Cheryl LaLonde  

Comet Neowise over Batoche by Cheryl LaLonde

September 2020 - Comet Neowise over Batoche

September 2020 - Cheryl LaLonde

Original 1

September 2020 - Cheryl LaLonde

Original 2

About the Image(s)

I went up to Batoche to capture comet Neowise over the Batoche Church. I light painted the church so that I could blend it later and bring out some detail in the foreground (Original 1). Original 2 is the capture I used for the sky. I was surprised at how much detail I was able to bring out after the fact. This was my first trip with a new camera and I wasn’t used to it yet. I really did not have a good feel for what settings would be required to get a good exposure of the night sky. In hind site I probably should have increase ISO to 3200. I also have not done a lot of night sky editing so any feedback regarding this would be appreciated. Did I go to far with the sky?. Anyone have any suggestions on how to get rid of the orange light on the church that was actually coming from a farmyard over a block away. I tried decreasing the highlights and whites but it made it look worse.

The bit of green in the sky is actually Aurora. It was too cloudy to see much of it from where I was but fellow camera club members were in a different area and got some great Aurora shots. I am a teeny bit jealous LOL! Anyway all comments and feedback welcome.

Fujifilm GFX 50S
Fuji lens 32-64mm
Shot at 32 mm
ISO 2500
F4 (lowest it would go)
Shutter speed of 20 seconds

12 comments posted

Dan Mottaz   Dan Mottaz
Cheryl, I am not an astro photographer, but from my point of view, you processed the sky perfectly. Viewing your originals, I admire how you were able to bring out the comet so nicely. The stars pop very well too. Personally, I like the clouds. To me, they provide dimension.
As for the orange on the right side of the church, in PS, clone a non-orange section over the orange. Beyond that, I would like to see the church a bit brighter. The church is an important element in your composition. Just a little brightening, though. The story in your photo is about the night. You don't want to overpower the sky and take away the importance of the feel of your night scene. One way to do this is to make a selection of the church in PS and use the curves layer to brighten it up - just a little.
I would be stoked if this were my image. Nicely done.   Posted: 09/05/2020 09:44:00
Cheryl LaLonde   Cheryl LaLonde
Thanks Dan. I was struggling a bit with just how bright to make the church. My light painted version is looking like a bright light itself so I decreased the opacity until I thought it looked natural. Most comments want it a bit brighter so I will take a look at increasing the opacity a bit and see what that looks like.   Posted: 09/15/2020 23:50:06

Robert Atkins   Robert Atkins
The church looks very familiar. :)

I think this is a really nice image Cheryl. I'm not an astrophotographer either, but your capture of the sky seems right on to me. I think the clouds add interest and don't seem to obscure the comet. I might crop a little tighter on the left and top, but I tend to like tighter crops and perhaps tend to push things too far there. I like it a 1/2 to 3/4 stop brighter overall too as the colors in the sky seem to start to come out a little more. That brightens the church a smidge in the process.

I tried a different quick and easy approach to remove the orange glow on the end of the church, namely playing with the orange/red HSL channels in Lightroom. But that wasn't enough. So, I agree with Dan that you'd have to work to clone or content aware fill in PS. Either way I suspect it is going to be a bit of work to get it look right to close inspection. But I think it is worth it since the image is amazing other than that distracting bit of orange.
  Posted: 09/12/2020 12:12:55
Cheryl LaLonde   Cheryl LaLonde
Thanks Robert. I am going to give the clone stamp a go!
  Posted: 09/15/2020 23:56:06

Gerard Blair   Gerard Blair
Cheryl - to address the orange I would start with the patch tool (photoshop) selecting that offending area of the wall and then moving that selection over to the section to the left of it. Then I would use the Clone stamp to tidy up the edges - but not in "normal" mode - but changing the mode to lighten/darken/color as you repair any blemishes

I know nothing about night photography and was amazed at how much information there was in your original-2 - very informative. That said - I think it a lovely image and I think you should be very happy with the outcome of all the effort that must have gone into it   Posted: 09/13/2020 13:21:51
Cheryl LaLonde   Cheryl LaLonde
Yes I was surprised as well at how much I was able to pull out of this image. I have not done that much night photography but this gives me hope that with some more practice I will be able to get an even better night sky image sometime down the road.   Posted: 09/15/2020 23:57:31

Emily Kawasaki   Emily Kawasaki
Wow - this is a great shot of the Neowise Comet! I saw it both days on the weekend that it was out, but could not get a shot of it. As someone who has been doing more night photography, thank you for sharing your settings and how you edited the image to capture more stars with clarity. This is really educational and helpful. Great images and editing!   Posted: 09/14/2020 10:10:17
Cheryl LaLonde   Cheryl LaLonde
Thanks Emily!   Posted: 09/15/2020 23:58:00

Zolt Levay   Zolt Levay
Nicely done! I got several photos of NEOWISE, but none with such a nice foreground. I even like the clouds, adding a bit more interest to the sky; fortunately they just missed the comet. Aside from adding interior lights I think the light/reflection in the windows is a nice touch -- from the same light?

My only comments would be to see if you could brighten overall just a bit, though I'd guess with those settings you are at about the limit without enhancing the noise too much. I might also crop in just a bit. Almost want to crop/remove the two bright stars at top left (actually Saturn and Jupiter, I think), since they draw my eye up there, but better on balance to keep them. The PS clone tool pretty quickly removed the light on the wall.

(My NEOWISE photos, in case anyone's interested:   Posted: 09/14/2020 15:23:38
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Cheryl LaLonde   Cheryl LaLonde
Thanks Zolt. I did give the clone stamp a go and it turned out OK. I also used the brush tool in lightroom and decreased the highlights and whits on those stars in the top left to ensure they were not so bright to draw the eye.

Yes the reflections in the window are the same light that created the anoying orange/red on the wall. Looks Ok in the windows though!

Here is my re-edited version that I also used Topaz denoise on. I think topaz did a really good job.

Thanks for retouching the church to show me how good it could look with the clone stamp.   Posted: 09/16/2020 00:07:33
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Dale Yates   Dale Yates
Hi Cheryl...excellent photo. Great composition with the church and the sky. In my opinion, the sky looks great. The stars seem to "pop", the comet is nicely captured, and the clouds provide a good contrast. I agree with Dan on perhaps look at brightening the church just a little and also agree that the PS Clone Stamp tool is best in these situations with the lights. I notice your edited version in your 9/16 reply to Zolt and I think this version is perfect, I wouldn't change a thing!   Posted: 09/21/2020 12:38:44
Cheryl LaLonde   Cheryl LaLonde
Thanks Dale   Posted: 09/27/2020 00:10:34


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