I've developed more of an interest in starfield photography over the last year or two. While I'm by no means an expert, I have learned a few things, and take the subject seriously enough to have invested in a new camera (Nikon D750) that handles low light and digital noise far better than my much used and loved D7000.
Rather than build another new project, I thought I would include some of my more recent night shots in this existing project. I've lso tried to be more selective in the choices, as you will often find the full series of night shots in a couple other projects. I hope you enjoy. The most recent work is at the beginning.
Rice Lake, Keene, Ontario.
My latest destination for night shots is the cottage we recently purchased.
The first series is from my new purchase, a Nikon D750. The new Dehaze tool in LIghtroom played a large role in helping to beat down some light cloud cover and atmospheric haze.
D7000, Rokinon 14mm wide angle lens
My Rokinon lens has become my go-to lens for night photography, thanks to its fast aperture (F/2.8). The field of view was more limited with my D7000 (crop sensor), but it still did the night sky justice.
Moving from the lake to the top pf the golf course gave me another perspective on the night sky and other challenges, not the least of which was more light pollution.
In many ways, this b/w image is one of my fav's from the top of the golf course. Because there is no color, you're forced to focus on the shapes, contours and textures. In the color version I find my eye being drawn to the sky far too quickly. In the b/w vesion, my eye follows the pathway.
I started really getting into night photography when we bought a cottage last fall. This is our first season at the cottage, and I'm getting ample opportunities to photography the night sky, under various conditions. You can read more about the shoot below in this project, Rice Lake at Night.
Image processing & Luminosity Masks
Rabbit Blanket Lake, Lake Superior Provincial Park
Sole Survivor. Originally processed in Lightroom, I later learned about Luminosity Masks. This made what I thought was a pretty good image into a great one (considering this was my first real foray into photographing the stars. This is the original version. The image below is the version process using luminosity masks.
These images were shot with my Nikkor 12-24mm DX lens. Max aperture 3.5. This made for some challenges as I was hesitant to work with higher ISO's.
I gained a lot using luminosity masks in this image. The detail and color of both the sky and the the foreground are much improved.
This was - until recently - my favorite shot of the milky way. The moon was full, off to the right, so I'm getting a little bit of flare, but I'm very pleased with the result. Again, originally processed in Lightroom, I thought this was the best I could get. But by experimenting with luminosity masks (below) I was able to make this image really sing. I love how much better the Milky Way stands out in the version below.
The additional color and detail I was able to pull out of this image really astounded me. And I'm told I can push things further if I want.
Dark is the night
When I began this shoot, I didn't realize my lens was covered in condensation. But, after reviewing the images later on, I found I quite liked the painterly feel that the condensation gave the scene.
Illumination courtesy of a Coleman lamp.
Light from the campfire and a Coleman lamp.

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