When you have a hobby like astrophotography, it’s easy to get caught up in the technical aspects of what you’re doing; image exposure times, is there tilt in my imaging train, are all my stars perfectly round, am I following the right steps post-processing, etc.

And if you start paying too much attention to what others are doing on forums and such, you can quickly lose sight of why you started this hobby in the first place.

Not that the technical aspects aren’t important and the help you can get from forums isn’t tremendous, but the beauty of your images is in the eye of the beholder.

Don’t focus so much on what a “correct” image should look like, but focus on what kind of image makes you happy.

If you like it and you’re happy with it, it is correct.

Having said all that, I thought it would be interesting to re-stack some of the image sets I took almost a year ago and see if my skills had improved at all.

And since I’m re-using previous image sets, the skills improvement will mostly be on the processing and post-processing side of the house by using additional tools such as DeNoise AI and PixInsight along side Photoshop.

The first image was taken on 6/27/20.

The Lagoon Nebula. 60 x 120-seconds. RASA 8″. L-Enhance filter. Processed with Photoshop.

The second image is the whole frame which includes the Trifid Nebula after re-stacking and post-processing with PixInsight, DeNoise AI and Photoshop.

Quite the difference and I also took some artistic license with the colors. Pretty cool!

The last image is the previously processed and cropped Trifid Nebula from June 2020.