EDITING IN ADOBE LIGHTROOM CC
Your photos of the night sky will capture colors and details not visible to the naked eye – the oranges, magentas, purples and reds of the nebulae and galactic dust clouds. While this may not be obvious in your ‘out of the camera’ RAW image, Lightroom can bring out these color and details. We’ll also adjust levels, white balance and reduce noise that comes with high ISO long exposures. (Paul says not to overdo this, so that your end image still looks natural.)
Starting with white balance, Paul says he nds it handy to temporarily turn Vibrance up while working on Temperature and Tint. Adjust Temperature so that the sky is not too blue or yellow. You should hopefully start to get some yellow and orange in the core, and a mostly black sky, but don’t overdo it. Now adjust Tint so that you get a nice balance without having it look green or magenta.
Next, adjust Exposure so that the image has a nice overall level to it – remember that it’s a night shot, so don’t make it too bright. Then hold down the shift key and double click on both the Whites and Blacks to set your white and black points.
Before doing more in the Basic panel, jump to the Effects panel and increase the Dehaze slider. Although this is normally meant to remove fog and haze from an image, it is perfect for astrophotography as it will darken the sky and boost the Milky Way.
Again, don’t be tempted to push it too far. Back to the Basic panel, and adjust Highlights and Shadows a little to bring out the stars and the Milky Way. Add a little Clarity to bring up the stars a little more, and add a touch of Vibrance.
If you like, you can go to the HSL panel and increase Saturation of magenta, orange, purple and even red, to bring out the color in the core.
Last of all, use the Local Adjustment Brush to brush over the Milky Way and increase Exposure just a bit to make it jump out a little from the sky.
All of these settings will depend on your image, and all the changes are non-destructive so you can go back and change any of them in any order.
Out of the camera Edited in Lightroom