Friday, September 17, 2010

Lost in the Clouds

Well I pretty much buried M11 (Wild Duck cluster) in the starcloud. It's flying around in there towards the center of the frame. Yes, there.  The white splotch in the center.

I took 71x1min of data which yes, might have been over doing it a bit.  Processed to stretch the contrast between the the starcloud and Barnard's little dark nebulas. Along the way the Wild Duck kinda got lost in the fog. Oh well.

Scutum Starcloud
I've stared at this image for quite some time now and as much as I try to make myself like it ... I just don't. All the standard imager excuses apply (focus soft, tracking could have been better, star bloat, blah blah blah) but that isn't it.  Not really.

I've noticed that I develop an affinity for some images ... despite various flaws. Others are like shirts kept in the closet and rarely worn. Not the garish colored ones or those that "must have shrunk in the wash".   I mean the ones with nothing wrong per se ... just something not quite right and they are passed over again and again.

I showed this image to a friend and his jaw dropped. "You mean that is in the Milky Way? That golden carpet is, like, stars? Every dot? And what is that way cool dark stuff?  Your joking ... really?  That's mind blowing."  When I looked at it through his eyes I started to appreciate it more and more.  I still don't like it much but it sure made a huge difference to see the wonder on my friends face.

Maybe there is a shirt or two in my closet that deserves another chance.

Scutum Starcloud

Taken at Montebello Open Space Preserve, CA Sept. 4, 2010
Canon T2i (stock), 100mm EF-L @ f3.5
Astrotrac Travel System mount
Imaging temperature: 65F ambient, 29C-33C in-camera sensor temp
71 60sec exposures @ ISO1600
64 darks (sensor temps 29-33C to match imaging temp range)
21 flats (1/5sec ISO 100) 21 flatdarks
pre-processed and stacked in Nebulosity
post-processed in PS4

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