I'm writing this from the lobby of the Doubletree hotel in San Jose. Internet is free down here, the TV is acting funky, nothing to do in the room upstairs anyway. I'm here this weekend for the AIC (Advanced Imaging Conference). Spent the whole day in 4 seminars on image processing, and autoguiding. I'll just say my brain is full, but excited to try my new skills I learned - hopefully repeat a few times so I remember how to do it. Tony Hallas had a really great talk on Photoshop processing with some simple and amazing tricks with even more incredible results using an image of M81.
So far, I'm on the right track with my processing, but really need more work with using some of the Photoshop, levels, curves, layers, and definitely masking!
I just spent about $360 on a couple of filters for my Canon 350D camera - CLS filter for light polution, a H-alpha filter, and a book. Probably buy more stuff before the weekend is out.
Kind of fun meeting with a bunch of other astro-geeks. We all sit at tables, introduce ourselves, then pass around our netbooks and iPods sharing our "family" pictures of our backyard galaxies and objects. My little family of galaxies photos were kind of the "special needs" kid compared with some of the others that were shared (at least I think so!). There are people from all over the country, including someone from Australia and France. Always nice to meet others that share the same interest of staying out late at night, fooling around with expensive optics and computer gear while cursing into the darkness out of frustration. I did mention this is a rewarding hobby while being the most aggravating and frustrating activity around?