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DSS defeated..?

For YONKS now I have been trying to get to grips with an image processing program called “Deep Sky Stacker” which astro photographers use – as its name suggests – to stack photographs of the night sky. I’ve battled with it again and again, trying to get it to stack my “hmmm, ok” pictures into something, well, better. But I’ve never got to grips with it, and always just ended up with a tall grainy black and white monolith of crud…

Well, it turns out that was because DSS really doesn’t like RAW files created by Canon DSLRs, and just spits them out. Great. But I found, after Googling it, that the beta version of DSS positively loves Canon RAWS, so I downloaded that… and hey, whaddya know, it worked…!

Kind of.

It’s early days, but I actually managed to put into DSS some of my recent Comet Lovejoy pics and get out something… better. At least, better than Registax brewed up. I am going to need some proper help with the program, and have to start taking darks and flats and all those other things proper astrophotographers do, but for the first time I actually think it might be worth it, cos my very first efforts gave me these images…

dss1f

That’s not bad… the tail stands out pretty well!

2f

Now that one I am *really* pleased with, because the original half dozen frames all looked like this…

IMG_4169s

So I have to be pleased with that, right? I imagine if I can spend half an hour with someone who actually knows their way around DSS I might be able to get something a lot better than I’m getting with Registax…

Actually, this is great timing, because after humming and haahing for well over a year I’ve finally taken the plunge and ordered one of those iOptron star trackers for astrophotography, so the combination of that and a bit of work with DSS should get me some half-decent pics when I go up to the Kielder star camp next month. We’ll see…!

2 Responses

  1. They finally gave us what we wanted…

  2. Great work! I once looked at my Canon XS raws and they were so noisy, I never did anything with them. My camera must do a lot of processing before I see the jpeg photo. – bob

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