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Can you please post a beginning-to-end video of the various processes for developing/editing a RAW photo of the milky way?  There are many photoshop instructional tutorials for this process, but I can find none for Affinity Photo.  I much prefer to use Affinity, and I'm still somewhat inexperienced with photo editing in general.  I want to invest my time in learning Affinity directly, rather than learning photoshop and then translating that experience to Affinity.  Thank you for your help.

 

I am attaching a amazon cloud link (the file is too large to upload here, 27MB) to a RAW file for you to use in a tutorial, should you agree to help.  I voluntarily relinquish all rights to the linked photo.  It is now public domain.

 

https://www.amazon.com/clouddrive/share/ELVNzIxUzNWFk1twdvVOaHCkD0xWV24wuMhGgUGldRR?ref_=cd_ph_share_link_copy

 

Thank you 

 

James

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Hi James,

 

I've uploaded a quick attempt at editing the image with two slight variations in tone, is this the kind of developing you are referring to? I used a combination of various features and techniques, some unique to Photo, to achieve it.

 

One video tutorial you might want to look at in particular is Creative Painting - it covers how to bring out colour and tone, especially in low light imagery.

 

 

Regarding the practical side of the photography, you may want to try evaluating your focus, as the image is slightly soft. What focal length lens were you using? There's nothing specific in the EXIF data, were you using a manual focus lens on an adapter? You can probably switch to the camera's live view, raise the ISO and zoom in to the frame to really fine tune your focus. If you're using a lens on an adapter and the focus is set to infinity, you may find you can get sharper results by just pulling the focus back a tiny amount so it's not quite at infinity.

 

I would also look at trying some longer exposures in order to lower the ISO and increase the aperture if possible. If lowering the ISO isn't possible, try shooting several exposures and stacking them to reduce the noise. Again, for tutorials, check out Stacking for Noise Reduction and also Maximum Stacking for some additional ideas with long exposure/low light photography.

 

Hope that helps!

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Product Expert (Affinity Photo) & Product Expert Team Leader

@JamesR_Affinity for tutorial sneak peeks and more

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I recently photographed the milkyway with very good results in Affinity Photo.

 

The stacking alignment failed as it often does with photoshop and for good reasons.

Turns out, the stars do not move the same amounts.  So, even if you manually align in the center, the average stack will have fuzzy stars outside the center.

 

The best approach (IMO) is demonstrated by Ian with PS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzVSm64zq44

This same process can be done with Affinity photo.  Works great at noise reduction and produces much sharper stars and details.

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The stacking alignment failed as it often does with photoshop and for good reasons.

Turns out, the stars do not move the same amounts.  So, even if you manually align in the center, the average stack will have fuzzy stars outside the center.

 

The best approach (IMO) is demonstrated by Ian with PS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzVSm64zq44

This same process can be done with Affinity photo.  Works great at noise reduction and produces much sharper stars and details.

 

The video is great. That said, it would be nice to have the possibility to invoke automatic alignment on masked layers as shown in the video. I sometimes have milkyway photos which include some landscape elements, e.g. trees or mountains. Auto alignment aligns the trees then instead of the stars. I'd like to be able to add a mask to each layer which maps out the landscape part and after that start auto alignment on these layers (which only show the sky then). At the moment this is only possible by exporing the masked layers to disk and re-import them into a new stack afaik.

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Another possibility would be to add a modified alignment algorithm that takes only bright spots (stars) into account. Thus it would be possible to import a dozen RAW files as a live stack, once without star alignment (for a smooth and noise-free foreground) and once with star alignment (for the background). Maybe it's asked a bit much, but I surely would love to see this. :)

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