So my last trip was into the Canadian wilderness. A place that is out of service and beyond the reach of the ‘regular’ world. The true north. Beyond the wall. I will just shortly discuss my favorite picture from that adventure and a little insight as to how I post-processed it.

Star and building photography

First, the right night had to be picked. Not every night was as clear or water as calm. Once the night was picked, I canoed out to a rock that had a good shot of the house. I didn’t bring my tripod on the trip so my camera was resting sideways on a rock. I read somewhere that photographers are really just problem solvers. Next, because the house was so much brighter than the sky I had another problem. Capture the stars and blow out the house or get the house and have no sky. My original thought was to composite two images of different exposures for the house and sky. That is a lot of work and tough to pull off convincingly. So I met somewhere in the middle and shot it in RAW because I know I would need it later. Actually, I almost only shoot in RAW.

This was shot at ISO 800, f/2.2 and a 10 second exposure. Why these settings? The lens is a Nikon 35mm 1.8G. At full open (f/ 1.8) the image isn’t as sharp, so I stopped it down a tiny bit. 10 seconds is pretty much the max time my combo (lens/camera) can stay open without getting star trails. The basic formula for crop sensor, like my Nikon D7000, is 400/your focal length (35mm). That’s about 11.4 seconds. If you have a full frame sensor your formula is a 600/FL. I wish I could have done this shot with a wider angle lens. But alas, one has to work their way up the latter. And the ISO 800 was just the ISO I needed for the exposure.

Quickly for the post:
in Lightroom:
Exposure +.3
Painted with Highlight boost and clarity boost on sky
Painted with Highlight reduction on house

Photoshop:
Slight blue tone layer
Frequency separation sharpening (I’ll make a write up about this soon)

Done!

UPDATE: I ordered a Tokina 11-16 f / 2.8 yesterday! Would have really enjoyed that wider view but I am still quite pleased with this.