Iris nebula 4 different images

Give four astrophotographers the same data, and surprise, surprise, four different results!

This was an interesting collaboration I took part in with the Masters of PixInsight gang, Warren, Peter and Ron. 

Peter had tweeted it would be interesting to do a collaboration using data from numerous astrophotographers. I was intrigued by this and offered to participate.

As it would happen the four of us decided to pool our data of the Iris nebula and each person process their own image from this data. We’d then post all four images (without names attached) for the general public to vote on their favourite. 

Each astrophotographer produced their own final image…

Image 1
Image 2
Shawn image 3
Image 3
Image 4

Seven data sets acquired with various telescopes (refractors, reflectors and SCTs) and cameras (mono and OSC) were combined for a total of 129 hours of total exposure time.

I feel I should say I think this is very subjective. We are creating art when we process an astro image. Every artist has a different vision and approach to how the canvas will be painted. Putting the images to a vote is also subjective in that everyone’s taste is different. 

It was interesting though to see the final results of the poll and some of the comments that were sent in. Many different perspectives on how the Iris nebula should look and all based on personal preference. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

All of the images were fabulous. I really like all of them for their own unique reasons. It was certainly intriguing to see everyone’s take on the same data and how each individual envisioned the Iris nebula.

One-on-one PixInsight lessons available! Email me today [email protected]

We pooled 129 hours of data in total shot with 6 different telescopes and 5 different cameras all from different locations on good ol’planet Earth.

Orientations and field-of-views were all different so we had to decide how we wanted to present the final framing. There was a variety of widefield data as well as long focal length high resolution data of the core. It was tricky putting it all together but manageable.

In this collaboration we asked for your opinion on which image you like best. The poll for voting for your favourite image out of the four, ran for a few days. We then looked at the results. Below is the poll result. Image 3 garnered the most votes while image 4 was second.

Who’s image is which?

By now you’re wondering who produced which image. Here’s the answer…

Image 1 by Warren Keller
Image 2 by Peter Proulx
Shawn image 3
Image 3 by Shawn Nielsen
Image 4 by Ron Brecher

This was a fun collaboration and very insightful. We had a zoom meeting that we discussed all of the images and how we each processed. We are planning to do this again in the near future and I look forward to it!

Comments about this collaboration and/or the images, feel free to leave them below in the comment section.

One-on-one PixInsight lessons available! Email me today [email protected]

Image technicals


  • Starfield Optics 8″ Astrograph
  • Skywatcher Esprit 100mm Refractor
  • Explore Scientific 127mm CF Refractor
  • OGS/RCOS R-C 10″
  • Meade RCX 10″
  • Skywatcher Esprit 150mm Refractor


  • QHY268M
  • Atik 11000
  • QSI683
  • QHY16200A


  • Optolong L-R-G-B
  • Astrodon E series L-R-G-B
  • Astrodon True Balance L-R-G-B

Buying astro gear? Help support my efforts in bringing the astro community new content (videos, tutorials, tips, reviews) by using these affiliate links to purchase astro equipment. I’ll receive a small commission at no cost to you.

AstroWorld Telescopes (USA)

Agena Astro (USA)

High Point Scientific (USA)

Ontario Telescope (Canada)

All-Star Telescope (Canada)

New to Pixinsight image processing? Get in touch! I provide one-on-one lessons via Zoom.

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