Early Season Milky Way

Early season Milky Way core rising over the ocean. Shot back in March. I love the new moons in March through to June when the core rises in the east and ready to shoot straight after astronomical twilight

What technical feedback would you like if any?

Anything that comes to mind.

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Anything. I am considering to crop some space off of the left of the photo

Any pertinent technical details:

15s, f2.8, iso 8000
8 images stacked with starry night stacker

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.

Nathan, this is a fine Milky Way shot, with a great star field and enough details in the land and water to hold interest there as well. While I can see why you’re thinking about a crop from the left since there’s only moderate interest there, I think this full frame view is nicely balanced. I don’t know if it’s true at other times of the year, but I like the similarity of angles between the ridge and the Milky Way.

I like your composition and great edit on the milky way. The only comment I have is I think you missed a little speck of sensor dust to the left side of the frame. I would just clone that out and its golden.

Thanks Mark. That angle is a March shot by April the core is more vertical

Thanks David, I can’t believe I missed that! :blush:

Fantastic shot of the Milky way. The horizontal angle is interesting and the parallel with the hillside is terrific. I also like the soft water in the FG. Leave the left side alone, the balance is lovely.

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I like this as is, and you’ve done a great job at reducing noise and getting good sharp stars. Very nice image, having tried to get some Milky Way shots myself, I know it’s not so easy!

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Very nice photo…
There is a bit of a halo on the ridge but otherwise terrific, noise free, sharp night photo…
The water looks about as light as you can bring up, but a smidgeon more would add to this…


I’m not technically very good with night shots - either capturing or processing. But I can tell a great night sky on the screen and you’ve done a great job with the stars and the night sky. Awesome.

As far as a crop, not for me. There’s just enough space for the bright star (or is that Venus? See, I don’t know much.) Cropping in cramps that space.

Again, not good at suggesting any processing techniques, but to me, the non-sky area seems pretty soft and noisy to me. Then again, I’m not an expert here. But I think you composed this nicely with the sea, the rocks, water and cliff

Thanks Lon,

Yes that is Venus.

I think you’re right about the lower being too noisy. I’ve had another go at removing the noise and it is soft but the noise and grain is greatly reduced

Nathan, The starry sky here looks great, and I like that you were able to include Venus in the composition. I agree with Lon’s comment on foreground noise. Your re-post is better, but it is still a bit noisy. From the way this looks, is it fair to assume that the land/water was from an ISO 8000 exposure? If so you may want to try taking an additional exposure at much lower ISO, but much longer exposure time to get a cleaner foreground to blend in with the sky.

Hi Ed,

You’re completely right the foreground was from several stacked iso 8000 exposures using the median stacking algorithm in photoshop smart objects. Unfortunately it doesn’t remove the noise as well as starry night stacker does for the sky.

I usually do take another foreground exposure at a lower iso but several minutes long. Unfortunately I forgot my intervalometer and could use bulb mode.

If only Sony would update the firmware to allow us to take exposures of several minutes in camera :man_shrugging:

Nathan, this genre is WAY out of my wheelhouse, but suffice it to say I like that you were able to get a good exposure and retain detail in the shore features while keeping the sky detail intact with only minimal streaking. Looks like a good choice of ISO and exposure time. As might be expected there is some noise but all the star details seem to keep that in check.

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