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Submitted on
January 19, 2006
Image Size
2.2 MB
Resolution
1728×1152
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5,367 (1 today)
Favourites
74 (who?)
Comments
46
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334

Camera Data

Make
Canon
Model
Canon EOS 350D DIGITAL
Shutter Speed
15/1 second
Aperture
F/inf
Focal Length
0 mm
ISO Speed
100
Date Taken
Jan 10, 2006, 9:40:42 PM
×
M42 by octane2 M42 by octane2
Hi all,

The last time I posted a deviation was in September 2003. It was an image I threw up in Photoshop.

Here, today, 2.5 years later, I'm posting the real thing.

This is a composite of approximately 100 images stacked manually in Photoshop CS2. I could have used IRIS, Registax, or the other usual suspects, but decided to become a glutton for punishment.

As I didn't have an equatorial wedge for my Meade 8" LX90 LNT (F/10) at the time, I ended up with quite a lot of field rotation as the images were 15 second exposures with a five second gap until the next exposure (thank you DSLR Focus). You can imagine, that after 100 x 20 seconds, I had quite a lot of field rotation. So, the glutton for punishment part here was manually de-rotating each and every image in Photoshop. It took a lot of time, but was worth it.

The featured image has been processed in varying stages. Firstly, each image was dark frame calibrated via subtraction of a master dark. They were then stacked in Photoshop; the first image remains at 100% opacity, the next image is stacked at 50% opacity, the next at 33% opacity and so on (inverse relationship). The aim of this, of course, is to increase the signal-to-noise ratio and as a result, lower the noise.

Photoshop functions of particular use were exposure, brightness and contrast, hue and saturation, levels, curves and channel mixing. Various layer masks were utilised in order to bring out the detail in the central Trapezium area. Most times you see photographs of this nebula with the Trapezium area saturated and as a result washing out any detail in the central area. No noise reduction was carried out in this image; it would be rather pointless as I shot these images in the smallest resolution mode of my Canon EOS-350D (Digital Rebel XT). Next time I attempt this beauty, I shall shoot in large RAW mode.

So, finally, the particular details once again:

Telescope: Meade 8" LX90 LNT (F/10) Schmidt-Cassegrain astronomical telescope
Mount: Altitude/Azimuth
Camera: Canon EOS-350D (Digital Rebel XT) at prime focus (F/10)
Exposures: unguided, 15 seconds each with five second gaps until next exposure
Location: my backyard in western Sydney
Date: 10th January, 2006
Software: DSLR Focus (for focusing metrics and image capture) and Adobe Photoshop (processing/post-processing)

Regards,
H
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:iconmatterswabble:
Matterswabble Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I have a slight question, since sydney is in Australia (I'm assuming), how are you able to see M42? If M42 is the Orion Galaxy or I'm mistaken, isn't it only visable from the northern hemisphere?
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:iconcosmic-cherry-tree:
Cosmic-Cherry-Tree Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Beautiful...featured here [link] :floating:
Reply
:iconnekoknuxaechidna:
NekoKnuxaechidna Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2008
This one is my most favorite one of all! It sure is hard to tell whether you took a piccy of it by your telescope or do it by the photoshop!=D
Reply
:iconoctane2:
octane2 Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2009  Professional Photographer
NekoKnuxaechidna,

Thanks so much for the kind comment.

I have since re-done this object. I'm still not happy with it, and, will hopefully devote this summer to capturing many hours on it to present it in all its glory.

Thanks!

Regards,
H
Reply
:iconccdoh1:
ccdoh1 Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2008   Photographer
Reply
:iconoctane2:
octane2 Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2009  Professional Photographer
ccdoh1,

Thanks!

Regards,
H
Reply
:iconccdoh1:
ccdoh1 Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2008   Photographer
Nice work. I've included this in my Astrophotography Feature.
Reply
:iconoctane2:
octane2 Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2009  Professional Photographer
ccdoh1,

My apologies for the greater-than-1-year old reply, but, I just wanted to say thanks for the feature. I don't think that particular journal exists, anymore, though. :)

Regards,
H
Reply
:icondeathdance:
deathdance Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2008
You are more close to stars than a bunch of us are :) ... and that's impressive.
They should open a place where people can go at night and just stare at the stars with this kinds of objects... I would pay for it.. it's too beautiful! :)

P.S. I'm watching you! ;)
Reply
:iconoctane2:
octane2 Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2009  Professional Photographer
deathdance,

My apologies for the delay in writing back to you. I've only just found the time to go through the thousands of unread messages. Argh!

As for going to places where you can see the stars -- you just need to travel a couple of hours outside any major city and the sky should be relatively dark enough to see these things through a decent telescope and good eyepieces.

I know that in New Zealand, at least, they have a place called Starlight Reserve which is being protected for just this purpose -- no light pollution. :)

Regards,
H
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