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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos RAW, Post Processing & Printing
Thread started 24 Oct 2012 (Wednesday) 17:33
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Star photography processing

 
NCHANT
Goldmember
Joined Jul 2012
Auckland, New Zealand
Oct 24, 2012 17:33 |  #1

Hey guys,

I've been doing a wee bit of star photography over the months, but still struggling in the processing part. My shots are usually 10-20 second exposures, ƒ3.5-5 range at 1600-3200ISO in RAW, using a canon 10-22mm lens. Here's an example:

IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8192/8118883154_35f332a0a6.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://www.flickr.com .../82443214@N07/81188​83154/] (external link)
Riverhead Milky Way (external link) by Mikey Mack (external link), on Flickr

Does anyone have any good tips on noise reduction, colour correction and how to make the stars pop a bit more? I use Lightroom 4 and Photoshop CS5, a confident retoucher but relatively new to post processing my own photos :)

Any help is much appreciated!

6D | 600D | A6000 | 10-22mm ƒ3.5-4.5 USM | 24-105mm ƒ4L USM | TM 35mm ƒ1.8 VC | 40mm ƒ2.8 STM | 50mm ƒ1.8 | 85mm ƒ1.8 | 135mm ƒ2L | 200mm ƒ2.8L II | 55-250 ƒ4.5-5.6 II | Sy 24mm ƒ1.4 | Sy 14mm ƒ2.8
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imsellingmyfoot
Goldmember
Joined Apr 2011
Dallas, TX
Oct 24, 2012 17:46 |  #2

I'm envious of your location if you get that with a 10-20 second exposure.

Typically what I do is:

  • Find a white balance that works.
  • Bump up the exposure some, along with fill light. This allows me to see what's hidden there.
  • Depending on what I see, I'll either keep the exposure bumped up or I'll drop it back down.
  • I really turn the color saturation up high for stars.
  • I'll typically clip the black channel some (in Lightroom 3.6)
  • Contrast is your friend. I play with contrast a lot.
  • I think I did a high pass filter in Photoshop once and that really made the stars pop. I'm not 100% sure


I use Lightroom 3.6 for everything. The above is just what I typically do. I generally just play with things until I get something that I like. I'm by no means an expert, that's just what I do.

Canon 6D | Sigma 24A | Sigma 35A | Canon 50 f/1.8 | Canon 70-200 f/4
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NCHANT
THREAD ­ STARTER
Goldmember
Joined Jul 2012
Auckland, New Zealand
Oct 24, 2012 18:21 |  #3

imsellingmyfoot wrote in post #15164988 (external link)
I'm envious of your location if you get that with a 10-20 second exposure.

Typically what I do is:
  • Find a white balance that works.
  • Bump up the exposure some, along with fill light. This allows me to see what's hidden there.
  • Depending on what I see, I'll either keep the exposure bumped up or I'll drop it back down.
  • I really turn the color saturation up high for stars.
  • I'll typically clip the black channel some (in Lightroom 3.6)
  • Contrast is your friend. I play with contrast a lot.
  • I think I did a high pass filter in Photoshop once and that really made the stars pop. I'm not 100% sure


I use Lightroom 3.6 for everything. The above is just what I typically do. I generally just play with things until I get something that I like. I'm by no means an expert, that's just what I do.

Thanks for your advice :) the High pass filter I find is very good, here's one I done a while ago using a mix of High Pass and lighting/shadows adjustment, this was shot in the middle of suburbia, but still managed to catch the Milky Way.

Before:

IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8284/7732130838_324e290859.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://www.flickr.com .../82443214@N07/77321​30838/] (external link)
Cars and stars (external link) by Mikey Mack (external link), on Flickr

After:
IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8292/7744193846_f42cb3932e.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://www.flickr.com .../82443214@N07/77441​93846/] (external link)
Cars and Stars edited (external link) by Mikey Mack (external link), on Flickr

One thing I notice, is that after reducing the noise, the stars get a really wierd shape, like a lip around certain edges, which kind of renders the images useless if printed large - without spending hours of retouching :(

6D | 600D | A6000 | 10-22mm ƒ3.5-4.5 USM | 24-105mm ƒ4L USM | TM 35mm ƒ1.8 VC | 40mm ƒ2.8 STM | 50mm ƒ1.8 | 85mm ƒ1.8 | 135mm ƒ2L | 200mm ƒ2.8L II | 55-250 ƒ4.5-5.6 II | Sy 24mm ƒ1.4 | Sy 14mm ƒ2.8
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imsellingmyfoot
Goldmember
Joined Apr 2011
Dallas, TX
Oct 24, 2012 18:24 |  #4

I don't think I use any of the noise reduction stuff in Lightroom, mainly because I haven't learned how to use it properly. I haven't had an issue with noise for any of the night shots that I've taken for the viewing size. I haven't printed any of them, I just view them on my computer.


Canon 6D | Sigma 24A | Sigma 35A | Canon 50 f/1.8 | Canon 70-200 f/4
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wcameron
Senior Member
Joined Mar 2006
Canmore, AB, Canada - The Heart of the Rockies
Oct 25, 2012 01:33 |  #5

I`ve been having a lot of fun shooting nighttime images recently. In terms of post-processing they need a great deal. I found Phil Hart`s ebook to be tremendously helpful. Here is a before and after showing my develop settings in Lightroom v4.

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René ­ Damkot
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Joined Feb 2005
enschede, netherlands
Oct 25, 2012 05:07 |  #6

NCHANT wrote in post #15165146external link
One thing I notice, is that after reducing the noise, the stars get a really wierd shape, like a lip around certain edges, which kind of renders the images useless if printed large - without spending hours of retouching :(

What settings for sharpening/NR?


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NCHANT
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Goldmember
Joined Jul 2012
Auckland, New Zealand
Oct 25, 2012 05:43 |  #7

René Damkot wrote in post #15166829 (external link)
What settings for sharpening/NR?

Here's what I've set my default star settings at:

Clarity 40
Vibrance 30
Sharpening 25
Luminence NR 40
Detail 50
Color 30
Detail 50

After using those settings I then play with the rest of the settings, exposure, highlights etc. Here's an example of the lip, upon closer inspection it's kind of getting a 'frozen' ice shard like texture? And still a lot of noise.
Actual photo:

IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8285/7752709868_02c2224d63.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://www.flickr.com .../82443214@N07/77527​09868/] (external link)
Light painting with the Milky Way 1 (external link) by Mikey Mack (external link), on Flickr

100% crop (the settings on this version are moderate compared to the full shot):

IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8050/8121699510_22d04dbc5f.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://www.flickr.com .../61860569@N04/81216​99510/] (external link)
IMG_6033 lr (external link) by mmackinven (external link), on Flickr

6D | 600D | A6000 | 10-22mm ƒ3.5-4.5 USM | 24-105mm ƒ4L USM | TM 35mm ƒ1.8 VC | 40mm ƒ2.8 STM | 50mm ƒ1.8 | 85mm ƒ1.8 | 135mm ƒ2L | 200mm ƒ2.8L II | 55-250 ƒ4.5-5.6 II | Sy 24mm ƒ1.4 | Sy 14mm ƒ2.8
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René ­ Damkot
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Joined Feb 2005
enschede, netherlands
Oct 25, 2012 07:17 |  #8

What settings for detail and masking in the sharpening?
I think you want masking pretty high.

Luminance NR of 40 is way too high. I use half that much on ISO 6400 shots on my 1D3.

Try this:
Zoom to 1:1 view.
Set Luminance NR to 100.
Adjust "Detail" slider till the image is just uniformly de-noised. (no lonely noise speckles left)
Set Luminance NR slider to about 20, set Contrast slider to match.

Here's a thread with two links: http://photography-on-the.net ...R3+reduction#post11​019573


"I think the idea of art kills creativity" - Douglas Adams
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Color Problems? Click here.
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PERSONAL MESSAGING REGARDING SELLING OR BUYING ITEMS WITH MEMBERS WHO HAVE NO POSTS IN FORUMS AND/OR WHO YOU DO NOT KNOW FROM FORUMS IS HEREBY DECLARED STRICTLY STUPID AND YOU WILL GET BURNED.

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wcameron
Senior Member
Joined Mar 2006
Canmore, AB, Canada - The Heart of the Rockies
Oct 25, 2012 17:07 |  #9

Here are the settings in the previously posted image for noise reduction and sharpening in Lightroom. Also, the exposure was 30 seconds at f4 at ISO 3200 on a Canon 1D III.

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I hope this helps.

Ward
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René ­ Damkot
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enschede, netherlands
Oct 26, 2012 10:26 |  #10

Lower "Detail", raise the "Masking" a lot. Somewhere above 80 or so.
If you hold Alt while adjusting the slider, you'll see a preview of what is masked black (so won't be sharpened).

Lower "Luminance" to 20 or so, set contrast to that as well.

Check at 100% view.


"I think the idea of art kills creativity" - Douglas Adams
Why Color Management.
Color Problems? Click here.
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DJCronin28
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665 posts
Joined Mar 2007
Boulder, CO
Nov 04, 2012 23:04 |  #11

Great info here, thanks everyone for posting!


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beano
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Joined May 2006
Berkshire. UK
Nov 06, 2012 03:17 |  #12

DJCronin28 wrote in post #15207901external link
Great info here, thanks everyone for posting!

+1 Thanks from me too!! ;)


Scott

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NCHANT
THREAD ­ STARTER
Goldmember
Joined Jul 2012
Auckland, New Zealand
Jan 06, 2013 15:26 |  #13

Thanks everyone for your suggestions :) I think I have got the processing part sorted, for now ;)

IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8212/8351694285_565cba961a_c.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/mikeymack/83516​94285/] (external link)
Moon rise over the Coromandel B (external link) by Mikey Mack (external link), on Flickr

6D | 600D | A6000 | 10-22mm ƒ3.5-4.5 USM | 24-105mm ƒ4L USM | TM 35mm ƒ1.8 VC | 40mm ƒ2.8 STM | 50mm ƒ1.8 | 85mm ƒ1.8 | 135mm ƒ2L | 200mm ƒ2.8L II | 55-250 ƒ4.5-5.6 II | Sy 24mm ƒ1.4 | Sy 14mm ƒ2.8
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