October 23, 2014, 05:08:33 PM

Author Topic: Request for advice: Nightsky Picture Stacking and PS techniques  (Read 6499 times)

pedro

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Hi,

I do some nightphotography on my 5D3. It is still amateurish because one always can improve.
After having seen this tutoring video

Curves and Levels - Easy 123 - Photoshop Astrophotography Tutorial

I am keen to do this myself. It is about curves and levels in Photoshop to enhance the data. My version is CS 2.

But there arise a few questions:

I downloaded deep sky stacker. stacked seven colour pictures: copies of the same photograph to give it a try.

This guy in the video starts with a greyscaled stacked picture. Others I've seen worked at RGB mode.
How is he getting a greyscale type of stacked photographs as mine turned out to be colour? It never looked like his in the beginning. Here's my slightly enhanced original picture

Z96A3724bMASTER by Peter Hauri, on Flickr
I guess it kinda deals with RGB channels. But I have no clue how to do it, even my curves and levels don't react the same way as his.

Is it a presetting in PS which he applied without mentioning it?
How can I do it in CS 2?

Thanks for any technical help.

Just another question: at what ISOs are you taking nightsky photographs for stacking purposes?

I currently take them applying 600 rule at ISO 6400 to 12800, f/8 with a 16-35 USM II lens.

Cheers and thanks in advance, Peter
« Last Edit: April 22, 2013, 04:13:42 AM by pedro »
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Thyg0d

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Re: Request for advice: Nightsky Picture Stacking and PS techniques
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2013, 04:57:20 AM »
I can't help you with the stacking thing unfortunately
but I gotta ask why use f/8?
I use 2.8 on my 16-35 with the focus set to infinity..
That way you can keep your ISO down to a minimum and get less noise at
the same amount of time.. using the 600 rule...
If you have a 30 Sec exposure using ISO 6400 @ f/8 you can go down to
ISO 800 @ f/2.8 and still have a 30 sec exposure..
You'll still get the sharpness you need..

pedro

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Re: Request for advice: Nightsky Picture Stacking and PS techniques
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2013, 05:38:55 AM »
Thank you so much. I was doing both : wide open and f/8. I will lower the ISOs next time and go wide open again. Still in the experimental phase with my new gear as well. I choose these settings due to the amount of environmental light as I was taking pictures around the house.

Cheers, Pedro
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Quasimodo

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Re: Request for advice: Nightsky Picture Stacking and PS techniques
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2013, 07:27:11 AM »
I thought for a while when first reading your post that he was using alpha channel adjustments. Having now seen the video it seems he has just gone and altered the view to grayscale. Click on Image - Mode - Grayscale (this is just a viewing mode while working on the file), and change it back when done with the adjustments. Working in a grayscale is much easier as it's easier to see the adjustments without being distracted by the colors and colorfringing and such.

I have CS 6, but the same should apply. Also, be sure to shoot in Raw, as it gives you more flexibility in pulling on curves and levels afterwards.

Good luck.
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Mr Bean

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Re: Request for advice: Nightsky Picture Stacking and PS techniques
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2013, 09:25:47 AM »
I may not answer your question directly, but, a couple of ideas to try for night sky pics :)

20 second exposure @ ISO 3,200
Zeiss 15mm @ f2.8  on a 5D3.
I wouldn't go beyond ISO 3,200 but with this lens, I could have gone a bit longer in the exposure.



Another way to create "star trails" is like this. 100 images @ ISO 200, 60 second f4 using a 35mm lens. Then "stack" them using a program called "startrails.exe"
5D mk3 with grip, 300 f4 L, 100 IS Macro L, 50 f1.4, 50 f1.8, 40 f2.8 pancake, 35 f2, 1.4x TC III, Zeiss 15mm f2.8, 24 f1.4 L
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ereka

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Re: Request for advice: Nightsky Picture Stacking and PS techniques
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2013, 10:13:26 AM »
I have CS 6 ...Good luck.

When did CS6 become available???

pedro

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Re: Request for advice: Nightsky Picture Stacking and PS techniques
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2013, 10:31:14 AM »
I thought for a while when first reading your post that he was using alpha channel adjustments. Having now seen the video it seems he has just gone and altered the view to grayscale. Click on Image - Mode - Grayscale (this is just a viewing mode while working on the file), and change it back when done with the adjustments. Working in a grayscale is much easier as it's easier to see the adjustments without being distracted by the colors and colorfringing and such.


I have CS 6, but the same should apply. Also, be sure to shoot in Raw, as it gives you more flexibility in pulling on curves and levels afterwards.

Good luck.

Hi, thanks for your post. My problem is in CS2 if I have the color tiff on my PS desktop and click image-mode-grayscales, PS asks me: "Do you want to discard the color data?" And then as far as I can see it gets iretrievable afterwards...hmmm.

@MrBean: Thanks a lot! I will do so. Did several like that before, always like touch the limits ;- at least photography wise...

Cheers, Pedro
30D, EF-S 10-22/ 5DIII, 16-35 F/2.8 L USM II, 28 F/2.8, 50 F/1.4, 85 F/1.8, 70-200 F/2.8 classic,
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Re: Request for advice: Nightsky Picture Stacking and PS techniques
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2013, 10:31:14 AM »

emag

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Re: Request for advice: Nightsky Picture Stacking and PS techniques
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2013, 10:41:30 AM »
I don't dispute the simplicity of the '600 rule', but it is just that - simplistic.  A more rigorous calculation can be made and set up in a spreadsheet to determine maximum recommended imaging times for each lens/camera combination you might use.  A thorough explanation is at:

http://www.astrosurf.com/vdesnoux/virtualeq/virtualeq.htm

Quasimodo

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Re: Request for advice: Nightsky Picture Stacking and PS techniques
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2013, 11:13:07 AM »
I have CS 6 ...Good luck.

When did CS6 become available???

Ehhh... It was released last summer/fall.
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Quasimodo

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Re: Request for advice: Nightsky Picture Stacking and PS techniques
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2013, 11:55:37 AM »
I thought for a while when first reading your post that he was using alpha channel adjustments. Having now seen the video it seems he has just gone and altered the view to grayscale. Click on Image - Mode - Grayscale (this is just a viewing mode while working on the file), and change it back when done with the adjustments. Working in a grayscale is much easier as it's easier to see the adjustments without being distracted by the colors and colorfringing and such.


I have CS 6, but the same should apply. Also, be sure to shoot in Raw, as it gives you more flexibility in pulling on curves and levels afterwards.

Good luck.

Hi, thanks for your post. My problem is in CS2 if I have the color tiff on my PS desktop and click image-mode-grayscales, PS asks me: "Do you want to discard the color data?" And then as far as I can see it gets iretrievable afterwards...hmmm.

@MrBean: Thanks a lot! I will do so. Did several like that before, always like touch the limits ;- at least photography wise...

Cheers, Pedro

Have to put the kids to bed, then I will check it out :)
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Quasimodo

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Re: Request for advice: Nightsky Picture Stacking and PS techniques
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2013, 12:36:44 PM »
I thought for a while when first reading your post that he was using alpha channel adjustments. Having now seen the video it seems he has just gone and altered the view to grayscale. Click on Image - Mode - Grayscale (this is just a viewing mode while working on the file), and change it back when done with the adjustments. Working in a grayscale is much easier as it's easier to see the adjustments without being distracted by the colors and colorfringing and such.


I have CS 6, but the same should apply. Also, be sure to shoot in Raw, as it gives you more flexibility in pulling on curves and levels afterwards.

Good luck.

Hi, thanks for your post. My problem is in CS2 if I have the color tiff on my PS desktop and click image-mode-grayscales, PS asks me: "Do you want to discard the color data?" And then as far as I can see it gets iretrievable afterwards...hmmm.

@MrBean: Thanks a lot! I will do so. Did several like that before, always like touch the limits ;- at least photography wise...

Cheers, Pedro

Hmmm.. Seems you are right. I have never used this, but gotten a grey picture when sharpening in alpha layers, so I thought it was retriveable. It probably is, I just don't know how to do it. There are however many people in this forum who are experts on photoshop.

Below is a picture (actually eight taken with the 16-35 II, and stiched) I took some weeks ago in Shanghai. Below that is the same picture converted to grayscale, the one I was not able to revert.. I'd be interested in seeing how to solve this :)

Good luck.
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CarlTN

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Re: Request for advice: Nightsky Picture Stacking and PS techniques
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2013, 01:22:16 PM »
Pedro, nice topic...I too am a night shooting enthusiast.

Mr. Bean, what hemisphere was that top photo of the Milky Way shot from?  Those two "clouds" to the right side...I suspect they have a name...starting with "M"...never seen pics of them before.  Also...Do you prefer the Zeiss 15mm over the 21mm?

Quasimodo, I love your Shanghai panorama!  However, I don't care for the grayscale version at all.  Did you ever do a print of either version, and if so, how large?

Quasimodo

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Re: Request for advice: Nightsky Picture Stacking and PS techniques
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2013, 01:27:37 PM »
Pedro, nice topic...I too am a night shooting enthusiast.

Mr. Bean, what hemisphere was that top photo of the Milky Way shot from?  Those two "clouds" to the right side...I suspect they have a name...starting with "M"...never seen pics of them before.  Also...Do you prefer the Zeiss 15mm over the 21mm?

Quasimodo, I love your Shanghai panorama!  However, I don't care for the grayscale version at all.  Did you ever do a print of either version, and if so, how large?

Thank you! The grayscale version was just to test for the OP here. I have not gotten the chance to print it yet. I also nelieve that I have a way to go in PP before doing so :)
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Re: Request for advice: Nightsky Picture Stacking and PS techniques
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2013, 01:27:37 PM »

CarlTN

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Re: Request for advice: Nightsky Picture Stacking and PS techniques
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2013, 01:42:14 PM »
Quasi, no problem.  I bet you could sell prints of it!

emag

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Re: Request for advice: Nightsky Picture Stacking and PS techniques
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2013, 02:11:45 PM »
Mr. Bean, what hemisphere was that top photo of the Milky Way shot from? 

Yeah, I noticed that also and checked Mr. Bean's profile real quick - Melbourne.  I had the pleasure of visiting Perth 30+ years ago, seeing Scorpius and the heart of the Milky Way overhead is something I'll never forget, back when I was in the navy and after a long cruise through dark skies on the Indian Ocean.  I know you're a night sky fan Carl.....you should treat yourself to a southern hemisphere trip sometime.  Milky Way, Coal Sack, Magellanic Clouds, Omega Centauri, all just spectacular.  Check out the Southern Skies Star Party at Lake Titicaca.

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Re: Request for advice: Nightsky Picture Stacking and PS techniques
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2013, 02:11:45 PM »