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Any tips for editing Milky Way Photos?


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Hi,

 

I'm new to photography (and using Affinity Photo) so I'm sorry if this seems like a simple task to do ...

 

I had a first attempt at shooting the Milky Way and this was the best photo I could get with my Panasonic Lumix G7 camera. I would like to improve it so that the colours around the Milky Way stand out more but when I try to edit it nothing much changes. I don't know if its me or perhaps light pollution but other people's photos always look so much better   I have looked through the tutorials and none seem to apply. Any tips on how to do this would be very gratefully received.

 

Many thanks,

 

Jenny

Milky Way Aruba Unedited.jpg

Milky Way Aruba.jpg

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hi JW17

 

There is a lot of light in the background that is effecting the picture JW17 but I did manage to get some results using the develop persona, I use all of the following tools.

 

exposure, blackpoint, brightness, contrast, a little clarity and shadows plus highlights.

 

I have attached the results, you would get better results if you were to take the pictures with no light intrusion. 

 

milky way 1.jpg

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19 hours ago, JW17 said:

 

I'm new to photography (and using Affinity Photo) so I'm sorry if this seems like a simple task to do ...

 

It's not simple!  Light pollution is a big problem but you also need to be aware of things like noise in the image, accurate focusing, mirror slap, trailing, focus creep - the list goes on!  It's not clear from your post whether you've just watched the Affinity Photo tutorials or whether you've watched some astrophotography tutorials as well.  If you haven't, you need to, and I'd suggest finding out as much as you can about image stacking.   This might be helpful.

AP, AD & APub user, running Win10

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Hi Jenny
I'm not familiar with your camera at all. Does it have interchangeable lenses and full manual mode? What you want is: a wide fast lens (Rokinon 14mm f2.8 is the gold standard, but Sigma and Tokina make good ones too). Manual focusing is a MUST. there simply is not enough light for autofocus to work, unless you have many hours to kill  and you're able to go before dusk, lock your focus, and start shooting when the Milky Way rises.
Next tip: use high ISO. If you aren't tracking the sky, then I suggest an ISO of 3200 or more, but also done to your taste. For me, I like ISO1600 and it's results, but I track the sky.
Tip 3: rule of 500/ rule of 360ish. That is, if your camera is a full frame, divide 500 by your focal length and that gives you an acceptable exposure just before the point where stars begin to show movement. If you have a 14mm on a full frame, that would be about 35s. If your camera is a crop frame, you want a shorter exposure time. If I'm not tracking the sky I have to keep my exposure at 25s or less with my 14mm to avoid star trailing. The smaller the sensor, the shorter and shorter this time gets.

Tip 4: shoot 10-15 images at a higher ISO and faster shutter speed (ISO 6400 is a good starting place with 10-15s exposure) without adjusting or moving anything and then stack them in Starry Landscape Stacker or manually in AP. This helps give you a much better signal to noise ratio, so your images look clearer.

Tip 5: use a cable release and a self timer. My Pentax comes with a mirror lock up function with the 2s timer, so I use the 2s timer and cable release. If I don't the mirror slapping up can introduce some shake. If you have a mirrorless, this point is moot other than the need to use a trigger release.

Tip # 6: don't give up!!! Keep going out and shooting. Find what works for your gear. Once you understand the basics you can tweak until you get the results you want. Below are two images taken nearly 2 years apart. First is the image I had in my minds eye and the one I wanted to capture for the story behind it. Second is the very first attempt I made at capturing that vision, which fell so short of the goal, but I didn't give up.
30008192956_3eefd78c9a_m.jpgBeacon- Amphritite Lighthouse by Greg Murray, on Flickr

15900776236_f51ebe737d_m.jpgNightAmphritite by Greg Murray, on Flickr

I use tracking now for all of my images which is a method to freeze the motion of the stars so I can use longer exposures than the rule of 500/360ish.

FInd me at:

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GM-Photography-142947659079869/

 

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/gmphotography32/

 

or my personal website, not kept frequently up to date: www.gmphotography.ca

 

I use Affinity Photo, Lightroom, Panorama Maker 5, and Photomatix for my photography.

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PS: light pollution is a consideration, but there shouldn't be too much in that location to get good results. This was my first ever shot with my current setup, just down the road from my house at our little beach. My community is small so it's not like it's a big city, but there is still a lot of light pollution from this location:

19687870153_821668c6d4_m.jpgFirst Milky Way by Greg Murray, on Flickr

FInd me at:

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GM-Photography-142947659079869/

 

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/gmphotography32/

 

or my personal website, not kept frequently up to date: www.gmphotography.ca

 

I use Affinity Photo, Lightroom, Panorama Maker 5, and Photomatix for my photography.

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Hi Greg,

 

Thank you for taking the time to reply and explain ... as a beginner the terminology on some sites can be very complicated. Your photo is amazing ... great tips and I definitely won't give up!

 

Cheers,

Jenny

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