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Mike Moses's picture

First attempt with stacking and blending

Good Day...
This is my first attempt at photographing some of the milky way on the rocks at Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia.
I took 20 exposures at f1.8, 50mm Prime, 5 seconds iso 400.
Critiques always welcome.

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Bill Peppas's picture

"ideally" milky way pictures are captured best and look best at wider angles.
A wider angle lens allows you to capture the milky way with longer exposures without getting star trailing, this plus exposure stacking with Dark Frames as well will give you a very good result.
Exposure stacking also allows you to get cleaner images at high ISOs.

Of course the key to the better capture is first and most importantly a dark skies place. The darker the skies the better!

Don't shoot the lens open wide.
At wide open apertures they suffer more from astigmatism & coma ( you see the stars especially around the corners deform ).
Stop down the lens instead, I'd shoot the 50mm f/1.8 at f/2.8 for this occasion.
You could opt for 1600 ISO ( you're not telling us which camera you're using ) easily especially since you used multiple exposures ( stacking ).

Your processing of the milky way isn't bad, but you can do much better with some reading and practice.

For capturing the milky way better equipment-wise you can add a LPF ( Light Pollution Filter ) and a Hydrogen-Alpha filter to capture more details and also the blue & red emissions of the various nebulaes and DSO ( Deep Space Objects ).

Regarding your composition, I'd give the foreground some more space, a tad less than 1/3rd of the frame.

Mike Moses's picture

Thanks for the advice Bill, using Canon t5i for camera. Since my location is only 15 minutes away I'll give this another shot later this week. Have a great day.

Dudley Didereaux's picture

I like this view. It has an alien planet sort of feel to it. Definitely not your run-of-the-mill Milky Way shot. And I disagree about the suggestion on more foreground. TO me that would ruin the effect I described. So, Kudos!

Mike Moses's picture

Thank you Dudley

Jeff Colburn's picture


A good shot.

A wider view of the sky is seen more often, but I do like this shot. I also like the foreground.

For my personal taste, I would lower the light you used on the foreground to make the back edge of the rock black, like you have on the right side of the foreground, and maybe reduce the light level so the foreground looks more like night time illumination. Like it was shot during a full moon.

Have Fun,