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Photographing The Soul Nebula

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The Soul Nebula (Westerhout 5, Sharpless 2-199, LBN 667) is a large emission nebula located in the constellation Cassiopeia.  The apparent size of this deep sky object from Earth makes it a fantastic deep sky astrophotography target to photograph using a camera and telescope. There are several small open clusters embedded within the Soul Nebula including IC 1848, which the designation of this object is often referred to. The nebula complex is the eastern neighbor of IC 1805 (The Heart Nebula) and the two deep-sky objects are often mentioned together as the "Heart and Soul". Here is…

learn astrophotography

Learn Astrophotography

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If you are looking to learn astrophotography and the process of capturing deep-sky objects with your DSLR and telescope, you may find the information below of value.  By watching my techniques from the backyard, you will understand how to go about capturing images yourself. No matter what your current skill level is in astrophotography, you can always pick up a few pointers by watching a fellow astrophotographer's workflow. Actions speak louder than words.  If you have seen the deep-sky images in my photo gallery, then you know what to expect by using my capturing and processing met…

Nebulosity in Space

Star Removal in Photoshop

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How to remove the stars from your astrophotography image This is a very easy, yet powerful image processing technique for astronomy photos because you can make adjustments to your deep-sky object independently. In this example tutorial, I am using Adobe Photoshop CC 2015, but older versions of Photoshop will complete this task the same way. You can see the star reduction technique in action in the following video on my YouTube Channel: There are dedicated astrophotography software applications and plugins that can speed this process up and may do a better job. However, sometimes you may…

The Rosette Nebula

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The Rosette Nebula is a stunning astrophotography target for your camera and telescope. The colorful hydrogen gas and embedded open star cluster (NGC 2244) make this winter deep-sky target one that is not to be overlooked. Also referred to as "The Skull Nebula", this impressive object competes for your attention alongside the nearby Orion Nebula, Horsehead Nebula, and many others.   Over the years, I have photographed the Rosette Nebula many times using various camera types. In this post, I'll share some fascinating information about the Rosette Nebula, and best practices for p…

Pelican Nebula

IC 5070 – The Pelican Nebula

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The Pelican Nebula is an H II region (emission nebula) in the constellation Cygnus. Cataloged as IC 5070, this nebula lies right next to the North America Nebula. The Pelican Nebula contains an active mix of star formation and evolving gas clouds.  An ionization front is gradually transforming the gas of the Pelican Nebula thanks to light emitted by young energetic stars. Over millions of years, this nebula will no longer resemble a Pelican in shape, as the gas and placement of stars will have changed. Over the years, I have photographed the Pelican Nebula with my camera and telesco…

astrophotography resources

Resources

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Astrophotography resources include software, plugins, websites and generally great information that can take your skills to the next level. The right software and tools can save you from unnecessary headaches, and help you enjoy the art of astrophotography on new levels. It is important to maximize your time under the stars and make sure that you give yourself the best chance of successful results. I have listed many of the software applications I use on a daily basis for capturing and processing deep-sky astrophotography images.  Some of these programs are free, most are not.…

Astrophotography Tutorials

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These Astrophotography tutorials are designed to help you take your photography and image processing skills to the next level. You will find tips for producing images like the ones in my photo gallery that were collected using a camera and telescope. You'll find powerful image acquisition techniques, best practices in the field, and advanced image processing techniques to continue pushing your progress forward. Combined with the useful resources mentioned below, the astrophotography tutorials found on this website can help you effectively photograph deep-sky objects from your o…