The Orion Nebula complex consisting of M42, M43 and the reflection nebula area known as the Running Man Nebula, NGC 1973-5-7. NGC 1981 is the blue star cluster at top north edge. North is up, though in the sky from Australia where this was shot the object appeared upside down compared to this northern-centric view.
This is a 3-exposure stack to preserve details in the bright core while bringing out the faint outlying parts. It is a stack of 4 x 1 minute + 4 x 5 minutes + 4 x 15 minutes, all at ISO 400 with the Canon 5D MkII (filter-modified) and Astro-Physics Traveler 105mm apo refractor at f/5.8 with the 6×7 field flattener. Images were aligned and masked in Photoshop CS6 using Refine Mask. An HDR stack did not work and produced odd artifacts. Images had to be manally stacked and masked. Shot from Timor Cottage, Coonabarabran, Australia, December 12/13, 2012.