I've made a few attempts at star photography and I think this is the first photo that came out decent, not great but decent. This is Icicle Ridge to the north of my property. On the other side of the ridge is Leavenworth. The lights from Leavenworth make it tough to see the detail in the sky. Plus the moon had just set behind me keeping the sky bright and the ridge illuminated.
2 exposures: one for the sky and one for the mountains. The reason for 2 is to photograph the sky I had a high ISO in order to get as much light as possible. The mountains come out grainy and over exposed when exposing for the stars. With such a well defined border it was easy to just blend the 2 photos in Photoshop.
- ISO 5000
- 20 second exposure
- 24mm focal length
I don't have a fast wide angle lens at the moment and I ended up using my Canon 24mm - 105mm f/4. Twice I rented a fast wide angle lens for this purpose but both times the sky wasn't clear. Go figure.
In post processing I tried to add a little depth to the sky. I brightened up the milky way through the middle a bit. Unfortunately with the lights from Leavenworth and the moon having recently set there was too much light to see the milky way with the naked eye. I could only see it ever so slightly with a long exposure. On the other hand the moon illuminating the ridge creates a cool effect.
In the original there are even more stars. I removed some noise which smoothed out the sky a bit and sacrificed some stars in the process. It's amazing how many stars are really out there.
It was only 8:39pm when this was taken. Some night when I'm not so lazy I'll get up in the middle of the night and see what I can get.