The Milky Way: New Processing

Imaging the Milky Way is quite rewarding – provided that you got clear, dark nights and being away from light pollution on a moonless night. Once you got those conditions and the equipment is doing its work – that´s half of the battle. Processing the images back home can become difficult while using a modified camera like my Canon 1100 d. Since one year now I´m using that camera, along with the Vixen Polarie Star Tracker. The images from the modified camera are quite reddish and every image from a different series got its own “character”, so there is no global adjustment or recipe you can use for them images. I mainly develop them in Lightroom 4, export them to Nik Color Efex Pro, and bring them back to LR to do again some minor adjustments. To get much better results, “Stacking” a bunch of images would be the way to go. I haven´t figured it out for myself that really well so far, so I can´t give you much recommendations on that – I´m still trying and learning myself. The only freeware I have found for Mac so far is Lykenos and it takes some patience to get through it. Commercial solutions would be Pixinsight and of course Photoshop. Either way, but the main difference is Color Efex Pro. It´s unbelieveable how much information just one image got, and it is waiting to be brought out. So, if you got RAW images on your hard drive you think them to be “unprocessable”, don´t delete them, the time will come for them to be developed (see below at one of my images). I did a post a while ago about this theme which you can find here: https://wernerpriller.wordpress.com/2012/11/28/the-milky-way-by-canon-1100-da-vixen-polarie/ . Since I left Photoshelter, I´m building up new galleries on this wordpress site, like this one: https://wernerpriller.wordpress.com/galleries/star-trails/ . A “Milky Way” gallery will follow. Enjoy!

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Private wigwam, Lower Bavaria, Germany:

MW.Vergleich.1-1

1. Original Raw-file, 119 sec., f 2.8, Iso 400, 10 mm…

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MW.Vergleich.1-2

2. Processed in LR 4 only…

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MW.Vergleich.1-3

3. Final image via Color Efex…

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Rieserferner Ridge, South Tyrol, Italy:

MW.Vergleich.2-1

1. Original Raw-file, 25 sec., f 2.8, Iso 3200, 20 mm…

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MW.Vergleich.2-2

2. Processed in LR 4 only…

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MW.Vergleich.2-3

3. Finale image via Color Efex…

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Großglockner Ridge, Hohe Tauern NP, Austria…

MW.Vergleich.3-1

1. Original Raw-file, 147 sec., f 2.5, Iso 400, 20 mm…

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MW.Vergleich.3-2

2. Processed in LR 4 only…

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MW.Vergleich.3-3

3. Ten images stacked with Lykenos…

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MW.Vergleich.3-4

4. Final image via Color Efex…

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North America Nebula, Lower Bavaria, Germany…

MW.Vergleich.4-1

1. Original Raw-file, 29 sec., f 3.5, Iso 3200, 200 mm…

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MW.Vergleich.4-2

2. Processed in LR 4 only…

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MW.Vergleich.4-3

3. Six images stacked with Lykenos…

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MW.Vergleich.4-4

4. Final image via Color Efex…

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Prunn Castle, Lower Bavaria, Germany:

I took this image almost one year ago and haven´t been able to get a decent result so far. Due to the unstable  weather since a couple of weeks, I came across this one and started a new try, which I just finished the other day and thus has been the trigger for writing this blog post!

MW.Vergleich.5-1

1. Original Raw-file, 30 sec., f 2.8, Iso 1600, 10 mm…

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MW.Vergleich.5-2

2. Processed in LR 4 only…

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MW.Vergleich.5-3

3. Final image via Color Efex…notice the Andromeda Galaxy to the lower right;

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“A mind is like a parachute. It doesn´t work if it is not open!”

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2 thoughts on “The Milky Way: New Processing

  1. zeight

    Nicely processed knowing that the images are from an entry body. Appreciate if you could also share what have you done to your 1100D as you mentioned it has been modified and what adjustment you did in LR4 and color efex. Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Werner Priller Post author

      There are modified cameras on the market, like the 1100d and the 60d, search for astro-modified canon cameras; if you got a camera, you can let them modify at some retailers like Baader Planetarium, Astroservice Randsburg (all German) or Hutech (US)…
      I´m traveling in Australia right now and got limited internet access; but for adjustments: you might try it what works for you, there are no recipes, every image is different, even the ones from the same night…you might figure it out for yourself what works and what not; its a bit difficult, but learning by doing is still the best way and I´m still reprocessing images from last year from which I have thought then they would be ok…
      just push every slider you got to its maximum and minimum and see what happens 😉

      Cheers, Werner

      Reply

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