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This is how I have been processing planets in Photoshop

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I have heard that some people are having a bit of a hard time with some of the planetary observations, so here is what I do with them after I've done my wavelets using waveSharp on them. I will give one hint on waveSharp, if you get a bright edge while doing your wavelets go to the pre-process tab and reduce image brightness. With Mercury I ended up reducing it by 40% to get ti right. Also remember, just because you've done wavelets does not mean you are done by any means.

Now back to Photoshop and my first step. The first step is to do File > automate > Load files into stack, then browse to the folder they are in and then select them all, then make sure to check both the attempt to align and create smart object boxes. After this hit OK



You will end up with something that looks like this does Since this one is Mercury you don't really get color in it, same as when you do the moon. When you do this with a planet that is not Jupiter (it rotates too fast) you will get color in it too. My mars images from the other day were done with this method.


Now that we have a planet it is time to do post processing on it. The first thing I will do is take it into filters >camera raw and do adjustments on light, color, effects, curve, and detail. That will get me most of the way there. On Mercury this is easy enough since it is actually light gray according to NASA, so color doesn't really need work on it. I will zoom way in so I can get a feel for what I am doing with it, in this case I am zoomed in to 300%


Since Mercury is gray I went ahead and used Adjustments > Channel Mixer and chose the preset black and white infrared set.


Next I do rotation on it to make it look like the rotation it should have based on the thumbnail image by doing image > image rotation > arbitrary, and 75 degrees counter clockwise. After this I am going to fill in the white areas to match the black background by selecting them, expand selection by 3 pixels using select > modify > expand, then edit > fill > color, or in this case I will just choose black.


Since I want to make this a bit bigger I will do Image > image size > and in this case I did 150% on both the height and width. Next to finalize it I wanted it slightly brighter so I did a curves adjustment, making sure to keep it subtle.


After flattening the image I cropped it a little, then changed it to an 8 bit image, then saved it as a jpg and now I am done. Time to go put it up in the gallery!

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Hi Scotty, Very helpful. I saw that you processed Uranus, presumably in the same way. 

After wavelet sharpening (I used Registax) should be possible to stack the files in AutoStakkert, which is a standard work flow used by most planetary photographers. It's great that stacking in Photoshop works, but should not be necessary (especially for those of us who do not have a photoshop license). However, for the Uranus data set, Autostakkert is unable to load and stack the tif files generated by Registax. Do you have any insight as to why this is?

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For the Jupiter ones it will attempt to derotate them with Photoshop for alignment, but it doesn't do a good job on thst with Photoshop. Winjupos is the best for that. Believe it or not there is also rotation on some of the Mars stuff, and Photoshop actually worked on derotating that, even though there is enough to do an animation of Martian rotation. 

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