Andy Wenstrand (dot com) | The Mighty Orion
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About This Project

The first clear night in weeks and I was itching to get out and try to get some images of Orion’s Nebula with the 5Ds I was borrowing from work.  Armed with a pretty crappy tripod – the $20 Walmart kind – and a remote trigger out of batteries, I still managed to have a pretty good time.

I choose the Nebula because it’s ridiculously easy to find as it’s faintly visible on a moonless night, out early enough I could still be in bed by midnight and didn’t need to set up my entire rig to get some great images.  The humidity mixed with the cold air made the stars sparkle, which looks cool when you look up, but makes for some challenges photographing the sky.  The stacked images came out extremely blue and needed quite a few extra curve corrections and masks to pull the reds out of the core.

Images were shot with a Canon 5Ds on a Canon 135mm f/2 lens at f/2.8 with a 4″ exposure at ISO 2000.  The final image is a composite of 90 stacked light frames calibrated and registered against 25 bias frames, 25 flat frames and 25 dark frames.  The stacking and initial color stretching was done with PixInsight and finished in Photoshop.