PhotoLab for Astrophotography?

I would love to see a tutorial for using PhotoLab for processing RAW astrophotography images. Though, as the word doesn’t even come up in the forum (one person wrote the word “astronomy”!) , I’m guessing we’ll never see this. But, hey, can’t hurt to ask.



Many people seem to forget that pl is a raw converter. It’s used to create rgb images and adds some basic editing to that image.
What do you miss? I don’t know anything about astrophotography. I only once took a few hundred picture of the sky and created a timelaps and a startrail image out of them.I even did shoot in jpg but I can imagine that for more demanding images that is not sufficient.


Jason has a good point regarding using DxO to convert RAW astro files to images. The issue is a tricky one of trying to get the blacks to stay black and the whites to stay white but expand the midtones out of all recognition to get the detail required from very subtle tonal changes… think nebulosity.
I found this… The NewAstro Zone System for Astro Imaging very good for processing in PShop, but getting the best TIFF to work with is very important.


Have you tried the tone curve? Leave the end points where they are and drag the line to suit your needs.

According to Jonathan Sachs, astrophotography is mainly about noise reduction and avoidance and about precise registration.
You can get his paper below, in the context of the tool Picture Window Pro

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Ugly Hedgehog has an astrophotography forum that might help you.

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Yes, I have. It’s particularly difficult as I live in a place with a very low sky-fog limit and a lot of light pollution… and I’m just not adept at using the curve tools. This is why I’d like an astrophotography-specific tutorial for PL. I’ve watched other tutorials, but there’s always some Photoshop talk that ensues which I don’t know how or if it even can be translated to PL. (I do realize they are not directly competing products).

Perhaps you can see in that that there’s also a bit of research embedded in this question, as I’m trying to see if it’s worth upgrading my PL or moving onto another tool for astrophotography. Having a PL-specific tutorial on this would do both upping my astrophotography post-processing skills and learning that for PL.

As has been pointed out, astrophotography is a fairly tricky area. I also have had issues with such images: varying quality even when taken close together, etc. etc. I stumbled across a very interesting video from which you might be able to adapt something. Note that a firm basis for good astro shots is a stacking methodology which is covered in the video complete with download pointers. Hope this helps.

Hi Jason,

I did process Milky Way images with DxO. I found it useful to differentiate the Astro workflow into two totally different work streams:

  1. Process and stack images with a dedicated software. Getting the biggest signal noise ratio (using flats, bias and black’s) out of your images, correct optical distortions and finally stack several images into a single one.
  2. Post process the stacked image which can be done in DxO.

You see - the bigger effort/ expertise is in work item 1. I can recommend as a free astro image development tool. It can read and convert RAW files. I see no dedicated feature in DxO supporting Astro. In contrast to that DxO has often been named as the best optical correction tool.