Night on the lake

This frame is taken from the area of the lake where can reach only by boat. I waited for the Milky Way to reach between the mountain peaks. Unfortunately, I had no reflection in the water because there were some waves in the lake.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

Too much noise in the frame?

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

There are too many elements in the frame? I would have to give up the boat and fit only the mountains with the Milky Way and a small part of the lake if no reflection in the water?

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

(If this is a composite, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)
It’s a composition. In the foreground: 140sec, ISO3200, F2/8 and for sky: 30sec, ISO 3200, F2/8

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Nice image. I personally don’t think the shot has too many elements. In my opinion, the boat adds to the narrative of the scene. I think the composition works well with the combination of the empty boat and the wide expanse of lake between it and the far shore. It creates a strong sense of isolation. I suppose one suggestion, just as an experiment, would be to take the image from just a bit closer to the ground in order to slightly decrease the amount of space the lake takes up in the shot. I’m not sure this would work for or against the ‘isolation’ narrative, it’s just a thought.

To me, the semi-matte texture of the water with the subdued reflections is a strength rather than a weakness. It’s what originally drew me to this image.

Thanks for sharing. Keep up the good work.

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I think your composition is well thought out. With that long of an exposure I would not have expected a clear reflection in the lake anyway. However, there is one thing that is tripping me up, where is the light coming from to light the hills? Especially since the access to this location is only by boat.

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I like the pinkish tones in the blueish sky here. It adds to the mood!
I agree with Cameron on trying a bit lower angle to get rid of some of the lake in the mg, since not so much is happening there. I also agree with Youssef, where does the light in the 2 brighter spots on the hills come from?
For me, the whole fg/mg look too light. When I see that many stars I think night and darkness, so I think I would like a bit darker fg/mg (darker sky will work too maybe?), without losing any details.

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Hi Anghel,

Welcome to the community and a solid first post!

I think you have done well in capturing the details in the star field and you have a really clean noise free image here. The composition and saturation in the sky work well for me.

Some ideas. I feels as those the warm light on the hills is more saturated and brighter than the milky way core. I’d consider reducing brightness and saturation of the mid ground to allow for the stars to pop. I also though that the luminosity of the water was taking too much attention and I think that lowering the midtowns will add value.

Below is a rough example of what I mean.



Welcome to NPN! A terrific night sky/milky way first post.

First, great job and kudos for planning this out and executing this. The presence of the boat and the long exposure on the lake makes for a nice addition to the night sky. I don’t think there are too many elements, it’s a pretty simple and straight forward comp.

I would agree with comments so far about the lightness of the land/water; it’s just a little inconsistent with a night sky image with all the billions of stars visible. I like where Nathan is taking this and I would go even further. Details aren’t so important with the boat; even if much darker the shape and presence alone can still help tell the story. In the end, the lake is just too bright relative to a night sky.

This certainly has great potential. We look forward to your images and participation in the galleries and forums.


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Under a full moon, which this likely is, the land can look quite bright. But I’ve never seen it that warm. So, I like Nathan’s processing but would cool down the land and water.

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Hi Cameron,
Thanks for your appreciation and advice. Indeed, it was better a frame taken closer to the ground.

Hi Youssef,
Thanks for the feedback. The light from the hills comes from several lamps installed on an accumulation dam (left side)

Thank you @Lon_Overacker, @Nathan_Klein, @Ron_Jansen, @Igor_Doncov, for your appreciation and advice. For the first post, I am happy that I received your constructive opinions.