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Astro Photography - Stacking or processing first?

Discussion in 'PhotoShop & Editing Tips, Tricks and Tutorials For' started by Mikeday2003, Apr 18, 2019.

  1. Mikeday2003

    Mikeday2003 New Member

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    Hi there

    I'm ok with the camera set up for star / milkyway photography (Canon 650D(Rebel T4i)) and have taken quite a few good shots.

    My question is around processing and how to get the best effect

    Many tutorial videos have stacking (10 of so photos to reduce noise) and then processing in lightroom, wheras others videos have processing in lightroom first and then stacking?

    Which way guys?
    Thanks
     
  2. Minor Problem

    Minor Problem Always on Premium Member

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    I carry out global adjustments in lightroom for web, contrast, clarity, saturation etc first to one image, copy the adjustments to all the others before exporting for star trails etc processing elsewhere. I don't stack for noise reduction though as I use an f/1.4 lens at keep the iso around 800 most of the time so NR isn't much of an issue.
     
  3. Paul Mitchell

    Paul Mitchell Member

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    I dont know if its right or wrong, but Id stack them first. When everything is together then fix the image. Fixing first might alter the images in minute ways, so its better to stack first. If anyone can tell me thats wrong, Id sure like to know.
     
  4. Minor Problem

    Minor Problem Always on Premium Member

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    Personally I'd rather make the adjustments on a 16bit RAW file and then output to jpg when I'm happy and stack, adjustments applied in bulk in lightroom are spot on for each file. If however you shoot the stack in jpg I doubt it would make much difference which way round you did it.
     
  5. Ozzie_Traveller

    Ozzie_Traveller Old Hand Premium Member

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    G'day Mike

    As I shoot in JPEG mode, the Lightroom / RAW options don't apply for me
    I'm one of those fellas who likes the 'kiss' mode of operation - so I stack first. Stacking might involve from 100 images to 500 images.

    Using the 'startrails.de' software is beaut & easy - and stacking say, 400 images takes maybe 12-14 minutes on my laptop ~ and while I am sipping something nice & warm [or red] I will watch the composite image develop on the screen.

    The final image can be PP'd if / as needed once the cup or glass is emptied
    Phil
     
    Paul Mitchell likes this.
  6. MikeB

    MikeB Always on Premium Member

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    I'm still learning how to do astrophotography as well but the process I've been most happy with is this. First, I try to avoid star trails, I want a clean image of the Milky Way - no trails whatsoever, and I'm avoiding buying a startracker though I'm heading in that direction. I use multiple images that must be first aligned (a startracked would avoid this), then averaged (Mean). The more images, the better the noise reduction. The more the noise reduction the more you can push the image in processing. After averaging the images, I use deconvolution sharpening to tighten the point source, then I process the image.
     

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