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The Art of Processing: Before and After Gallery

Jean-Paul Mission

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Milky Way, before and after processing, final edit

The before and after challenge

We issued a challenge to our readers to show us their worst raw data and the resulting best final image. While some of them were featured in our Art of Processing Astrophotography Images article, we didn’t want to leave any of our challenge entrants. So, here they are! Go read the article about the art of processing to help cut through the magic of astrophotography images, and to give a better idea of the work that goes into each one, and how they are created: The Art of Processing Astrophotography Images


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About the author

Cory Schmitz

Co-founder of PhotographingSpace.com, co-owner of several telescopes and mounts, too many cameras, and not enough hard drives, Cory is an American expat living in South Africa with his wife, Tanja Schmitz.

An avid astrophotographer for timelapse, deep-space imaging, lunar, planetary, and star trail imagery, he is an all-around jack-of-most-trades for night-sky photography.

He is also an internationally published and commissioned astrophotographer, where his photos have been used in multiple online and print publications.


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  • Thank you so much for writing this article! One of the key take-sways for me was the reference to “what were your camera settings”. As a novice, I have had minimal success with astrophotography over the past year and thanks to your article, I realize that a lot of my problem seems to be that I have focused on camera settings far too much……while focusing on post-processing far too little.

    • Thanks David, I’m happy to help.

      Yes, it’s far more than camera settings. They are important, of course, but only a small part of the equation to get right. That’s what we’re here for, to de-mystify (de-complicate!) things. 🙂

      I’m glad we’re getting there!


      • Cory excellent article on starting with a raw image and turning it into a final product. One of the less known stitching programs that has worked wonders for me is the free Microsoft ICE (image composite editor). I’ve taken 20 images, thrown them in the program and out pops a nearly perfect composite. Have you tried it?

        • Hi Jon,

          I haven’t used Microsoft ICE but I have heard some great things about it! I’d say it’s one of the top three along with PTGui and Lightroom/Photoshop, maybe.

          I will give it a try sometime for sure.


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Astrophotography Photoshop Actions!

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