Help - New to Image Stacker

Discussion forum for Tawbaware's Star Tracer and Image Stacker software
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mtlycrew
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:55 am

Help - New to Image Stacker

Post by mtlycrew » Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:32 am

I really need some help with Image Stacker (IS). Either I'm not using is correctly or I just don't understand what it's supposed to do. Please be kind. I'm 60, technology impaired but really enjoy my relatively new evolving hobby of photography. I've been reading about the advantages of image stacking and purchased Image Stacker. Just ran my first test today and the results were not what I expected and I'm confused. I've read a number of the posts and most of you are "talking" at levels beyond my comprehension so talk to me like I'm a 6 year old. :-)

In my test I put my Canon 7D on a tripod and took seven photos of my backyard in Manual mode, remote shutter release device, a 2 second delay, mirror lock up and Image Stabilizer off. The first photo was correctly exposed based on ISO, shutter speed and f-stop. In each of the remaining photos I kept the f-stop and ISO constant but just increased the shutter speed for 3 photos and reduced the shutter speed for 3 photos giving me a series of -3 to +3 exposed photographs .

I loaded them into IS and did two different "runs" using "Stack" and "Average". Both results were not sharp at all. The "Stack" result was very overexposed. The "Average" result was closer to a proper exposure but still not sharp.

It was my understanding IS would take multiple photographs whose exposure were not ideal, take the best of each photograph and create a single composite photograph containing the best aspects of all the original photos.

Am I missing something here?

Thanks in advance.

maxlyons
Posts: 3649
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2003 8:55 pm
Location: USA
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Re: Help - New to Image Stacker

Post by maxlyons » Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:52 pm

mtlycrew wrote:In my test I put my Canon 7D on a tripod and took seven photos...I increased the shutter speed for 3 photos and reduced the shutter speed for 3 photos...results were not sharp at all.
My guess is that the images aren't aligned. If you touched the camera to change the shutter speed, then you probably moved the (very slightly, but) enough so that the images aren't perfectly aligned. Image Stacker doesn't do any image alignment, and expects the input images to be perfectly aligned.

If you didn't touch the camera between exposures, then perhaps something else is causing the problem. Can you send post (or email me) some images, if this is the case?

Max

mtlycrew
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:55 am

Re: Help - New to Image Stacker

Post by mtlycrew » Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:50 pm

Max,
Thanks for the quick response. I used a remote shutter trigger so I wasn't touching the camera while making the shots. Given my limited skill level I have to acknowledge that trying to take multiple perfectly aligned photographs is simply beyond my capabilities at this time. I'll try again and see how it works.

maxlyons
Posts: 3649
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2003 8:55 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Help - New to Image Stacker

Post by maxlyons » Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:39 pm

mtlycrew wrote:I used a remote shutter trigger so I wasn't touching the camera while making the shots.
I don't think I was as clear as I could have been in my last post! Even if you don't touch the camera while triggering the shutter, you may have moved its position if you had to adjust the exposure between shots by touching the camera. Even if the camera was mounted securely on a tripod, there is usually a small amount of play that can result in slight misalignment between images. If your camera has a bracketing feature, then you may be able to use that to take multiple exposures at different settings without have to touch the camera between exposures.

If you can post (or e-mail) images, we can probably tell if they are misaligned.

Max

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