north america nebula edited by panoimages

Finding my Way in Post-Editing

“Life is all about sharing. If we are good at something, pass it on.”

~Mary Berry

Altering the universe🤔 But not in the way you think

From the earliest age, we’ve been taught to share the things we love the most with others. As an artist 🧑‍🎨of the cosmos, how could I keep something so beautiful hidden behind closed doors and all to myself?

Astrophotography is just like any other photography project 📷 There’s a careful balance and individual taste that each artist has when editing their work. The colors and vivid qualities that come across in my work are a statement of myself. They are the beauty that I choose to highlight from these Astro-objects. Much like finding beauty in the night sky, there is no wrong or right. It’s all in what you want to see and what you want to deliver to those who view your work. As I am not a natural-born geek, acquiring skills in using the soft-wares for photo-editing is like learning a new language. I don’t even know the coding scripts of each process of the soft-wares, let alone understanding them. Everything is new to me, but I am not daunted by everything ahead.

Filters and failing 😔

Not all hobbies are perfected instantly, especially when opinions vary. Shooting under a sky with heavy light pollution and trying to get crisp images is NOT easy. There’s a bit of editing required to make the universal qualities you enjoy the most standout. But not all people view it that way. Some believe you need to have the skills and knowledge to take the perfect photo without any use of editing software or filter applications. For me, I like the combination of the two.🤷‍♀️ Filters do help to a certain extent, yet they cannot eliminate unwanted particles of certain wavelengths. After taking the astrographs for a minimum of 3 hours, everyone would want their artworks to look best before presenting to the rest of the world. I refuse to allow either side of the equation to sway my decision. My craft, my art, my opinions. That’s what you get. I will forever seek help from peers and professionals who can help steer me in the direction I want to go without dimming my light!💡

Not all journeys in life should be navigated alone

After taking the 2nd class on post-editing, I wanted to try things out on my own. Not engineered with a geek’s mind, I was despondent for the first couple of days for not being able to generate an image. I was frustrated. Not just at the program but with myself for not immediately having a solid grasp on how to manipulate photos the way I wanted to. I somehow expected myself to be the best before being the worst.

Sometimes, you need to know when to ask for help 🆘

“Hi! May I know if you could share your tips about this software with me?”

Asking for help isn’t always easy. Sometimes, it’s quite the opposite. It took a lot for me to decide to send messages out as feelers across Instagram and try to gain insight on editing my astrographs in the best way possible.

I’ve encountered two kinds of people.

👎1 – the kinds of people who will close off and shut you out. Their information is kept a secret for only them to know and use.

👍2 – those who are willing to show you everything they know. They are passionate about their craft and refuse to be uptight with their knowledge.

Experience a different world when you are willing to ask

📃Sometimes, there’s a third that are willing to extend some tips and tricks and then point you in the direction of where you should head next to attain your information.

It doesn’t matter whom you come across, what matters is that you reach out and ASK! You never know whom you’re going to encounter and what you’ll learn. If you never ask….you’ll never learn anything at all. The humble Australian gentleman who I sent a message on Instagram introduced me an extension for the software. Not only that, he shared his invaluable step-by-step tips on another photo-editing software with me by working on one of my integrated images. His edited work on my file has stunned me in awe. Even the slightest detail is accentuated under his fairy-like fingers. Shooting under a Bortle 9 sky means that a tremendous number of signals from the universe cannot be detected by the most advanced astro-cameras.

Digital globetrotting and finding friends in strange places

As a novice tiptoeing in the hobby, my knowledge in astro-photography is shallow. It’s only through series of failed attempts and conversations with the extension developer that I realized what had gone wrong in the process. 🤭 Who could have imagined that astro-photography is a friend-making hobby? 🤷‍♀️

I’m lucky that there are so many people who practice the hobby. That makes it easier for me not to give up even when I struggle with the equipment or software. Thanks to this magical extension, the want of knowledge in coding had never barred me from going further in post-editing my astrographs.

It took less than 20 attempts before I could finally generate an alluring image within 3 days 🙌 The developer of this extension is not an employee of the soft-wares companies receiving no financial benefit on it. No salary, no group funding, no largess. He is a true space lover who requests nothing from fellows in his circle like me.

Time invested for the knowledge of others enjoying themselves

Developing an extension for astro-photography takes a lot of trial and error before it can be launched. Since we exist only as beneficiaries of the computer software, we may not always realize how much time the developers spent perfecting their products.

Our comfort is built on their time.⌚

His aim is merely to benefit the astro-photography community and share his joy in the hobby. That’s why he offers his product for free.The difficulty of using that particular software without his extension is a nerve-wrecking experience.😤 Without his efforts to streamline the process, I might not have bothered to continue trying to create better quality photos. Isn’t it a farce when scientists proposing theories bearing minimal significance to our everyday life can be granted the Nobel Prize 🏆 while those nameless heroes making an impact on us by developing tangible and intangible inventions are forgotten in the sands of time?⌛

Check out the blog post “Art to remember in the time of universe

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