After a lot of PM's and conversations around both here and on CloudyNights, I wanted to attempt to put together a fairly complete tutorial for how I create solar images in hydrogen alpha. I've never put something like this together so forgive anything amateurish about it. My goal with this tutorial is to help someone starting out in solar imaging take the leap from having and using the equipment to using it to acquire data and process it for a final image akin to a photograph. This tutorial includes how data is acquired in SharpCap (free) (how to determine exposure, read histograms, freeze the seeing, create multiple exposures for the surface of the disc, prominences and flat calibration), how the resulting videos are aligned and stacked in Autostakkert!2 (free) (including how to manually do this with prominences which are notoriously difficult to align & stack sometimes), and a very basic run through of how I process my particular style using very minimal tools in Photoshop CS5 (GiMP would be a free supplement). Again this is hopefully meant to help someone new starting out or someone wanting to become familiar with the software and methods used to create some of the images seen around here and other boards. Yesterday's big prominence was a great example to use as a subject. Also, I made sure to use very humble equipment and a lot of free software to keep it fairly budget friendly.
I'm always looking to improve, so please feel free to give constructive criticism, feedback, corrections, etc. I'm sure I fumbled some terms or misspoke a few times, I've already attempted to correct some of them, but I'm sure there are more! Again this is the first time I've put something like this together so expect some hiccups. If this is truly helpful I intent to do more, with different methods and equipment as often it's simply easier to visualize something than to read about it.
Solar Imaging Tutorial: Data Acquisition, Alignment & Processing in Hydrogen Alpha (V1.0) | May 8th 2017
Orion ST80 (with inner cap off, 42mm aperture | 400mm F9.5)
80mm Extension (to help achieve focus)
2" Baader UV/IR filter (not needed at this aperture, but I use it anyways) serving as an ERF
Quark Chromosphere (blue shifted, fully counter clockwise) as the Hydrogen Alpha filter (internal 4.2x barlow)
ZWO Tilt Adapter (still tweaking this, not needed at all)
ZWO ASI174MM camera
Orion Sirius Mount
Low end Toshiba Laptop with USB3
Photoshop CS5 (or GiMP) (free)
Here's the image we are going to create in this tutorial from start to finish: [IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/UqZzaV]SolarProm_Demo_HA_05082017 by Martin Wise, on Flickr
Please be aware this tutorial video is approximately 51 minutes.
Watch it in HD (1080p) if you can to be able to see and read within the software used.