Wanaka Willow

Hi Sean! This is Richard Handler nearby in Jacksonville. I want to see how you’ll handle this low light astro.

My processing in LrC with LrC masks is OK but introduced halos around the fine details of the tree crown. The casual viewer might not notice, but since I’ve seen them, I cannot unsee them. I think it was introduced in applying a sky mask, then adding texture to emphasize the faint stars.
NR was in Topaz DeNoise. Handling the brightness of the western sunset and minimizing the artificial light from a camper on the peninsula mid left were challenges. (You might do wonders with TK masks?) I cropped out and healed over shore lights and navigation buoys. Your artistic vision will also be welcome.

The Wanaka Willow, which sprouted from a 1930s fence post in shallow water, may be the most photographed tree worldwide these days. We spent March in NZ & went through Wanaka.

Pre-focused my 21mm Zeiss Loxia during daylight at roughly the distance to the tree from where I planned to place my tripod. Essentially this was at infinity for 21mm. Choose f/8 as a compromise for DOF to cover tree and sky, yet keep the shutter to 30". This dictated ISO 1250. For my vision of the final product minimal star trails were acceptable. Camera height was adjusted to silhouette the tree crown in front of sky, while still capturing the entire tree reflection. R/L tripod location was chosen to center the tree between the peninsula on the left and the more distant shore on the right. (61mp Sony a7Riv, ISO 1250, 30", f/8)

I hope you’ll also see 9 crows roosting, but if your count differs from mine we’ll flip a coin.

Raw File

WanakaWillowImport.dng (52.5 MB)

You may only download this file to demonstrate how you would process the image. The file is Copyright of the photographer, and you must delete the raw file when you are done. Please post a jpg of what you created, along with an explanation of what you did and why you did it.

My Edit (click to see)

Hi Richard, to clarify things; Sean may or may not pick this, that’s up to him. But other people can experiment with your raw file, that’s the real fun here is seeing what everyone else would do. Sean is just a bonus!

David, the more, the merrier. I should redo it with your method using the color channels of the tone curve tool.