Kwaaymii Point | Laguna Mountain | CA

Day to Night

Last weekend I went up to the mountains with my photo club for a Milky Way photoshoot. We got there a bit early so we all managed to grab a few photos of the sweeping landscape before the sun went down. The view was phenomenal!

Late afternoon…

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5-frame HDR processed with Lightroom & Photomatix Pro

The cloudy sky made for a brilliant sunset

sunset-hdr-kwaaymii-point-mount-laguna-san-diego-2
6-frame HDR processed in Lightroom & Photomatix Pro

 

sunset-hdr-kwaaymii-point-mount-laguna-san-diego-1
5-frame HDR processed with Lightroom & Photomatix Pro

Finally it was dark enough to shoot some stars. We still had some clouds in the sky, but they cleared just enough to capture the Milky Way!

Both photos below are single exposures processed in LightroomPhotoshop, & Topaz Denoise.

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milky-way-astrophototography-kwaaymii-point-mount-laguna-san-diego-2

A few thoughts on night-sky photography

Earlier efforts I’ve made with astrophotography fell short of these results. For this outing I got my hands on a Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 lens and it worked out well!

However, I’ve confirmed (time and time again) that my trusty Canon 7D does not handle high-ISOs well. The f/2.8 lens helped, but I still had pretty awful noise at ISO 2000 & 3200. (Anyone out there want to buy me a Canon 6D or 5DmkIII? Anyone? Pretty please?)

While my results weren’t perfect (and required a heavy hand with Topaz DeNoise in post), I still had a great time and learned a lot! I look forward to capturing the night sky again some day soon!

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