At first glance,
the color balance of this image looks too red. Its not. The entire
field is filled with glowing wreaths of red emission nebulosity
with only a few spots where the neutral gray sky pokes through.
This is one of the dimmest and most challenging of nebula for
the astrophotographer to photograph. It is illuminated by the
bright star to the lower left, Rigel which is bluish itself.
The night was spectacularly dark and the seeing was better than
I shot four images in a
row of this object at skyfog limit, and stacked them in Picture
Window Pro which stretches the curved focal plane images to a
flat profile perfectly registered. The images were not summed
as a CCD shot is, but rather with film you use a stack of negatives
and multiply them. The net effect is a stack of negatives on
al light table. The image is then reinverted and processed normally.
Pix Insight was used to flatten the background with a synthetic