Starry Landscape Stacker

Mike Takes On The Moose

Mike Takes On The Moose
  • If you’ve been following our reviews, you know we really like backpacks from MindShift Gear (a division of Think Tank Photo) because they work great for the adventures we like to do. I've been reviewing their packs for a few years now and the latest model I chose was the Moose Peterson MP-3 V2.0. There is a bigger version (than the MP-3 and a smaller version as well) but this model felt like the perfect size for my needs.

  • I'll be honest in saying that I did not buy this backpack. I had the opportunity to review it for MindShift Gear / Think Tank Photo and I was happy to do so. That said, I'm including my honest opinions on it without restraint. If there are areas where it did poorly, I will not hesitate to say so.

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Night Photography 2.0

Night Photography 2.0

For most people, night photography started with a digital camera…  following in the footsteps of others who inspired us to get out and shoot in the dark.  Our images were a little noisy and that reminded us that the higher ISO settings can give us more noise.  With that, we accepted that nightscape images are generally more noisy (than daytime landscape images) because of the limits of the cameras we have available.

Introducing Stacking To The World

Astronomers have had some ability to "stack" multiple exposures to reduce noise for years.  This is where we take advantage of the fact that the location of the noise dots on each exposure is different and this allows us to sort of "average" them together to get the noise dots to disappear where the points of light just reinforce each other.  The result is significant noise reduction - although the software that does this is generally very expensive and overly complicated.

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Stacking App Review - Finding The Best Stackers

Stacking App Review - Finding The Best Stackers

While astronomers have some good alternatives for stacking multiple exposures to reduce noise, the apps they use are generally expensive and complicated to use.  For these reasons, I tend to like using Photoshop to handle stacking my images.  Other options have been limited and hard to get excited about.  Over the past few years however, the quality of our options and my opinions of them have changed significantly.

Background
Wide-field astrophotographers have looked to Adobe Photoshop to handle their stacking needs for years.  It hasn't been a perfect fit but when combining 4 or so exposures to reduce noise, it's been an effective tool in reducing noise.  For those people who like to stack more than 4, staying with Photoshop pushes most people past the limits of their Photoshop skills.  And in looking at 3rd party alternatives, there simply haven't been good alternatives available since most of them are expensive and complicated to learn and use.

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