Tuesday, September 12, 2017

No Substitute for Experience!

In the last post about the solar eclipse, I posted the best I could do in revealing the most out of my photos. I knew that you needed to take several exposure lengths to capture the tremendous range of brightness of the sun's corona. At left are the 4 exposures taken with the TEC 140 and Canon 6D that aren't totally overexposed (I tended to go way to long!). From upper left the exposures range from a 400th of a second to a sixth of a second at lower right. In an attempt to wring details out of the image, I did the standard HDR (High Dynamic Range) technique in Photoshop to combine them. That resulted in the photo shown in the above post that normally does a reasonable job in revealing details in a scene with a huge range in brightness. While ok, it was NOT what I was seeing others getting.

I arm-twisted my bloggin' buddy Ken to have a go at it. Part of my problem above is that I used jpegs, that results in loss of data. While I've had my camera over a year, I don't use the raw files as it would require my getting an annual subscription to Adobe which I refuse to do. Ken has the latest version and I though using the raws would make a big difference. But I was wrong as he didn't get great results either. He took the liberty of passing it on to another friend Stan Honda, a professional photographer and owner of several "Astronomy Pictures of the Day". I was reluctant to bother Stan, but Ken had no such reservations, so I was glad for the help!

And what Stan got was quite spectacular! Shown at left here is his proper handling of the raw data in revealing more of the coronal structure. I've yet to learn what he did, but he sent links to a pair of tutorials he followed from Adobe. I've not had a chance to work through them yet, but tutorial #1 is here, and tutorial #2 is here. If you have access to Adobe products and want to get into this kind of processing, I suspect all you need is there!

Thanks so much to Stan for demonstrating there is always more to learn, and thanks for revealing where you learned it!

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