The Heavens Above

The Heavens Above
This image of the milky way galaxy over the mountains beyond Garnet Lake in the Adirondacks took a lot of planning and preparation to get it right. The final image involved 3 horizontally stiched images…sounds easy right? Well it would have been except for the fact that I shot each image at a very high ISO and stitching those together would have left me with a noisy, useless image, no good for printing large. I decided to try something I had never done before. I took 20 exposures each of the 3 base exposures, for a total of 60 exposures altogether. I then imported each ‘set’ of exposures into Deep Sky Stacker, a program used in astrophotography, and stacked them together to create one noise free image from each of the 3 sets.

The image set with the landscape had to be stacked twice, once for the sky, and once for the landscape. The reason for this is simple. The stars ‘move’ as the earth rotates, but the landscape remains stationary. Once I corrected the blurry landscape, in this case the mountains, I was ready to stitch together the 3 images generated from Deep Sky Stacker. I used Microsoft ICE for the final stitch. The final result is a 23MP high resolution, noise free, fine art print!

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