I haven’t been very active with imaging recently, to say the least. But I still have a passion for the subject and enjoy witnessing its continual evolution and I try to keep up to date. Recently I came across a video by Nico Carver explaining his techniques for processing astro images. What caught my eye was a free piece of software called Starnett++ which effectively removes all the stars from an image. Doing this allows the star and nebula data to be edited independently of one another. An absolute game changer.
Inspired by the potential improvements, I spent the late hours of last night reworking a shot of the Andromeda galaxy which I captured a whole 9 years ago, back in 2013. Below is the original version. You can see how bloated and distracting the foreground stars are compared to the newly edited version above.
Image details: Nikon D7000, Nikkor 180mm f2.8 at f2.8. 64 minutes (48 x 80 seconds) at iso 800. Using didymium filter. Tracked with barn door tracker. Stacked with Deep Sky Stacker, edited with Photoshop.