Yucca Supernova (and edit)


I woke up in the early morning (despite my best efforts to sleep more) after some challenging late night astrophotography. Maybe my mind was still sleeping or drowsy.
I wandered around the arid landscape and started honing in on some Yucca plants. Then started playing with the zoom ring, and this happened!

Specific Feedback Requested

Any and all comments welcome!

Technical Details

D750 with 24-70mm f/2,8 lens.
Lightroom says 56mm, but I straddled that with the zoom.
1/8 second, f/16, ISO 100.


This is so visually interesting; it immediately caught my eye. Not sure what else to say, to be fair. Nicely done.

Hi Mark, awesome image that also draws me in. Your zoom technique created some wonderful shapes and patterns. It feels like I’m traveling in space at warp speed. Excellent work!

Very cool! That’s just what I feel like after being out way too late.

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Awesome image, Mark. I also feel like I’m a space traveler speeding towards a black hole or something. I really like the contrast from the center out towards the right side and think that maybe you could add some contrast to the left side to bring out more of the blacks particularly the LLC. Love the little circular rings near the center too. Great idea to convert this to a B&W. This really works well, Mark.


Excellent use of the zoom technique during exposure. Most often with zooming ICM images I might expect to find something after being “pulled” in with the zoom. But I think in this case, it doesn’t seem to be something that I’m expecting. The highlights of the yucca leaves are striking and all the lines, angles and geometries are making this image stand out.

I’m also enjoying exploring this image and find all the little “curls” to contrast perfectly with the lines and highlights. Those little “curls” remind me of wood shavings from a carpenters plane.

Very cool, beautifully captured and presented.


@Cody_Schultz , @Alfredo_Mora , @David_Haynes , @Diane_Miller , and @Lon_Overacker , Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this wild and crazy image. I’m glad the “space” idea hit a chord for some of you as well! Diane…ha ha!!! Yes! David, the lighting was coming in from the side (early sunrise), so half the plant had shade, but I could probably add some contrast to that left side in Photoshop if I knew how! Maybe a mask on a certain luminosity value, and then darken that area???

The easy way:
Go into Quick Mask mode (Q key)
Draw a linear gradient from the left side to a little beyond the center
Hit Q again to make the gradient a selection
Choose a Levels or Curves and it will make a masked layer using that selection
Darken as desired
Then, if desired, you can edit the area by clicking on the mask on the layer and painting with a brush of any desired size, softness and opacity


@Diane_Miller , thanks so much for the tip about the Quick Mask mode. I had forgotten about that Quick Mask. @David_Haynes , I didn’t think it was possible, but the Linear Gradient that Diane suggested did help to add some contrast to the lower left of the image, so now the image is more evenly balanced contrast-wise. Thanks for the suggestion.

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That’s very cool Mark. Never quite seen anything like it.

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