Nightscape from Pollino NP in south Italy

This photo was taken during the last summer in the Pollino National Park in the south of Italy.
The trees in the image are a local sub-species of pine trees (pini loricati). They are among the oldest trees in Europe, actually the 2000 loricati pines of the Pollino NP are considered the oldest population of trees of the whole Europe.
This photo was taken at 2.100 meters of altitude (around 7.000 feet), the sky object on the left is the Neowise comet.

Please list any pertinent technical details or techniques:

Vertical panorama composed by 20 images, 10 for the foreground and 10 for the sky. The foreground serie was taken in the twilight after sunset.
Nikon D850 with 14-24 f2.8
(If this is a composite, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)


I have a little experience in chasing, and shooting the milky way and have had a little success but I’d give anything to create a capture like this. Simply stunning.

Welcome to NPN Vincenzo, this is a wonderful first post. This is a masterpiece of technical execution, and a very unusual, but effective composition for Milky Way. At first I wondered why you didn’t center the arch of the MW over the pine trees, but then I noticed comet Neowise in the lower left corner. I like the cool white balance you used on the trees. There is a nice balance in the luminosity of the land vs. the sky. Overall, this is an excellent nightscape, great work.

Thank you Dave for your comment. I didn’t have that much of experience in panoramic night photography (well, I didn’t have any to be honest) but I wanted to spend some time this summer to develop the tecnique.
This is my second real attempt, I spend few days near home in fine tuning the tools before going up on the mountains to take the “real” photos. The most demanding part of the whole process was the post processing needed to blend the images.

Thank you very much Ed for your nice words.
I’m happy to have found NPN (thanks to a friends), I have been looking for long time for a place to share photos and passion for nature photography that was not the classic social media.

Wonderful image. My attempts have been limited by my lack of post processing abilities. Something that stands out for me is that you captured both tails of the comet, and there is no evidence of man- made objects in the sky. Thanks for posting .

Welcome to NPN @vincenzo.

The detail on this image is something else, very interesting image to explore the little thing across the framing.
I do like the detail of the Neowise on the composition but to me the beauty of this image is on the tree and the arching milky way, thats way a part of me would like to see them framed more centered, but just a personal thing.
It’s a gorgeous image, thnaks for sharing and keep them coming.

Thank you Jim for the comment.
There were, on the original frame, three (very small and short) satellite trails close to the comet. I cloned them out because, even though they were small, being close to the comet they were pretty distracting.

Thank you João for appreciating the image!
Regarding the composition I just want to say that I didn’t move or change anything in the sky (except cloning three satellite trails).
I studied the composition in the afternoon using photo pills, then I places the tripod for the twilight session (to photograph the foreground).
After that I didn’t move neither the tripod or the camera to have the night sky perfectly maching the other images. The foregrund was taken around 18:40, the night sky around 21:00

Welcome, Vincenzo! I am fairly new here and have found it to be a wonderful place to hang out, with interesting and useful comments and information instead of just Likes from the people I have Liked.

This is a wonderful image. The small section with the comet and those trees is worthy of being it’s own image, and it a beautiful addition to this wide-angle landscape. I have wanted to try this but have been afraid I would not be able to position the lens accurately enough so the entrance pupil was right over the center of rotation, to avoid parallax issues. Did you find a way to locate that position more accurately than the usual way of lining up two sticks?

I need to read more about the techniques and try this sometime.

Welcome, Vincenzo. I haven’t anything to add to what others have said. This is gorgeous. And a technical marvel. Well done.

Hi Diane, thanks for welcoming me, I had the same feeling you had about this place when I saw it! :slight_smile:
Regarding the parallax thing I didn’t find it to be a big problem. I used a pretty cheap panorama head that I set at home using the two sticks method you mentioned.
Photoshop is quite good in merging the images afterwards. According to my experience what is really important is to have enough overlapping space between the different images. I did a lot of testing at home before going out for a demanding photo session. I would suggest you to do the same, try at home in your living room having some object close to the camera. If you will manage to have a perfectly working panorama image at home, in a situation when parallax is a big problem (like in you living room with a chair close to the camera, for example), you will be fine in the outdoors.

Thank you Bonnie for you comment! :slight_smile:

Really stunning image, Vincenzo. I like the composition and love your placement of the comet.

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Wow! I have no idea how you took this photo. It is beautiful. Does the night sky show this many stars in South Italy to the eye or did the photo bring them out? The last time I saw almost this many stars was climbing and camping in the remote southern Arizona desert near the border on a small mountaintop. Thank you for sharing it. I would like to learn this style. Do you have a recommendation for where I can get some guidance on how to take a photo like this of the milky way? Thanks, Ben

Magnificent capture Vincenzo. Awesome detail all the way around. Composition and photo merging is splended. Thank you for sharing. I hope you have this enlarged and hanging on a wall.