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Combining images from narrowband filters is often done using the Hubble tricolor palette, in which SII, Ha, and OIII are assigned to R, G, and B, respectively. Another technique adopted by the Canadian-France-Hawaii Telescope team (CFHT) is the sequence Ha, OIII, and SII (for R, G, B, respectively).
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Process the Ha Image. The process for stacking the H-alpha exposures mirrors the technique we just used for the RGB image. The filter I used to collect image in hydrogen alpha with my DSLR camera is the Astronomik 12nm Ha clip-in filter for Canon EOS cameras.Estimated Reading Time: 7 mins
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Aug 20, 2019 · The DSLR Ha filter I use and recommend is the Astronomik 12nm Ha filter (Canon EOS). There are several versions of this clip-in DSLR filter available, including models for Canon full-frame bodies like the popular Canon EOS 6D and 5D Mark III. All of these images were captured with a Canon DSLR and an Astronomik 12nm Ha filter.Estimated Reading Time: 10 mins
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It is a bit of a pain — but well worth the effort in the end! October 4, at pm. Paul Bennett says:. On the other hand, Canon EF series lenses were designed to be used with both full-frame camera bodies and crop sensor models. February 6, at pm. Additionally if I capture regular RGB subs to combine with the Ha channel do these need to be the same exposure length or does it not matter once each of the two channels RGB and Ha are stacked? After adjusting the image to your liking, The final version of your H-Alpha image should look something like the image below:. The camera settings must be set to expose as bright an image as possible, which is typical of any framing and focusing routine with a DSLR. You will likely capture more detail in your emission nebula targets than ever before. There is more contrast in the images that used a 6nm filter, but the exposures also need to be longer. Not bad! If you live in the city, a Ha filter cuts through even the most severe light pollution. If you have either a light pollution or h-alpha filter covering your DSLR sensor at all times, you are not required to install any extra replacement filters. We can now make some small adjustments that will bring out even more color and enhance contrast. Simply apply a "Levels" adjustment layer to the image i. Would the addition of a Ha clip in allow me to expose much longer in my light polluted garden? With the RGB layer selected, open the curves adjustment dialog box. One of the most understated benefits of a clip-in Ha filter is the ability to capture h-alpha images with a camera lens attached. When prompted, choose "Don't Merge"! The colors are pleasing and are representative of Ha red and OIII blue , ionization fronts are yellow, and the stars do not have halos although they are relatively colorless, which is a characteristic of this technique. Can you please guide me as to what entry level equipment I will need for astrophotography including filters etc? The filter completely suppresses the emission lines of artificial lighting such as mercury Hg and sodium Na. I would recommend getting the CLS clip-in version filter before doing the full spectrum mod. Post a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. The light-blocking qualities of narrowband filters means that you will no longer see faint stars through the viewfinder of your DSLR, or when using the live-view function. Create a clipping mask using the OIII image synthetic green layer i. In addition, star colors are not well-preserved, and many images using the Hubble palette are characterized by red halos that are the result of greater bloating of stars with the SII filter partly due to the need for increased stretching of this channel. Slower optical systems will demand longer exposures to reach this value, and that puts added importance on tracking accuracy and the need for autoguiding. Have fun! Hi Diego. Teresa says:. Clip-in filters like the Astronomik 12nm Ha and similar clip filters are compatible with Canon EF lenses. John West says:. Do you have any examples of shooting the Sun with this filter? You should see that almost all of the pixel information resides in the red channel. Popular Post. Construction of the color composite is done using the layer method in Photoshop CS and should be followed exactly as described for best results. With the HaR image still open. Even using a 7nm Ha filter which is stronger and more targeted than the 12nm version , the brightest stars in the night sky will still show up in live-view. Awesome site, outstanding pictures, and I appreciate your openness and willingness to share your hard earned experience. Please click here to view DSS images that I've processed with the bicolor technique. Andrea says:. DSS calculates that the total integrated exposure time will be 3 hours. Thanks, and keep it up, your site has been so helpful. I have developed a processing method that only requires data from Ha and OIII filters, in an attempt to 1 decrease the amount of imaging time necessary for each target, 2 produce a more "realistic" looking color image, and 3 still preserve some of the unique appearance of narrowband imaging. No problem, use the data you collect in Ha as a powerful luminance layer to your color images. Many backyard astrophotographers would disagree, wishing they had gone with the 6nm instead.
The Ha filter blocks out all wavelengths of light except for a very narrow band of Hydrogen Alpha. The RGB exposures are simply the regular color images captured by the camera. If you prefer to watch a video of this tutorial, please have a look at my step by step guide below:. Before combining the images, you will need to create a master file for both the full color and h-alpha versions. These were taken at a dark sky site back in October of using a modified Canon Rebel Xsi. This process is the same as stacking and processing any regular color deep-sky image. I will go through my exposures and delete any frames with poor guiding, clouds, soft or out-of-focus stars, or satellite trails. The exposures in this set are 5 minutes each, at ISO Unfortunately, I did not shoot any bias or flat support files , but I did capture 16 dark frames. I have made very few changes to the default settings in Deep Sky Stacker. DSS calculates that the total integrated exposure time will be 3 hours. Not bad! Deep Sky Stacker Settings for Astrophotography. Remember, this is only half of the battle. My usual processing technique was used on the final RGB version of the image below. These actions and techniques can be seen in action in the astrophotography tutorial video:. I offer a quick run through of each step in the video version of the HaRGB tutorial at the top of this page. The process for stacking the H-alpha exposures mirrors the technique we just used for the RGB image. After adjusting the image to your liking, The final version of your H-Alpha image should look something like the image below:. This will use the true color of the deep-sky object from the RGB image, and the enhanced detail and smaller stars of the H-Alpha image. Before we can get to the fun part of adding the H-Alpha luminosity layer, we can modestly improve the RGB version by modifying the Red Channel specifically. This will isolate the red channel, and your deep-sky image will appear black and white. You may need to move the layer around to line up exactly with the Ha layer below. This creates a blend of the red channel and h-alpha data that was captured. Save this HaR version of the image as a separate file. With the HaR image still open. Select All, and Copy the entire image canvas. Now go back to your RGB version and open the Channels window once more. If necessary, move the layer into position. This creates a new RGB image that includes the enhanced detail and smaller stars from the H-Alpha image. Now we will combine the color of the RGB image, with the detail and reduced stars of the Ha image. We want to remove the finer details and stars from the RGB image, we are just interested in the color. For the image in my example, I used a radius of 10 pixels, with a threshold of 0. It is at this point where we finally start to see the power of creating a HaRGB composite, as the RGB and Ha have joined forces to produce a stunning rendition of the California Nebula not possible through standard color alone. We can now make some small adjustments that will bring out even more color and enhance contrast. With the RGB layer selected, open the curves adjustment dialog box. Pull the center of the curve upwards to increase the color saturation of the underlying RGB image. This time, however, pull the center of the curve downward to enhance the overall contrast further. I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and have been successful in your attempt to create a HaRGB composite photo. This technique works very well with emission nebulae such as the Eagle Nebula , Horsehead Nebula and more. If you prefer to watch a video of this tutorial, please have a look at my step by step guide below: How to create a HaRGB composite Before combining the images, you will need to create a master file for both the full color and h-alpha versions. Process the RGB image This process is the same as stacking and processing any regular color deep-sky image. These actions and techniques can be seen in action in the astrophotography tutorial video: Astrophotography Tutorial — Image Processing a Nebula with Photoshop. The California Nebula in H-Alpha. Search AstroBackyard. Popular Post. Star Trackers.
Change the Mode to RGB i. Hi Trevor, I saw the you are using a SS of 3 or more minutes. January 21, at am. I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and have been successful in your attempt to create a HaRGB composite photo. This opens the door to impressive, wide-field projects revealing the hidden H II gases in the night sky. Danny Jones says:. The particulars of the Astronomik ha filter can be understood in the transmission graph below. This will isolate the red channel, and your deep-sky image will appear black and white. H-alpha is a specific deep-red visible spectral line with a wavelength of nm. If you own a DSLR camera that has been modified for astrophotography, a clip-in Ha filter should be on your shopping list. At this point, it's important to look at the histogram for each channel to determine whether the highlights are clipped. If you live in the city, a Ha filter cuts through even the most severe light pollution. Thx Paul. On the other hand, Canon EF series lenses were designed to be used with both full-frame camera bodies and crop sensor models. Finally, I find it useful to apply a "Selective Color" adjustment layer to the image so that you can adjust the red, magental, blue, and cyan to taste. Now go back to your RGB version and open the Channels window once more. The light-blocking qualities of narrowband filters means that you will no longer see faint stars through the viewfinder of your DSLR, or when using the live-view function. It means that city light pollution and moonlight are largely ignored. Traditional light pollution filters designed to help you photograph deep sky objects in broadband true-color are useful, but a hydrogen-alpha filter makes the single greatest impact on your astrophotography overall. The slower the focal ratio of your lens, the longer the exposure will need to be to adequately expose the image in h-alpha. Mark — Love the night vision goggles analogy, my thoughts exactly! The sub-exposures will look extremely red as shown in the example above, and so will the intermediate file that DeepSkyStacker spits out. I plan to follow your advice also about using the HA filter, but can I use it alone? September 2, at am. You will likely capture more detail in your emission nebula targets than ever before. Repeat this for the other two channels as needed. Even using a 7nm Ha filter which is stronger and more targeted than the 12nm version , the brightest stars in the night sky will still show up in live-view. This strategy was developed by Travis Rector and is more fully described by Ken Crawford download Ken's step-by-step procedure here. October 13, at pm. Notice how the entire image has a red cast over it? December 28, at pm. You can process this image the same way you would a color image, including adjusting the levels, curves, and even using dedicated astronomy actions. June 23, at pm. I have not yet overlayed the Ha images on top of the Hbeta. July 9, at pm. I would love to get the Camera modded, but there is no way I am capable of modding it, I would destroy the camera in about 30 seconds haha. What is your ideal method given the filters I already have? Hi Trevor, what a great tutorial on Filters. The 6nm would double these impacts, and increase this setup time. Your email address will not be published. October 6, at am. My Astronomik 12nm Ha filter cuts through my red-zone Bortle Class 8 skies to reveal beautiful structures of hydrogen gas in the emission nebulae I photograph. I just shoot standard astrophotography, usually with a 14mm wide angle lens. September 1, at pm. Stuart Fraser says:. This can make finding targets and focusing your camera lens or telescope difficult. I find that the most practical solution to this challenge is to find the closest, bright star to your intended deep sky object as a point of reference. Please note: As described below, I have made two modifications to the original bicolor technique. My usual processing technique was used on the final RGB version of the image below. Stick to full-frame lenses on your crop sensor DSLR. SZ says:. The process for stacking the H-alpha exposures mirrors the technique we just used for the RGB image.
After almost a decade of taking pictures of space with a DSLR camera, I have come to the realization that a DSLR Ha filter is quite possibly the most important astrophotography filter in your kit. Traditional light pollution filters designed to help you photograph deep sky objects in broadband true-color are useful, but a hydrogen-alpha filter makes the single greatest impact on your astrophotography overall. H-alpha is a specific deep-red visible spectral line with a wavelength of nm. Many nebulae in the night sky and even some galaxies emit a strong signal of light in this wavelength and a hydrogen-alpha filter helps to isolate and record this signal with your DSLR camera. Not a fan of black and white images? No problem, use the data you collect in Ha as a powerful luminance layer to your color images. As with other narrowband filters, such as O III and S II, capturing data from a precise bandpass offers many creative opportunities to improve your existing images. Before I share my 7 reasons why I think everyone who shoots with a DSLR camera should have an h-alpha filter, I want to highlight what I believe is the most important feature of all. You can use a clip-in hydrogen-alpha filter with a camera lens, and images collected in h-alpha through a short focal length are absolutely breathtaking. With so many incredible types of filters out there, how can one filter possibly be of any more useful than the rest? Have you ever seen your backyard sky through an h-alpha filter? You can finally see the hidden structure of the Milky Way behind the veil of light pollution in the city. Here is a photo of the constellation Cygnus from my Bortle Scale Class 8 backyard using a 17mm camera lens. Taking wide-field astrophotography images using a camera lens in place of a telescope is one of the most rewarding experiences in this hobby. You can use a clip-in DSLR filter with a telescope as well, making it a practical solution for amateur astrophotographers looking to collect narrowband data. The slower the focal ratio of your lens, the longer the exposure will need to be to adequately expose the image in h-alpha. For reference, here is a look at a single, unstretched linear sub-exposure of the DSLR image captured in Ha. The data observed in the red channel is the most important, as this is where all of the useful image data lies. Notice how the entire image has a red cast over it? The signal in the blue and green channels is almost non-existent. You may be asking yourself, is it worth it to use an h-alpha filter with a DSLR? Once the images have been registered and stacked using calibration frames, you should end up with an intermediate file that looks a little something like this:. The stacked result of 51 exposures using a DSLR camera and h-alpha filter. From here, you can bring the stacked TIF file into Adobe Photoshop to extract the red channel and process in the monochrome image. One of the most understated benefits of a clip-in Ha filter is the ability to capture h-alpha images with a camera lens attached. This opens the door to impressive, wide-field projects revealing the hidden H II gases in the night sky. Combining the Astronomik 12nm Ha filter with a mm lens is an incredibly effective combination. A clip-in filter is a convenient solution when using a camera lens for astrophotography. Some telescopes, like the William Optics RedCat 51 , include an internally threaded slot for a 48mm filter in the imaging train. However, the only possible spot for an h-alpha filter with a camera lens attached to your DSLR is inside the camera body. Narrowband filters designed to thread externally to the large lens objective are not common, are a filter of that size 77mm would be very costly. The Astronomik clip-in filters snap into the body of the DSLR securely, and most lenses will fit on top be sure to check the compatibility of the lens you intend to use. Capturing images using a clip-in hydrogen-alpha filter with your DLSR is a lot of fun. No matter how light-polluted your skies are, and how bright the moon is, you should see the distinct features of your deep-sky object that are emitting light at the nm bandpass. Knowing this, we need to extract the data from the red channel only, and process that channel as a monochrome image of its own. The first step is to stack, register, and calibrate your raw images the way you normally would with a color image taken with your DSLR camera. This includes using darks, flats and bias frames to help produce a calibrated image with a healthy signal to noise ratio. The sub-exposures will look extremely red as shown in the example above, and so will the intermediate file that DeepSkyStacker spits out. You should see that almost all of the pixel information resides in the red channel. The image pasted should default to grayscale mode, with only one channel gray in the Channels Tab. You can process this image the same way you would a color image, including adjusting the levels, curves, and even using dedicated astronomy actions. From here, you can either save and share the image as a black and white hydrogen-alpha photo which are beautiful, by the way , or you can apply this image to an existing color image to give it a dramatic punch. Some of the most incredible DSLR deep-sky images ever produced were created using narrowband filters to isolate specific emission lines in the visible spectrum. You can use the same signal isolating techniques to enhance your existing RGB data. A narrowband filter lets the h-alpha light of emission nebulae pass through to the camera sensor, and blocks almost all of the other wavelengths of light in the visible spectrum. This includes blocking unwanted wavelengths in IR infrared. For objects like the Bubble Nebula shown below , you can collect impactful signal that can be applied to your broadband images. It means that city light pollution and moonlight are largely ignored. This opens up the doors to imaging during the full moon , and from a city backyard. Emission nebulae are clouds of glowing H II gas, and they emit light at a very specific wavelength.