Just incredible, Gary! My favorite astrophotograph!
I’m working on my astrophotography post processing and wondered how you processed this image. Was this a single 15sec exposure or did you light paint the foreground and maybe blend a long foreground exposure with a shorter exposure for the stars? However you did it, it’s another stunning image!
Thanks, Mike. I only use natural light, so I never light paint. The key to moonless night Milky Way images like this is maximum light: as large an aperture as possible, and the highest ISO you can get away with. In this case I had the advantage of a 1.4 lens (the Rokinon 24mm) and a camera that virtually sees in the dark (the Sony a7S). Being able to shoot at f1.4, and get a fairly clean file at ISO 6400 made all the difference in the world. Even still, I needed to pull up the shadows, but the detail there wasn’t so noisy that it didn’t clean up to a manageable level with Topaz DeNoise (but they’re not noise-free). I also use auto white balance, then cool the color temperature to between 3000 and 4000 in Lightroom, giving the scene a bluer, more night-like cast.
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