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Elephant Trunk Closeup (modified SHO), Linda
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Elephant Trunk Closeup (modified SHO)

Elephant Trunk Closeup (modified SHO), Linda
Powered byPixInsight

Elephant Trunk Closeup (modified SHO)



Acquisition details



This image marks a bit of a first for me. I've been really concentrating on staying within PixInsight  for my processing, not because I have anything against Photoshop but because I wanted to really learn PI and immersion seemed the best way to do that. However, @Eric Coles (coles44) really encouraged me to rethink that and was kind enough to show me his workflow. After having done it I see why he is so fond of it. It's pretty simple and effective. I can't wait to try it out on another image. And, while I can see how one could replicate this in PI, it is easier to do in PS and more interactive. 

So here's the basic workflow:

  • H, O and S masters:
  • dynamic crop
  • deconvolution
  • MLT noise reduction
  • histogram transformation
  • (at this point clone the H image)
  • starnet
  • tgv denoise

export the 3 starless and one H with stars as 16-bit tiff.

  • put the starless images in the color channels (s->r, h->g, o->b) in the base layer
  • use a level  adjustment layer to balance the levels so the histogram peaks line up
  • use four selective color layers to do Bob Franke's color adjustments
  • add a vibrance adjustment layer
  • add in three copies of the starless h and run highness filters on them at 2, 4 and 8 pixels using overlay. I adjusted the layer opacity to taste so it didn't feel oversharpened
  • add in the h with stars as a luminosity layer

Overall I was pleased with how this came out. Even though starnet tends to leave blobs all over images from this telescope that didn't hurt the final image (and if it had on the bigger blobs, the PS context aware fill could have fixed those). This is probably also the first time I've done that blue/orange modification to the Hubble Palette that is so popular. Although I enjoy it in other people's images I wasn't drawn to doing it on mine until this image. For this one I knew it was where I was headed from the start. Not sure why but it called to me.