HWM (Singapore) - - Learn -

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

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