Saturday, December 29, 2012

POTW: 'Milky Way' by Andrey Shumilin

 "Milky Way" by Andrey Shumilin (click on image to enlarge)
Our Photo of the Week (POTW) was taken by Russian photographer, Andrey Shumilin. Andrey used a Nikon D700 with a Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8, zoomed to 14mm. His base exposure for the sky was f/2.8 for 30 seconds @ ISO 3200, and three bracketed exposures for the ground, using an ISO of 200. The foreground was also enhanced with the use of an LED flashlight. All exposures were done with the camera on a stationary tripod.

Technique: (The following was translated from Russian to English, so please bear with us.) Andrey stacked the 12 sky shots by layers in Photoshop. He then applied Auto-alignment to the stars. (The ground objects were temporarily closed off with the use of an unsharp mask, otherwise the alignment will occur on ground objects, and not by the stars.)

Blending mode of the second from the bottom layer was changed to Screen, and merged down. Similarly, pairwise other layers have been processed. As a result, [he] got six brighter layers where the stars were coincide. [The] next step — setting layer's Opacity: the bottom layer - Opacity 100%, second from the bottom - 50%, the next one - 33%, then 25%, 20%, and the top layer - 16%. Then the layers were merged. The ground was then added the final image from three bracketed shots.

Satisfaction: "As a result, I got a picture with virtually no noise," says Andrey". "It allowed [me to] greatly increase the saturation and contrast without [a] catastrophic increase in the noise level."

More of Andrey Shumilin's photography can be seen at his 1x website.


  1. Thanks for the write-up! It's fun to see this image in this month's Ensign magazine:

  2. Incredible photographs and great information! Thanks!