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Hi, I’m Mike Cranfield.

I’m an astrophotographer with a particular interest in developing tools that help us turn those dim cosmic photons into inspiring images of our awesome universe. My astro processing programme of choice is PixInsight. As such my tools have been designed as script and process plug-ins for this software.

In the PixInsight section of this site you will find details of my tools and how to obtain them. All of these tools are offered free of charge and I hope you will find them useful. If you do, and you publish your images, please make reference to any tools you use and to this website so we can spread the word to others.

Over time I intend to add more content to this site, so do check back from time to time to see what’s new!

In the meantime, I wish you clear skies.

What's new?

ImageBlend script

Another script created in collaboration with Adam Block, the ImageBlend script allows two images to be blended in a multitude of different ways. A key difference from some other similar scripts is in the ability to apply a stretch separately to each of the component images. The blend image can also be transformed with a filter and its opacity can be altered to modify the effect of the blend. These features make this script hugely powerful and brings some key features found in layer based processing to PixInsight.

Batch FITS Keyword Edit – New Video by Adam Block

The BatchFITSKeywordEdit script is a handy tool to update FITS header information on your files. Perhaps you have captured multiple subs using a Hydrogen Alpha filter but your capture software does not store the filter in the FITS header information (maybe you used a filter draw rather than a filter wheel). In this case this script will help you out quickly and simply. Adam’s video provides a helpful introduction to its use.

 

Collaboration with Adam Block – new NBColourMapper script

Adam Block is an award winning astrophotographer (including 100 APODs) working at the Mt. Lemmon SkyCentre in Arizona. He is an acclaimed public speaker and his tutorials are held in high regard across the astrophotographic community.  He is also a PixInsight Ambassador.

Adam and I have been working together over recent weeks to create a new script, NBColourMapper, designed to allow narrowband greyscale images to be colourised and combined interactively with a preview facility. 

On his website, “AdamBlockStudios”, Adam provides an extensive suite of training videos in which he brings his analytical presentational style to bear on a huge range of astrophotographic topics, including videos covering the new NBColourMapper script.

Collaboration with Bill Blanshan

Bill Blanshan has produced some powerful and original approaches to some key aspects of astronomical image processing. He has gained a justified reputation for making sophisticated techniques available to a wide audience by packaging them into easily applied PixelMath scripts.

I am pleased to have been working with Bill over recent months, developing the ideas behind his techniques and implementing them using straight forward user interfaces. Over the coming months we will be releasing a number of the resulting scripts/processes.

Bill runs the YouTube site: AnotherAstroChannel. Please do visit and subscribe to his channel.

NarrowbandNormalization process

The NarrowbandNormalization process, which derives from my collaboration with Bill Blanshan, helps to balance the intensities of the three channels in a narrowband image. Instructions for downloading this script can be found in the PixInsight section of this site. Bill provides a video explaining how to use it on his YouTube channel.

ScreenStars script

The ScreenStars script, which derives from my collaboration with Bill Blanshan, facilitates screening and unscreening stars from images and includes an innovative reverse stretching technique. Instructions for downloading this script can be found in the PixInsight section of this site. Bill provides a video explaining how to use it on his YouTube channel.

StarReduction script

The StarReduction script, which derives from my collaboration with Bill Blanshan, implements some of Bill’s innovative techniques to reduce star sizes in astro images. Instructions for downloading this script can be found in the PixInsight section of this site. Full documentation is available from within the script and Bill provides a a comprehensive video run trough of how to use it on his YouTube channel.