomy, so in the winter I like to take advantage of every clear sky I have an opportunity to get out..... Moon or no. The neighbors' MVLs actually seem to cause more skyward LP during the winter as well. Due likely to the leaves on the trees that kind of shade over the light poles being gone in the winter, meaning more of the unshielded light from those pesky lights scatters upwards into my skies.

Sorry to get long winded, just venting some frustration at my skies getting brighter at night. about 6-7 years ago the local power co-op came out with a heck of a deal........ for just $12.95 a month on a 2 year contract they would come out & put up a nice bright unshielded "dusk to dawn" MVL on a 20" pole for "ANYBODY". I watched my skies go from being able to walk out on my back patio & see a good gray fuzzy of the track of the Milky Way to now just barely being able to make out anything of it on even the clearest nights. 14 MVLs within 1000' of me in 5 years........... sucks, but life goes on & everything else is pretty good!

CS!

Mark Jordan
Greenfield, IN

http://www.thestardeckobservatory.com