My Astrophotography Stacking Steps
As a casual photographer & novice astrophotographer, I have attempted to absorb as much information as possible in my learning adventure.
YouTube, Websites, Blogs, Books, etc.
So many tutorials!!
Over my short time of taking astro photos, I have taken notes regarding how to process my deep space astro photos to my liking.
I hope by making my notes on my processing steps, I can help others & possibly start a discussion on how to improve my images/processing.
If you would like to view some of my Deep Space Astrophotography, you can check them out in my Astrophotography project.
As a good starting point, most people use Deep Sky Stacker to begin their photo process. I am still using this software and have been happy with the results. I have also used Siril, but have not had luck recently with being able to stack any images...
Here are my current steps I use to stack my images before taking them into Photoshop to be processed.
===Open Picture Files===
• LIGHTS images
• Check All (ensure light frames are all check marked)
===Register Checked Pictures===
• Actions Tab
• Check "Register already registered pictures" & "Automatic detection of hot pixels"
• Advanced Tab
• set percentage & check for number of stars
• Check "Reduce the noise..." checkbox
• Computer number of detected stars >> Need to get good amount but not too many - may take too long to process
• Once happy with number of stars >>> Make sure stack is unchecked & click OK
• Light Frames will be rated/scored
• Review scores & determine if OK for stacking or need to be removed from set (low score could be fine or could mean star trails/blurry/etc)
• Right click bad image -- remove from list
===Set Reference Frame===
• Select 1 image to be base image
• Right Click - Use as Reference Frame
===Adding Dark / Flat / Bias Frames===
• Open Dark Frames
• Open Flat Frames
• Open Bias Frames
• Check All Photos you want to stack
• Register stacked pictures
• Uncheck "Register Already Registered Pictured"
• Check "stack after registering"
• Set Percentage to 90-100%
• Recommended settings...
• Click "Sigma-Clipping"
• Click OK
• Stacking Parameters
• Leave on Default for all tabs
• Click OK
• Review data is what expecting
• Click OK -- STARTS TO STACK IMAGE
===Save Picture to File===
===Load Stacked Image into Photoshop===