M1 - 2nd Try at processing
I went for a 2nd try a processing the difficult M1 that I described on 4/4/10. I like to try different processings on difficult images, because it helps me to understand what works or does not work.
Actually, I'm happier with this 2nd try, and as I'm running now a dual monitor setup, I can tell that what Neil told me about monitor calibration, it makes a HUGE difference during processing.
The 2nd try is a bit noisier, but I was able to stretch the image further. I know the stars are bloater but I believe I know how to fix that in the next version. Also, I was able to pull the red's in the nebula while excluding the significant red from light pollution. This is one of the most difficult aspects when dealing with heavy light pollution, the fact that you have remove the RED from LP but leave the RED from the nebula. So, I will give it another try soon and I will watch for star bloatness.
M1 - Last Try
(for the moment). In my last try, I was able to keep the size of the stars in check, keep the core a bit bigger and give the stars a bit more color. The image is still a bit noiser, which it is a good example of stretching a bit too much the levels.