Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sometimes you just got what you got

I'm pretty slow sometimes but processing this image of M33 taught me something.  You can spend as much time as you want processing an image hoping to stumble across some arcane photoshop command-alt-clickery that will extract ever fainter photons that just aren't there.  Yeah, sometimes you just got what you got.  Be satisfied.

I learned a lot this time around.  Blue-Red channel trickery to kill the green weenie.  Color halo reduction. All kinds mask selection/load/subtract-ery.  Good stuff - and absolutely no way to reproduce how I got to the endpoint.  However ... I am repeating to myself ... be satisfied.

At 200mm the image scale for M33 isn't all that great.  At least compared to M32.  It's smaller than I remembered :).   I was also a bit surprised that 60 min didn't pull out more.  A late rising moon just below Kitchen Mesa accounts for the still persistent gradient in the lower right corner.  The presentation could be improved but dear reader ... there simply ain't no mo' photons.  I give you all I have.

You know what?  I'm satisfied.  Mostly :)    Hanging up the hair-shirt for a bit before I tackle another set of data from the New Mexico trip.  Click for larger image.

M33  Macbook Pro 15 center crop

Taken at Ghost Ranch near Abiquiu,  New Mexico August 6th, 2010

Canon T2i (stock), 200mm EF-L @ f2.8
Astrotrac Travel System mount
Imaging temperature range:  52-54F
60 60sec exposures @ ISO3200
64 darks,  21 flats (1/5" ISO 100) 21 flatdarks
pre-processed and stacked in Nebulosity
post-processed in PS4

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