HO W TO… Make your st arry shots shine bright

Shoot­ing a nightscape is only half the job. To get the very best from an astro im­age, you’ll need to get down and dirty in Light­room…

NPhoto - - Feature -

Our start­ing im­age is ex­tremely dark, so the first step is to boost the Ex­po­sure, in this in­stance to +1.5. You can also add a se­ri­ous amount of punch us­ing the Con­trast slider.

Now we can see it a lit­tle bet­ter, the im­age is some­what blue, so we’ll in­crease the white bal­ance slightly to 4000. Re­mem­ber to ad­just the slider value by eye to suit your im­age – ev­ery pic­ture is dif­fer­ent.

If there is an ad­verse ef­fect from light pol­lu­tion, drop down the High­lights to re­duce it. Sub­tlety is the key or it can lead to an over­sat­u­rated look within the high­lights.

A tweak to the White’s ad­just­ment slider can also be ben­e­fi­cial. Ad­just the slider by eye in­stead of a set value; this im­age has +20

Be care­ful with Clar­ity, it’s tempt­ing to go ex­treme as it im­proves the clar­ity of an im­age. How­ever, look closely and it has a neg­a­tive im­pact if not ad­justed in mod­er­a­tion; it’s a real star-killer! We used +30 here.

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