Bisti Milky Way

Edited for noise

Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


We visited Bisti Badlands on a workshop with Mike Shaw. I wanted to capture the weirdness and beauty of this magical place.

Specific Feedback

This is a blue hour FG and a separate Milky Way sky. The MW is one shot because I was having trouble with stacking due to the clouds. Does the blend look natural?

How is the overall exposure? Do you like the overall composition?

Technical Details

MW is one shot at 15 secs on my Nikon Z7II with 14-24mm lens. 14 mm at F3.2, ISO 6400

Very nice, with interesting color, which can be difficult in nightscapes. The FG rocks are very interesting and lead the eye to the Milky Way, which is so nicely cradled by the clouds. (That is not the usual photographer’s luck!) The exposure and tonalities look good to me. There is a pleasingly subtle detail in the MW.

There is a lot of noise in the sky – since it is a separate exposure I’m curious why you didn’t reduce it there.

The image overall is very nice but I have the feeling that it could use some CCW rotation, but that may just be an optical illusion.

Thank you Diane. Here’s a revised photo with some noise adjustments.

1 Like

Yes, much better!! You can post a revision alongside the original by clicking the pencil icon in the lower right and adding it – that way people can toggle between both for easy comparison. And you can post it above the original if you want it to show up first. Just label the two appropriately. Editing is encouraged and rewarded here!

Edited for sky noise

Thank you again. Thanks for telling me how to edit/upload. I couldn’t figure it out.

I reduced the noise by running it through Topaz Denoise. It worked pretty well.

When I tried stacking several images, the clouds became very wispy and didn’t have the drama of these clouds. I tried stacking a stacked MW, then blending in the dramatic clouds and that didn’t look good at all.

Does anyone have any advice on stacking MW images with clouds?

This is an interesting image. Especially with the inclusion of clouds, which tends to be avoided for nightscapes. I think it works well. I imagine stacking multiple images with clouds would be difficult because any I think stacking software is not designed to account for moving objects other than stars.