Getting contrast and color out of a milky way shot is not very complicated. There are a few filters and techniques that will allow you to get more stunning images.
Editing a night image is not that complicated but when dealing with astrophotography or editing milky way images, using a RAW image is a absolutely required. If you want to edit milky way images in Photoshop or Lightroom, taking a picture of the galaxy during the summer will increase your chances of getting a good bright shot.
I this tutorial I will give you a real RAW image of the milky way so you can practice.
In this Photo editing tutorial I will show you how I edited a night shot of the Milky Way in Photoshop and Lightroom.
I will give you the RAW images straight from the camera so you can work with them and make your own edits.
For milky way photography and star photography in general I use the following settings on my camera:
– ISO: 800 or higher
– Aperture: as opened as possible f2.8 or wider
– Exposure time: 30 seconds ore more if I want to make star trails
If you want to take night time-lapse photography you need a remote trigger. Check out my setup and settings.
High end camera handle noise a lot better when using high ISO settings so the ISO depends on the camera that you have and also your own preferences.
Increasing the exposure more than 30 seconds will create movement on the stars which is not desirable so if you want a brighter foto increase the ISO or widen the aperture if you can.
The first thing you need is a good photo to start with so make sure you take multiple shots with different settings. Don’t trust what you see on the camera LCD screen, take a look at the histogram.
Also try different angles and shoot both horizontal and vertical. You will be surprised to see how much different is to see the milky way on vertical than in horizontal.
This is how I shot and edited the photos to create a star trail in Photoshop.
We will visit the location before the night shooting session in order to see the access and possible setup places.
Versión española: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAj1urYyGRw
I will also show you how to shoot time lapse photography, the camera settings and how I took the dark frame used to subtract the noise from the image once the star effect is created in Photoshop.
A few advices
Scout the location during daylight if possible.
Take a flashlight for light painting the foreground
Take head lamp for your safety, you will walk safer and you will be seen by others.
Check the terrain and wear proper shoes