Seashore is a free, open-source paint application for Mac OS built entirely in Cocoa. While the UI might seem a little dated, the app has a lot of tricks up its sleeves which makes it an upgrade to Preview or Paint Brush. SeaShore introduces the concept of layers, just like you have in Photoshop. The layers work like sheets of acetate stacked upon each other and the transparent areas allow you to see through to the underbidding layers.
This allows you to create different layers for different effects and adjusting the effects separately or deleting them separately, thus providing easy management. Seashore has a nifty gradient tool where you can specify the direction and strength of the gradient.
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Some other features include alpha channel editing, texts with sub pixel rendering and textures. Another free and open source alternative is Pinta , which is also cross platform and an exact clone of Paint. NET on Windows. Download Seashore from here. The setup process can be a little tedious, but it is definitely rewarding as you can run most of your Windows apps on your Mac. Just download Play On Mac and all the dependencies required for Wine and then you should be able to install any Windows app of your choice.
Although Wine is much less intensive or involving than Bootcamp or a virtual machine running Windows, it still takes up a lot of space with its dependencies and adds overhead. So we recommend this method if you are someone who is planning on using more Windows apps on your Mac or just cannot do without MS Paint. As I said, by no means should Pixelmator be considered a basic app as it is far from that, having a boatload of options, effects and features. With it, you can quickly remove unwanted objects using the repair tool, distort images with move tool, paint realistically, add texts, create color adjustments, and all others.
The most recent version of this software requires Mac OS X It is an easy-to-use image editing tool equipped with powerful editing features. It has all the basic functionalities of Paint with some tools similar to Adobe Photoshop.
You can use it to insert texts, change color backgrounds, create layers, zoom images, crop photos, add effects, and many more. Seashore is free to use and it has several versions openly available for downloads. The most stable version is the 0.
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This info will create a sky mask. You can refine the mask by painting in more sky or painting out selected background.
Once done, align the images. This will separate the foreground from the sky, align all the stars to a reference frame and stack the resulting images together. Saving the stacked sky can be useful if you have different series of images for the sky and the foreground. Try to keep a natural look. Star trail photography is not much different than nocturnal landscapes. The main difference is that you will not try to freeze the stars in the sky, but rather enhance their movement.
In this article I discussed in detail how to photograph star trails.
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These will help remove thermal noise from the single long exposures. For star trails you can choose blending mode Lighten or Gap Filling. Remember to check the tick box to subtract dark frames if you have them. The software will update the image during stacking, so you can see the trails form in real time.
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If you are happy with the image, save it in TIFF. Otherwise, you can try changing the parameters for the gap filling tool icon or use a different blending mode. This kind of editing is basically the one you would do in classic landscape photography. Who does not love the Moon?
As part of a landscape, it can add interest and set the mood of the image, but the real treats are lunar closeups.
I detailed Moon and Solar photography in this article. The main subject of your photo is a celestial body. PIPP free, Windows is a great image pre processing software used in planetary astrophotography. Registax free, Windows and Autostakkert! Be sure to select the proper position for the Moon Shadow, so to match the Moon Phase to help the software to detect the Moon.
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Then move to Output Option tab and set the output format for the processed images. Click on Start Processing in the Do Processing tab to create the new images. Registax is older than Autostakkert! Stacking images with Registax is very simple. This will cause the program to set some points visible in red on the Moon in the image that will be used to align the different frames.
Click Align to align the frames. Next go to the Stack tab and click on Stack to combine the aligned frames into a single image. When the stack is complete, move to use wavelets to sharp the image. Be careful not to oversharpen the image or you will have bad artefacts. This page of the Registax manual tells you more about how you use wavelets.
The Do all button allows you to test your option on your image. Below you can see the effect of the wavelets on the top half of the Moon, while the bottom half has not yet been sharpened. The difference is quite dramatic. When happy, click on Save image. I like my Moon shots to show colours. To do so, I import the stacked image into Photoshop. Next, I duplicate the level and apply a noise reduction filter, to smooth the Moon surface a little. Put this layer in a new group and use the saturation adjustment layer and increase its saturation to Start duplicating the saturation layer over and over to slowly build up colours in the lunar surface.
Keep an eye on the image.
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If your colours go wild, remove as many adjustment layers as you need to get natural results. Finally, move to Lightroom to make the final adjustments.
I usually work to render the sky pure black right at the edge of the Moon, boost contrasts and details, fix highlights, etc. In this last case study, you will learn how to edit deep sky objects, such as galaxies and nebulae. We will deal with this later.