Before
Straight out of Camera
After
The finished image

The setup for this image

Step 1
Starting point. This was a one hour exposure.
Step 2
Basic panel

Exposure -5 stops
Blacks -100, shadows +100, whites +80

To bring it back to a useful (underexposed) baseline.
Step 3
Lens Corrections

This was taken with an 8mm fisheye lens. I don't have the exact profile for this lens, but I wasn't trying to be exact, so I used the Canon 8-15mm fisheye profile - with +200 distortion, which straightened things out a lot.
Step 4
First graduated filter

Downward over the foreground of the picture. -65 saturation, to de-emphasise the foreground.

I wasn't too interested in the foreground, and removing it meant I had more latitude for other edits.
Step 5
Second graduated filter

Upward from bottom of the sky to top, clarity +100. Clarity usually brings out more stars, including ones that had been too faint to be noticeable before, while emboldening the bright streaks.
Step 6
Third graduated filter

Upward from mid sky to top: Exposure +0.6 stops, contrast -100, shadows -100, clarity +100.

This brought out much more detail in the top half of the sky. It also brought in a lot of atmospheric noise but I'm okay with that (meaning I couldn't bring in one without the other!).
Step 7
Basic panel

Temperature to 3800K.

I could have stopped here and had a reasonably pleasing, cold blue sky.
Step 8
But I didn't. I wanted to bring out some more fabulous colours, and some colour banding.
After much mucking around, I ended up with an aqua hue - by subtraction of other colours. I used the colour picker to select these colours.

HSL panel

Hue: Blue -70, purple -55
Saturation: Orange -5, yellow -55, purple -100, magenta -40.
Step 9
Fourth graduated filter

I added some extra colour (using the colour picker), plus shadows +40 and saturation +25. The difference is subtle, but mainly it colours everything in the filter area a bit more aqua.
Step 10
Final touches in tone curve

I used the sliders instead of dragging the curve itself.

Darks +35, shadows -80.
Attachment: Raw file
Attachment: Original file
Attachment: Finished file

What do you think?

Join the discussion

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.