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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
Add a Comment:
 
: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?
Reply
: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
Reply
:iconindigomidnight:
IndigoMidnight Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2007
:wave:

I'm featuring this beautiful work here: [link] .
Reply
:iconoctane2:
octane2 Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2009  Professional Photographer
IndigoMidnight,

I was just going through my unreplied messages and just wanted to say thank you for the feature. I know it was over 2 years ago, but, I've only just found the time to go through the thousands of unreplied messages.

Maybe, now that my work has come a long way since this humble beginning, I may be able to nab some more features. ;)

Thanks, so much. :)

Regards,
H
Reply
:icontonsatz:
Tonsatz Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2007
man i would just love to see one of those in real life
Reply
:iconoctane2:
octane2 Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2009  Professional Photographer
Tonsatz,

My sincere apologies for the 2.5 year delay in replying to your comment, however, I've only just found some spare time to go through my unreplied comments.

Just wanted to say thanks for the comment.

Also, when you look through a telescope, you typically just see black and white. Except, stars have colours.

However, I have been very fortunate to look through a massive 25" diameter telescope at this target, and, I actually saw the pink and blue colours coming from it. I recall exclaiming to myself that it was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life. It was something special.

Regards,
H
Reply
:icontonsatz:
Tonsatz Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2009
heh, no worries on the late reply, life happens! and i didn't know that you usually only see black and white through telescpes. You are definetly lucky that you were able to see those colors through your larger telescope. I have a small telescope at home, but i can't see stars too well. just a little bit of the moon is usually all i get to see, and that is on days that i can get the telescope to work right...
Reply
:iconsaphoto:
saphoto Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2006
Quite good considering it was done with an altazmiuth mount.
Reply
:iconoctane2:
octane2 Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2009  Professional Photographer
saphoto,

I found some spare time and thought I'd go through my unreplied comments.

So, my sincere apology for the almost 3 year delay, but, I just wanted to say thanks for the comment. :)

Regards,
H
Reply
:iconuniversus88:
uNiverSus88 Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2006
beautiful shot ;D
Reply
:iconoctane2:
octane2 Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2006  Professional Photographer
uNiverSus88,

Thank you. :)

You might want to take a look at my other M42, which turned out a lot better.

Regards,
H
Reply
:icongrimangel:
GrimAngel Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2006
wow, you're right. I'm glad I took a look at your gallery. great stuff you have here
Reply
:iconoctane2:
octane2 Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2006  Professional Photographer
GrimAngel,

Thank you for your most kind words.

Regards,
H
Reply
:iconmyfaery:
MyFaery Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2006   Photographer
very beautiful.
Reply
:iconoctane2:
octane2 Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2006  Professional Photographer
MyFaery,

Thank you; you might want to check out my image The Great Orion Nebula which is an updated version of M42.

Regards,
H
Reply
:iconiamthereforeiam:
IamThereforeIam Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2006  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You were right... i DO love all your space stuff!!! OMG truly beautifull!! Wish i could be there :floating:
Reply
:iconoctane2:
octane2 Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2006  Professional Photographer
Kizu666,

Thank you for your very kind words. They're most appreciated.

My apologies for the late reply.

Regards,
H
Reply
:iconoverview:
overview Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2006
All of these captures are incredible - I'd love to be able to see this kind of thing.
Reply
:iconoctane2:
octane2 Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2006  Professional Photographer
overview,

Thank you for your very kind words.

Unfortunately, we can't really see these objects with our eyes, even through the most powerful of powerful telescopes.

Due to our eyes constantly refreshing, we can't soak up photons like camera sensors do whilst exposing.

Having said that, this object is so big and there is so much light emanating from it, that if you stare at it through an eyepiece for a while, you start to see green. It's beautiful.

My apologies for the late reply.

Regards,
H
Reply
:iconoverview:
overview Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2006
Thank you....

This is definately something I'm going to look into.
Reply
:iconnachin:
Nachin Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2006
This is another brilliant shot.
You're a really talented person, and I love your work, you know you have my friendship.
Reply
:iconoctane2:
octane2 Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2006  Professional Photographer
Nachin,

Thank you so kindly for the compliment.

Regards,
H
Reply
:iconlyn713:
Lyn713 Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2006
Very nice! Nice job!
Reply
:iconoctane2:
octane2 Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2006  Professional Photographer
Lyn713,

Thank you for the nice words.

Regards,
H
Reply
:iconmorbid-picasso:
morbid-picasso Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2006
I wish I could do things like that with my telescope (which just happens to look like a section of pvc :D)
Reply
:iconoctane2:
octane2 Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2006  Professional Photographer
morbid-picasso,

Firstly, sorry for the 1.5 month delay in replying.

Thank you for your comment. I'm glad you liked the image.

You'll be pleased to note that I've re-captured M42 and have posted it. Feel free to take a look.

As for your telesocpe, what is it? You may be able to still capture great images of the bigger planets and the Moon, with inexpensive equipment!

Regards,
H
Reply
:iconmorbid-picasso:
morbid-picasso Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2006
eh, the delay's fine :)

I have no clue what my telescope is... it's big and white, nothing fancy. I'll have to check it out though, next time I'm at my parents' place... Maybe I can have some fun with it :D
Reply
:iconjuniorcream:
juniorcream Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2006   Photographer
i have longed to take pictures and see things like this, but my telescope is not powerful enough. ill have to stick to the moon and planets for now.

great work
Reply
:iconoctane2:
octane2 Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2006  Professional Photographer
juniorcream,

Thank you for your comment. I'm glad you like my image.

What kind of equipment do you have? What are you using to image the planets and Moon?

Regards,
H
Reply
:iconmezzzmorized:
mezzzmorized Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2006   Writer
Really impressive and wonderful photo and a lot of work! Thanks for sharing this one with us :nod: it`s a very b e a u t i f u l and rare view of the universe! :D
Reply
:iconoctane2:
octane2 Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2006  Professional Photographer
mezzzmorized,

Thank you for your kind words.

You might want to have a look at the new version I've just posted. It's a lot nicer.

Regards,
H
Reply
:iconchrissyo:
Chrissyo Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2006  Hobbyist Photographer
Very pretty! Great work =)
Reply
:iconoctane2:
octane2 Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2006  Professional Photographer
Hi Chissyo!

Good to see another IIS member on here!

Cheers,
H
Reply
:iconjmb2371:
jmb2371 Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2006
Wow, a lot of work, and an excellent result. All the regulars of the sectionn i'm sure would love to see more, one thing i don't understand is why there wasn't any software noise reduction, even on lowest res, the xt would have noise that could be removed simply because an unmodified dslr has inherent issues with this type of imaging ( granted the xt was design better than its predicessors for this).
Reply
:iconoctane2:
octane2 Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2006  Professional Photographer
Hi jmb2371,

Thank you for your comments and compliment!

The reason why I didn't bother with software noise reduction on this particular resolution was that once applied, it was distracting and basically affecting the image in a negative manner. The noise reduction was acting like JPG artifacts.

Perhaps if I had shot in RAW in a larger resolution and had the on-camera noise reduction turned on, there may have been a more favourable result.

Still, I'm just starting out in this field of photography, and as time progresses (and if the clouds ever clear from Sydney!), I'll give it another shot.

I'm considering having my EOS-350D modified, but something tells me not to do it. I may just save up and purchase a second-hand 350D or a new 20Da/5D and use them for astrophotography and leave the 350D for terrestrial shooting.

Regards,
H
Reply
:iconjmb2371:
jmb2371 Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2006
i see, i don't have a dslr, but want one...i've messed about with a 20d ... they're very nice. I've heard about noise calibration with them, in which you take a few shots of uniform black something and then every astro shot can have the noise native to the cameras chip removed, the only reason i bagger on is because i think in your fixing of the rotation some noisejust gets rotated, and it looks to me lik its swirled the further from center you get
Reply
:iconoctane2:
octane2 Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2006  Professional Photographer
Hi jmb2371,

That is correct; dark frames are typically captured with either the lens cap on the lens of the camera, the body cap on the camera, or if the telescope is T-mounted to a telescope, then the telescope's lens cap on.

I believe you are correct in stating that because there is minute imperfections in rotation, the noise has been amplified. This is easily noticed in the lower half of the image whereby noise is repeating in a uniformly curved pattern.

I will be a lot more careful next time, and use a proper alignment and registration tool.

Cheers for the heads up.

Regards,
H
Reply
:iconjmb2371:
jmb2371 Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2006
sounds like a plan, please yourself not me, and i will be pleased :)
Reply
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Submitted on
January 19, 2006
Image Size
2.2 MB
Resolution
1728×1152
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Views
5,413
Favourites
76 (who?)
Comments
46
Downloads
336

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
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