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Editing Milky Way Help Needed

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Re: Editing Milky Way Help Needed

Postby photodrawken » Fri Sep 01, 2017 3:52 am

Any time you're working with astrophotography, you need to use High Dynamic Range (HDR) techniques and work on 32-bit per pixel images. This is because of the extreme range of values from dark to light.

Here are two quick results using general-purpose image editors. In both cases, I first converted the JPG to a 32-bit per pixel working image.

In Affinity Photo, I used its HDR Tone Mapping, then applied Curves and Levels adjustments:
Milky Way 01 affinity.jpg

In PhotoLine, I used its Optimize HDR adjustment, then Curves and Histogram adjustments:
Milky Way 01 photoline.jpg

(In both programs, I used their capability of working in the Lab colour space for adjustment layers to adjust the Lightness (L) channel when adding the Curves adjustment.)

I also wanted to show the results of using a dedicated astrophotography program (FITS Liberator), but unfortunately the online JPG to FITS conversion utility doesn't seem to be working. :(

Note: Of course, your results will be much better since you can directly convert your 16-bit RAW photo to a 32-bit image without going through the ruinous JPG conversion....
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Re: Editing Milky Way Help Needed

Postby jamessveta » Sat Sep 02, 2017 2:59 am

Hello,
Thank you JoeB. You are getting about the same results I was getting. I'm curious of what adjustments you made. It must be that the original photo I took needs to be different. I will have to give it another try with maybe a different lens and settings. I was using my Canon 10-18 mm with the aperture open as far as it would go. I was also using a ISO of 3200 and the white balance set to tungsten and speeds anywhere from 30 sec to 1 minute. I also had auto noise reduction on.
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Re: Editing Milky Way Help Needed

Postby jamessveta » Sat Sep 02, 2017 3:44 am

Thank you photodrawken. It's still not what I was looking for but as I was saying in my post to JoeB I think it's just my original photo needs to be a lot better. Thank you for your help :)
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Re: Editing Milky Way Help Needed

Postby hartpaul » Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:00 am

So are you wanting more color in the stars, some reds and yellows as they should be eg Antares and Betelgeuse should be red if you were to photograph them, but using tungsten setting would stop that. Why were you using a tungsten setting ? Those stars have a variety some like the sun white yellow some reddish some should be blue white like Rigel.
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Re: Editing Milky Way Help Needed

Postby photodrawken » Sat Sep 02, 2017 6:07 am

jamessveta wrote:It's still not what I was looking for but as I was saying in my post to JoeB I think it's just my original photo needs to be a lot better.

Start hanging out at some of the amateur astrophotography sites. They will have all the info you need about taking photos, and will help clarify your thinking about what you want.
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Re: Editing Milky Way Help Needed

Postby hartpaul » Sat Sep 02, 2017 8:59 am

Here is my attempt:
Composite.jpg


I applied a color balance adjustment to reverse the tungsten effect.
Then I split the image into its RGB components.
I increased the color depth of each of the Red, Green and Blue images, increased their contrast. (this emphasised those stars that hade more of that color present.)
Then placed a new raster layer over each and filled with the respective primary color then changed the blend mode to lighten. (This allowed the whiter areas of the underlying layer to take on that color). Then merged the two layers.
Lastly I copied the original color temperature corrected layer over to the stack and placed it on the bottom. As the three layers above were in lighten blend mode the bottom layer now added its influence to produce a bit of the haze.
Merged all and saved as jpg.
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Re: Editing Milky Way Help Needed

Postby photodrawken » Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:45 am

This has been an interesting experiment. I wish the OP had supplied the original RAW image instead of a JPG, but it's amazing what can be done even with a JPG.

Looking at my first results with a fresh eye, I didn't like the strong bluish colour cast, so I tweaked the adjustments of the PhotoLine file to reduce the saturation. I also added a gradient to knock back the bright glow in the lower right corner, using the original image (with reversed colours) as a luminance mask for that gradient to retain the brightness of the bright stars:
Milky Way 01 photoline b.jpg

Here's a link to the large size image:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/5s7jetamsbprr ... 1.tif?dl=0
(That image is a 32-bit HDR TIFF image, so if you download it but your favorite viewer/editor can't handle those high quality TIFs, it won't open correctly. The image was saved with a full preview, which is why it can be viewed in your browser.)

As a side note, I decided a couple of days ago to see what all the fuss was about with the new Affinity Photo, and installed the trial. This discussion's problem image gave me a chance to work with AP. FWIW, after the first day of using AP, my thoughts were "This is kinda nice. I'll probably buy it." After two days of working with AP, my thoughts are "Meh...a couple of nice things, but somewhat awkward to use. I'll probably pass on it."
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Re: Editing Milky Way Help Needed

Postby JoeB » Sat Sep 02, 2017 7:38 pm

jamessveta wrote:Thank you JoeB. You are getting about the same results I was getting. I'm curious of what adjustments you made


My adjustments were very simple, 2 steps. I opened Histogram Adjustment and move the right slider about 3/4 of the way to the left towards the curve, brightening the image and particularly the Milky Way. Then I moved the left slider somewhat to the right to darken the darker (bluish to black) universe background, thus increasing the contrast between it and the Milky Way, and clicked OK. Then I opened the Clarity filter and used a setting of approximately 70 or so, providing further contrast. That's it. Basically, for this particular image, moving the right Histogram slider even further left would have added more brightness, and the left one further right more dark contrast, so that's just a matter of taste and degree.

jamessveta wrote:It must be that the original photo I took needs to be different.....


Definitely, because you can only work with the image information you have for the most part.

jamessveta wrote: .... I was also using a ISO of 3200 and the white balance set to tungsten....


As hartpaul said, this would not be a time to be using the tungsten setting because that will cause whatever color near the reddish/orangish spectrum to be lost. You probably shouldn't be using any light filter corrections at all if you want to capture as much original color data as possible. Then you can use PSP to enhance, subdue, etc., the various color data to taste - or at least as much to taste as the available data will allow. :-)
Regards,

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Re: Editing Milky Way Help Needed

Postby jamessveta » Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:20 am

Hello,
Again Thank You to everyone for all the help and advice you have given. hartpaul I was going on the advice from a video I was watching on youtube from someone who is supposedly an astrophotographer and has years experience. There is so much information out there on photography on youtube that it's hard to tell which one I should listen to. A lot I have learned by trial and error. When we get another night that is good for photographing the milky way I will give it another go. I'll report back and let you know what happens.
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Re: Editing Milky Way Help Needed

Postby photodrawken » Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:12 am

For anyone stilll interested in a somewhat rigorous exploration of this problem, here's the latest:

Just to finish off the possible results using that JPG image, I converted it to the FITS format and opened it in FITS Liberator. I used a non-linear "stretch" function to expand the values -- the formula is
ArcSinh(ArcSinh(x))

After "scaling" the values to define the black point and white point, the result is this:
Milky Way 01 FL a.jpg

As you can see, the biggest problem is the glow in the lower right corner.

After saving the image as a 32-bit HDR TIF image, I opened it in PhotoLine and once again applied the Optimize HDR adjustment. Because FITS Liberator only creates B&W images, I slightly colorized it. Again, I used a gradient to minimize that glow in the lower right:
Milky Way 01 FL b.jpg
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Re: Editing Milky Way Help Needed

Postby jamessveta » Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:31 am

Hello Again,
I did go out and try shooting the Milky Way again and tried to edit but still not getting results that I want. When I went to our camera club meeting last night we were talking again about Paint Shop vs Lightroom and everyone there suggests getting Lightroom and forget about Paint Shop because it's not meant for working with photos like Lightroom is. They say Paint Shop is more for doing artistic effects and most all the photographers use Lightroom. It is so difficult getting information on Paint Shop because not many people use it. So it looks like I will have to bite the bullet and get the subscription for Lightroom if I want to get more help and better photos. Thanks everyone for your help.
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Re: Editing Milky Way Help Needed

Postby JoeB » Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:54 am

jamessveta wrote:Hello Again,
I did go out and try shooting the Milky Way again and tried to edit but still not getting results that I want. When I went to our camera club meeting last night we were talking again about Paint Shop vs Lightroom and everyone there suggests getting Lightroom and forget about Paint Shop because it's not meant for working with photos like Lightroom is. They say Paint Shop is more for doing artistic effects and most all the photographers use Lightroom. It is so difficult getting information on Paint Shop because not many people use it. So it looks like I will have to bite the bullet and get the subscription for Lightroom if I want to get more help and better photos. Thanks everyone for your help.


Why don't you give your original image you posted here (same size and quality as you provided here to work on) to one of those folks who uses Lightroom and see if they can get better results before deciding whether or not it's the tool? Better yet, have them let you sit with them while they're doing it. Then report back with an attachment of the result AND a step by step of how it was achieved in Lightroom. I'm sure we'd all be interested.
Regards,

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Re: Editing Milky Way Help Needed

Postby hartpaul » Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:43 am

Totally agree. I am finding that some in these elite clubs will only ever look at Lightroom and Photoshop assuming that because they are the best then they will get the best results , Bit like saying that if a starting violinist is given a Stradivarius then they will be able to get the best results from it. Or similarly some one says that's a great photograph, you must have a good camera, or thats really tasty food , you must have great dishes etc.
Joe beat me to the suggestion, to be fair and make a proper comparison you should take the same image that was provided to us and let these guys work their miracles. Bet they demand a raw image and say they cannot get good results from such a lores image. But be insistent and see if they can get a better result than PSP.
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Re: Editing Milky Way Help Needed

Postby photodrawken » Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:44 am

jamessveta wrote:(...)
but still not getting results that I want.
(...)

It would really help if you would describe what you want the result to look like -- you've been shown 7 variations of your image and all you have said is that they're not what you want.... :?
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Re: Editing Milky Way Help Needed

Postby rodelaet » Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:55 pm

Hi James,

What you are trying to achieve is way beyond the scope of PSP or Lightroom. Most pictures of the Milky Way are stacked images. This is the realm of the serious astrophotographers. The best results are given by stacking multiple pictures of the same area of sky. You might also need to take darks and flats or even use light pollution filters. There are specific applications such as deepskystacker and registax to help you out. They stack all your pictures in order to increase the signal/noise ratio of your camera.
If you don't want to take up astrophotography seriously, then PSP can do a basic job of stacking your pictures as well. You can import 4 photos on separate layers and manually match and blend the layers together. Use the blend mode 'lighten', and the result will show more contrast and less noise.
The better your single pictures are, the better your blended photo will look. A dark site with less light pollution will provide better material to start with.
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