The Milky Way Over the 12 apostles + How I edited the image!

in PHOTOGRAPHY [DAC]15 days ago

In one of my previous posts, I said that I had a few shots lined up and waiting for clear skies and a new moon. This was one of them.

I headed down to port campbell to this spot and arrived just after 8pm and it was well and truly dark by then. Once I parked, I headed out to the location (there is no track) so it was a bit of a bush bash. It isn't too bad when you have a really good light.

I knew that the milky way didn't align until after 9, but I really wanted to be able to use my star tracker for this shot. I soon realised I needed a counter weight and more experience in polar aligning so instead I took 25 images for the sky and a 3 min exposure for the foreground and blended in starry landscape stacker and photoshop.

This was the final product.

12apostlesAstro.jpg

Firstly, I found this comp during sunrise a few months ago, and tried a landscape image, but the portrait looked heaps better.

12apostleSunrise.jpg

Once I was happy with the foreground, I took 25 images for the sky, This is one of the SOOC raws. (converted to jpeg to display here).

fromSkyStack12apostles.jpg

I stacked all of these using StarryLandscapeStacker which took about 5 minutes and did a super good job to get all of the detail out of the sky.

For some reason the the temp is shifted green, but this will be changed in photoshop later.

stackedSky12Apostles.jpg

Next, I open up my foreground shot in photoshop and bring up the exposure and play with the temp to make sure it looks as realistic as possible.

foreground12Apostles.jpg

I probably should've gone longer than three minutes for the foreground exposure, but on the LCD screen it looked perfectly exposed at the time.

I then used a mask to put them together and match the temps so it doesn't look like a composite.

There are probably better ways, but I then used a radial mask over the milky way where I increased the clarity and used negative dehaze to make the core pop more.

From there, I just had to play with the exposure, shadows and temp to make it look as realistic as possible.

12apostlesAstro.jpg

This is the final product that I am super happy with, however I am considering purchasing Topaz Denoise to see how it would improve my astro images.

What do you think? All up it took a few hours to put together with my constant tweaking, but I think it looks heaps better than if I was to create use a single shot.

Thanks for reading and I hope this helps you and that you enjoyed this image!