I came upon this object whilst looking at my copy of Sue French’s book Deep Sky Wonders. I was looking for a suitable photography target and this appealed due to it’s large apparent size, high altitude and relative obscurity. Located on the Cassiopeia / Andromeda border it also features a subject that engages me; dust.
Dust can be tricky to photograph as it doesn’t emit any light of it’s own. All you get are reflections from nearby starlight or absorption of light from more distant stars. This means that it’s often dark and usually very faint so you need a reasonable sky quality and long exposures to capture it.
With a rural UK sky and only 150 minutes total exposure (in 10 minute subframes), faint detail is still elusive in this image. This is definitely one to revisit from a darker sky and a lot more exposure.