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Running Man & Great Orion Nebula (Sh2-279 &...
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Thank you for the kind words Lou.


Great work Gary, it's always a treat to see your work. I've been out of commission for a while, I need to fix some odds and ends to get my observatory and health up to par and join you guys once again. This goup us inspiring I am so glad we've been able to keep it together for so long and become a fixture of the DVAA.

Clear skies


Hi Scott,

Probably due to not knowing how to properly use the tool, I haven't had much luck getting natural looking results with PixInsight's HDR Composition tool so I still combine the different exposures as Photoshop Layers.  I typically use a Layer Mask to blend in the shorter exposure information (i.e. - the Trapezium region in the case of M42).

It can be tricky getting the blending right so that the transition looks smooth and not too dark or surrounded by a large dark halo.  The blending can also be controlled by tweaking the opacity of the shorter exposure time layer ....which would be on top of the longer exposure time layer as you would expect.


Gary, do you have more information on how you do the HDR for Orion as part of the workflow? I recently did Orion and would agree the center is a bit washed out. I am using PixInsight.

- Scott V

Thank you Prasad.  I'm glad that you enjoyed the image.


Thank you Dan.  Much appreciated!

I agree that, for an "easy" target, processing M42 is always on the challenging side because of the extremely wide dynamic range.  It's one of the objects that I always take short and long exposures of in order to do an HDR composite during final processing.


Thank you Stan.


Wow, absolutely stunning image. So good to see and enjoy the beauty. Thank you for the post


Gary, Really spectacular especially considering the location and limited integration time. The processing is impressive also. You were able to bring out detail that can be challenging. Case in point, the Trapezium. Well done.


That is a fantastic image Gary!  Thanks also for sharing all the details on how you captured this image. Again, very impressive to me! 


Sent from my iPad

I've been thinking about winter astronomy season soon becoming a thing of the past and decided to revisit some data I captured in my back yard this past December of the Running Man & Orion Nebula (Sh2-279 & M42). Even though I've imaged these objects numerous times before, they never fail to blow me away with their magnificence.

As I've mentioned before, while I prefer to image from a dark sky location, this image shows that you don't have to drive hours to get reasonably decent astrophotos. For reference, my house is located in the moderately light polluted area called Centre Point (between Skippack and Blue Bell). The camera used for this is a cooled, one-shot-color camera with an internal IR block filter (which was the only filter used for this capture).

Imaging Details:

Running Man & Great Orion Nebula

(Sh2-279 & M42)

December 19 & 20, 2022 (~00:01 to 01:20 EST)

(North is approx. left & East is approx. down)

1 hr, 35 mins Total Exp (33x120s, 22x60s, 30x10s, 30x5s)

OTA: TeleVue TV-85, w/8x FR (480mm FL, 1.6 arcsec/pix)

Camera: ZWO ASI2600MC-P (-20ºC, G=102), Int IR Filter,

Mount: iOptron CEM40

Pre & Post Processing: PixInsight Ver 1.8.9

Noise Reduction, Black Point & Presentation Format: PS CS 5.1

AI Noise Reduction: ON1 Photo RAW 2023

Gary Trapuzzano

Worcester Township, PA

~Bortle 6/7 (SQM ~= 18.8 Typ)

Clear skies,


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