Shoot and blend two exposures for the ideal night shot
Photograph 1 the night sky
Find a composition with a strong foreground to achieve the best results. We shot this from the very dark Pembrokeshire coast, with the Green Bridge of Wales in the foreground. First, we took a photo of the night sky, using a Canon 6D with a 14mm f/2.8 lens. On ISO 6,400, we opened the shutter for 30 seconds.
Photograph 2 the foreground
Although the image of the sky worked well, the camera wasn’t able to capture enough light in the landscape. So we reduced the ISO to 1,600 and opened the shutter in Bulb mode for eight minutes (using an alarm on our phone). The finished image has lots of detail of the rock, but the sky is overexposed.
Post-process 3 the images
Drag both raw images into Photoshop and process each. For the night sky image, we put Highlights slider to 0 and Shadows to 90, lowering the black level and slightly increasing Clarity to bring out the stars. For the foreground shot, we increased Clarity, Dehaze and Vibrancy.
Blend the images 4
In Photoshop, go to File > Scripts Load Files Into Stack, and choose the two files. You will now have them both as layers. Select the night sky exposure and add a layer mask. Make both layers visible, select the layer mask, then select the Gradient tool and draw a small vertical line on the horizon. The two images will be blended together.