Waid Observatory

Star Shaping and Color Enhancement in PhotoShop

Improving star shaping and color is often desired in astronomical images.  Often brighter stars do not show color and appear “washed out” or over saturated.  The stars may also have very sharp edges and appear “hard” when displayed in the image.  These brighter stars should have a slight "Gaussian" brightness distrabution around their edges and display their characteristic colors. In this tutorial, I will show one way of accomplishing this task in PhotoShop.  I am not advocating this as the only, or the best, method of doing this.  It, however, is one that I often use.

My presentation is scaled for a browser resolution of 1024 X 768.  If you are using Internet Explorer for a browser, I suggest pressing F11 before starting the tutorial.  This will allow the browser window to show the tutorial without having to use the scroll bars.  For your convenience, the Play, Pause and Time Line slider at the bottom of the screen is active.  After the tutorial finishes, press F11 again to restore the browser display to normal and then use the back button to return to this page.

A note of caution, the file size of this tutorial is large.  The runtime of the tutorial is about 15 minutes.  A high-speed Internet connection may be required to avoid pauses in the presentation.

To start the tutorial click here.

Copyright Donald P. Waid