Doug wrote:Nice job on these.
Did some astro as well in the weekend with the usual suspects and extras from the canon collective.
I am well aware of the challenges you speak of.
We had the added challenge of 20 odd people in the same area trying not to spoil each others exposures with torch usage.
That is some impressive density of stars you have been able to capture and still not get trails.
I like the first and last one the most.
The first for it's simplicity and the last for the capture of the tree.
Having extra people in the area can be a blessing and a curse. Great to share ideas and inspirations, but trying to get everyone to contain themselves in regards to torch usage can be a nightmare!
I was by myself this time, and fortunately it was a remarkably clear night - quite honestly the clearest I've seen in several years. It was glorious even to the naked eye, so conditions really couldn't have been better (being further away from the city's light pollution would have been nice, but 50+ minutes from home was already far enough for me!).
I purposely kept the shutter speeds to around 15 seconds to minimise any trails, and ISO 6400 cleaned up surprisingly well in post with only light/moderate noise reduction.
I have also been experimenting more and more with luminosity masking in Photoshop lately, and found particularly positive results in regards to being able to brighten the hihglights and midtones without adding in the noise and banding that often accompany traditional curves or levels adjustments when doing astrophotography. While the density of stars is as captured, being able to cleanly boost the highlights to show them more clearly has was nice.
Hopefully the weekend weather is nice and clear over the coming weeks as I'd love to do more before it get too cold!