|"Milky Way" by Andrey Shumilin (click on image to enlarge)|
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.