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http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/gallery/2012/sep/20/astron...
Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2012 winners – in pictures

PF
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I'm really starting to wonder how they do that...

To get such good star photography you need a long exposure with a tracking mount. But if you do that the landscape/terrain should be blurred. If you expose for the landscape then the stars will be streaks. You can't freeze both in a single frame.

I could see doing two frames, but I would think it difficult to eliminate the blurred landscape from the star shot and replace it with the clear landscape (e.g. I didn't see any star tracks behind the tree). However, I'm seeing this sort of image more and more. So it's clearly a "common" technique.

Very nice images.
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"I could see doing two frames.... "

After that it's a simple Photoshop operation taking less then a minute.

~aj
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In PS have the star image as one layer, with the cliff image on top as a multiply layer. That takes care of the tree branches and fine details of the stars coming through. A third layer of the cliff as a normal layer with a gradient mask ( to block out the trees) takes care of the lower half of the image.
Still, is/was there no prerequisite for images to not be modified? I didn't read the details of the contest.
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One exposure at higher ISO, and that wide of a shot the star trails if any are not going to be obvious.
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In PS have the star image as one layer, with the cliff image on top as a multiply layer.

Multiply layer? What's that? Does that remove the necessity to mask out the streaky sky (I would think that VERY difficult with the fine detail of the trees and such) when you lay it on top of the star image?
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Calculations in Photoshop layers are a way to change relationships between pixels in layers. The way to get to them is to open the Layers panel and look in the upper left, under the Layer tab. There's a pull down menu that begins with the default 'Normal'.
Have fun! There's endless things to do just in that one menu.
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