Milky Way and the Landscape

This was taken in Reed State Park, Maine, last year.Having figured how to photograph the stars, one has to put this in perspective - showcasing it. Thats where the foreground comes into play

EDIT Notes - Thanks @bill_currier, @John_Dodson, @Kelly_Ireland. @Ed_McGuirk. @Nathan_Klein, @Mark_Seaver and @Larry_Greenbaum
I tried to make the foreground more realistic - a touch of moonlight perhaps ?
A little glow to the stars
Correction of a couple of trees to the left
LEFT is the edited one

What technical feedback would you like if any?

Foreground processing - in relationship to the sky/

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Is the sky over / under processed ?

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

(If this is a composite, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)
Single image with the foreground lightly painted
20 secs / f2.8 / iso 3200 - 15 mm

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This image is quite perfect to me - great Mliky Way shot with nice foreground to give it a sense of place. Not, nits, but there are a couple blue or white spots in the water than you might think should be cloned out. I think this is solely a matter of your perception of the image. I’d love to learn how to get Miky Way shots, but there’s too much light pollution in cities.

1 Like

Hi Karl,

This is a great star field. I like the white balance and detail that you’ve presented here.

The trees on the left hand side looked a bit warped to me as they are slanting to the right. I’d consider creating a pixel layer with just the foreground and warp them a bit to straighten them out.

Thanks Nathan

I can try correcting the tilt in those Maine trees - usually tilted one way or the other - often made worse by wide angle lenses - thanks

I believe those are star reflections on the water Larry. Be happy to show you the basics of MW shooting - send me a personal message

Karl, to answer your questions I like the foreground, it is night after all but I think the sky needs more processing. Darker over all and bring out the color in the Milky Way core. So a little more contrast and color. The light pollution in the bottom right looks good. For me a little more saturation, but that’s me.

Bringing out the MW is certainly an option - i used to do it that way. Now I am more inclined towards the natural side
Thanks @Kelly_Ireland

Karl, I think you’ve done a good job balancing the sky and foreground. While the green in the lower left may be just a bit bright, the foreground shows good detail as it remains suitably dark. The star reflections in the water are interesting.

Thanks @Mark_Seaver - I agree that i should tone down bottom left green

The blend looks good Karl, nice job around the trees. I agree wiht Mark about reducing the green luminosity, and maybe saturation by a hair. My own personal taste in Milky Way is to have a little more contrast than this in the core, but I understand that you were gong for more of an understated look here, given the luminosity of the foreground.

Really nice job on this Karl. I love your restraint on editing the milky way. It is so often over processed and made to resemble something quite un-natural. Personally I would straighten the trees on the left a bit, and maybe lighten up the foreground ever so slightly to let us appreciate the location. Overall a super image.

Karl I like this shot a lot. I think you processed the MW very well. However I think the foreground is too dark. My eye focuses on the sky and loses interest in the foreground. I think if you can reduce shadows in the foreground and show how the stars are reflecting in the stream and how the stream runs all the way down to the bottom and out of the picture, then your eyes would move from the sky down the stream and explore the whole scene. It’s really a nice shot but I think could be even better.