Jim Wulpi  

Waiting for the Milky Way  by Jim Wulpi

July 2024 - Waiting for the Milky Way

July 2024 - Jim Wulpi


About the Image(s)

I'm heavilly involved with my local photographers group in northern Indiana, and a few of us planned an outing to attempt to capture the Milky Way (Core) in early June.
This image does not include the Milky Way itself, but rather, it was a scene that presented itself as we were waiting for the core to appear in a different part of the sky.
The high, thin clouds provided interest over a large Oak tree adjacent to the small lake we were next to. The camera was already set up to capture the night sky and "freeze" the motion of the stars, so I took advantage of the opportunity.
There was a fair amount of editing in LightRoom to bring out the stars and foreground, but it was made easy with masks; first on the Sky, then inverting it to lighten the foreground.
Here's a quick summary of the edits: Using the Histogram, I increased exposure, shadows, whites and Dehaze: I decreased the highlights & contrast. Color balance was set to 4300 K.
It was a great learning expereince. More outings are planned,
Canon 6D MkII; Sigma 14-24 f2.8 (ART) lens at f2.8; 20 second exposure; ISO 2500.
Your thoughts?

11 comments posted

Terri Adcock
I really like the image, the sky detail and the stars are of partiular interest as is the tree, creating the setting.. i might be inclined to crop a little of the grass off at the bottom to bring us in closer to the scene   Posted: 07/02/2024 00:26:30
Jim Wulpi   Jim Wulpi
Terri, Thank you for your comments. Please see my response to Martin for additional comments.   Posted: 07/04/2024 18:49:28

Shirley Pohlman   Shirley Pohlman
I love the "rays" formed by the clouds that I feel make your picture pop even if the stars were not visible. My first thought is that this was probably early evening, and 16 seconds might have been too long to start. I believe your editing brought it to how you wanted that could have been accomplished with shorter exposure time. I would like to see the shadows of the trees brightened a little and also cropping almost all of the foreground--to the v line of the grass. I feel that would help to take away from the total darkness appearance of the image. Fun shot!   Posted: 07/02/2024 15:50:27
Jim Wulpi   Jim Wulpi
Shirley, Thank you for your comments. This image was taken close to midnight, so it was well into darkness.
Please see my response to Martin for additional comments.   Posted: 07/04/2024 18:50:41

Martin Newland   Martin Newland
I like this image, Jim, but I might try and lighten the foreground; the overall image seems a little dark and under exposed.
I agree with Shirley that the "wispy" clouds form an integral part of this image   Posted: 07/03/2024 19:26:08
Comment Image
Jim Wulpi   Jim Wulpi
Martin, Thank you for your comments.
The actual setting at the time of this image capture was intentionally set for a new moon (ie., NO moon) night, so the setting was extremely dark. The original image has the sky MUCH brighter than it actually was, and the actual foreground was pitch black. I couldn't see where I was going, but I knew most of it was partially mown grass - only because we got there before dark. The foreground brightening I did in the submitted image wasn't as much as I could have brightened it. I played with that, but I toned it back down to be more realistic to the actual scene.
Personally, I love the lines in both the sky as well as the foreground grasses
  Posted: 07/04/2024 18:46:59

Tor Nenzen   Tor Nenzen
I also like this picture and I think your editing made it way more interesting. Martin's work enhanced it further as well in my opinion. With his brightening of the foreground, it also becomes a point of interest, so cropping it would be sad. Leaving the the original dimensions in Martin's edit gives the picture balance. Lots of leading lines that give the picture depth. Very cool!   Posted: 07/04/2024 11:49:30
Jim Wulpi   Jim Wulpi
Tor, Thank you for your comments. Please see my response to Martin for additional comments.   Posted: 07/04/2024 18:48:56

Karen Botvin   Karen Botvin
Very nice shot, Jim. I agree with others in that the foreground is a bit to dark. Martin's edits lighten if up just enough to act as leading lines into the beautiful cloud bursts. I, personally, do very little night photography so I have nothing to add technique-wise.   Posted: 07/05/2024 13:49:58

Piers Blackett   Piers Blackett
Very challenging and interesting image. Amazing that you exposed for 20 seconds at such a high ISO. It looks as if the wind was blowing against you to get the clouds splayed out like that. I think I agree with Martin about lightening the foreground but maybe not quite that much because there does not seem to be enough of a light source.   Posted: 07/05/2024 14:26:06
Jim Wulpi   Jim Wulpi
Piers, Thank you for your comments.
When you look at my image full screen, you get a bit of the essence of how dark it truly was. Part of my editing process amazed me at how bright I could actually (electronically) make the foreground, but I intentionally "dialed it back" to make it more realistic. As I stated to others, it was pitch black in person. I could not see where I was walking when I shifted over to capture this image from my Milky Way position.
I wanted my image to be a more accurate portrayal while still providing enough brightness to have leading lines in the foreground.   Posted: 07/07/2024 19:35:25


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