Milky Way over four trees

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


This is the Milky way as seen from the deck of my Montana house, where we have nice dark skies. This is a “standard” single exposure, where I did get to compare the original with LR’s new AI noise reduction. The difference was dramatic in terms of the pixel noise, especially color noise, however, I’m not completely convinced that the noise reduction didn’t add some textures. At 43 mm and 15 s exposure the stars are very slightly elongated, but that can only be seen when viewed at 100% . The two lights in the lower left are from a neighbor’s indoor light (smaller) and a yard light at a house about 3 miles away, across the valley (larger).

Technical Details

R5, 24-105 @ 43 mm, 15 s, f/4.5, iso 3200, tripod

Hi Mark,
wow, that is a really nice dark sky. I think I have never seen such a dark sky with my own eyes.
I like that you zoomed in quite a bit. With that focal length, you can catch really nice details in the Milky Way Core.
It seems like the stars are not quite in focus. But that doesn’t bother me so much. I like that sometimes when the stars look a little bigger.

The silhouette of the four trees is great. They stand out well against the sky. I wish you could have positioned the camera a little lower so you could see more of the beautiful trees.

That’s really interesting. I didn’t experiment with the new noise reduction in LR. But I should catch up with that.

Your picture makes you want to photograph the stars again. I’m a little jealous of your Bortle class. :wink:

A lovely view of the MW! I love the amount of FG detail I can see. (I guess compared to the MW, the mountains can be considered FG…) It would be interesting to go vertical and catch a bit more of the MW but that might crowd the trees too much. Wouldn’t be hard to do a 2-frame stitch, in either orientation.

Looks like you controlled noise well. I think you could push contrast even a bit further. The focus is quite a bit off. It’s pretty easy to focus the R5 on stars by zooming in the viewfinder and manually focusing. Sharpest focus will give the smallest stars.

Is this the EF or RF lens? How are the stars in the corners wide open? Are you stopping down and zooming in to improve the distortions? I’m still looking for the best MW lens. Frustrating. My EF 24-70 f/2.8 L II gives really bad stars in the corners. At 50mm and f/4 it’s not bad, but not great, either.

Wow, what a view from the comfort of home. I also like your choice of focal length. I think the positioning of the Milky Way core creates a pleasing composition with it arcing from right of center leftward to the center.