THE BIG PIC­TURE

COM­BIN­ING TWO IMAGES INTO ONE WITH LAYER MASKS

Sky at Night Magazine - - THE SKY GUIDE -

With the re­turn of M42, the Orion Neb­ula, to UK skies this month, we take a look at how to image this pop­u­lar tar­get with an ex­tended dy­namic range. Un­usu­ally for a deep-sky ob­ject, the core part of M42 is bright enough for over-ex­po­sure as you at­tempt to record the fainter outer wisps. Us­ing layer masks it’s pos­si­ble to com­bine images of the core with those show­ing the outer ne­bu­los­ity, re­veal­ing the whole dy­namic range of the ob­ject in a nat­u­ral-look­ing man­ner. This tech­nique is a good tool to have in your reper­toire as it can also be ap­plied to some other bright deep-sky ob­jects too.

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