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Milky Way over Lough Tay

By markst33    
Went up to Lough Tay in Wicklow here in Ireland to try and capture my first milky way shot. Didn't know what way I should be looking to be perfectly honest as it was pitch black up there and you can't see it with the naked eye.

Couldn't actually believe I had got it when I looked at the RAW files on the computer. Still loads to learn and deciding on a processing technique and style but after over a year of proof of concept runs and making loads of mistakes I can at least feel I am heading in the right direction.

20 secs @ f2.8 ISO 3200

I know people have said in a previous thread that these images look better on a Black background but I am not a pro member so can't change from white.

Tags: Night photography Specialist and abstract Stars Astrophotography Milkyway

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chase Plus
14 1.3k 273 England
31 Oct 2019 8:20PM

Quote:I am not a pro member so can't change from white.

I didn't realise that Mark, sorry...we will just have to look at the larger view which defaults to black here.

Well you got the Milky Way, well done.
I prefer this bg to the last one you posted here, much more interesting shape wise.
This seems slightly soft to me and there is some noise apparent in the water, could easily be rectified in your editing program.
I will have a bash at a mod, just to see if I can improve things a tad.

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chase Plus
14 1.3k 273 England
31 Oct 2019 8:39PM
Had a go at reducing the noise, I just used 'reduce noise 'on a separate layer in Photoshop then used a mask to put it where I wanted it to be.
Had a go at a bit of sharpening, I used Nik detail extractor, again, on a separate layer & put it where I wanted it to be.
Just lightened some little bits around the lake and removed the light on the hills with the clone tool.
Good luck with the learning curve !
dark_lord Plus
15 2.4k 599 England
31 Oct 2019 11:45PM

Quote: you can't see it with the naked eye

I'm a bit confused by this, as in a properly dark location it is quite easy to see. it doesn't take lomg for the eyes to adjust.

Janet's mod has brought out the stars very well. I might have gone somewhere between the two, contrast wise.
You could also try duplicating the image onto another layer and experiment with blending modes and opacity.

I do like the use of the water to get the reflection.
dudler Plus
16 979 1536 England
1 Nov 2019 5:50AM
God bless the Nik detail extractor... And I'd darken a bit from there, I think.

I'd really like to see the two edges of hte water at the bottom of the frame, but this may be nit-picking a bit!
banehawi Plus
15 2.2k 4049 Canada
1 Nov 2019 6:31PM
Mark, just extend the size of your canvas using black, and you will have a black frame, just as good. Ive done this in the mod, - you have plenty of pixel room to to this. If you need details on how to do it, let us know.

I also increased exposure and clarity (sharpness)

I think one of those old monks might have followed you up there from the tower!


13 Nov 2019 6:41AM
Sometimes focus to infinity doesn't work as best, you have selected the location very well, foreground interest is working beautifully with that lake and reflection, but it is shame that you had to leave some part outside the have not provided the camera details, i guess it has a crop sensor...Start as a rule 500/focal length of the lens you are using for that shot * crop factor = shutter speed to start with...because if you don't freeze the movement those stars will not appear as sharp and in the live view mode, enlarge the brightest star to focus it manually and leave the lens in manual focus...

In the post processing, selectively increase the contrast and clarity of the sky (shoot it in RAW), dark sky will work as best...apply noise reduction of any specialized software or use in camera noise reduction of your camera, if you have one...

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