Nilmini De Silva  


MILKY WAY ON FIRE by Nilmini De Silva

June 2021 - MILKY WAY ON FIRE

About the Image(s)

We have just returned from a 2 week road trip into our neighbouring state Victoria. A couple of our friends were running a 4-day photo workshop at some salt lakes in the Victorian Outback in a place called Sea Lake. It seemed like a good opportunity to do a short trip. We were luck to get back to NSW just before Victoria went back into another lockdown. The Australian Outback has amazing night skies as there is little light pollution. This was taken while our friend Tim waived a piece of steel wool that had been lit. That’s his wife Robin in the foreground. I took this image with my Canon R6 and my 16-35mm wide angle. While the Milky Way was just above them, my lens was just not wide enough to do a single capture of the scene. After several attempts, I was happy with the exposure that I got using setting of ISO 2500, focal length of 20mm, f/2.8 and an exposure time of 10 secs. For the Milky Way, I did a series of shots with different ISO’s (between 6400-and 3200) later did a Median Blend in Photoshop to combine them as this helps reduce some of the noise. I then made a composite of the two images, masking the fire to reveal the night sky behind. I further edited the image in both Photoshop and Nik Effects in an attempt to reduce the blown out area at the bottom, caused by the sparks continuously falling to the ground. I have never attempted anything like this previously and had fun putting this together.


13 comments posted




Bev Caine   Bev Caine
This is an amazing image. I honestly can't think of any way to suggest an improvement or change. Extremely well done.   Posted: 06/14/2021 19:37:29
Nilmini De Silva   Nilmini De Silva
Thanks Bev. It will be interesting to see how it goes in competition!
  Posted: 06/15/2021 02:57:25



Margaret Sprott   Margaret Sprott
I was also amazed at this image and would never have the patience to try something like it. I'm a little confused about the people - is that Tim with the camera and his wife in the middle of the circle and you took it from way back where they were? I hope you are all able to travel again.   Posted: 06/14/2021 21:17:22
Nilmini De Silva   Nilmini De Silva
Thanks Margaret. Tim is spinning the steel wool and his wife is in the foreground with the camera. Yes, we were standing quite a bit further away.
  Posted: 06/15/2021 02:56:39
Margaret Sprott   Margaret Sprott
Oh, finally I see what you were saying. Thanks.   Posted: 06/15/2021 07:27:29



Jamie Federick   Jamie Federick
Nilmini...I am intrigued with your photo. Some from our camera club just went on a night shoot of the Milky Way here in Arkansas. Love the contrast of both your photos together. I think this is way over my head!!!   Posted: 06/15/2021 11:24:02
Nilmini De Silva   Nilmini De Silva
It isn't as hard as it looks but thank you. I have been following some photoshop classes on line and it has really helped me get my head around it. But it is a constant process of learning and I have long way to go.   Posted: 06/15/2021 17:32:15
Jamie Federick   Jamie Federick
You are doing a great job!   Posted: 06/15/2021 18:10:05



Mary Walsh   Mary Walsh
Nilmini, this shot is absolutely amazing. How many hours of work did it take to put the images together? I have another curiosity question, was Tim wearing some kind of protection while he was spinning the steel wool?   Posted: 06/15/2021 12:25:13
Nilmini De Silva   Nilmini De Silva
Thanks Mary. It probably took about 15 minutes all up. I don't spend hours on one photo but I would certainly come back to it each time I am using an image for competition and re-process if it doesn't look right. Tim was wearing a glove to hold the steel wool. We were in a salt flat so it was really safe.   Posted: 06/15/2021 17:34:16



Lloyd Delaney   Lloyd Delaney
Nilmini,
What a great capture! I am inspired by your having the vision of this and then making it happen. Wow!   Posted: 06/20/2021 14:01:18
Nilmini De Silva   Nilmini De Silva
Thanks Lloyd. The idea to do the steel wool was Tim and Robins and the inspiration came after I had taken the images!   Posted: 06/20/2021 17:32:42
Lloyd Delaney   Lloyd Delaney
That is mostly the case with me. I envy those who imagine the outcome first and then make it happen. I tend to see the image after I have taken something I find interesting and then craft it.   Posted: 06/20/2021 17:34:56



 

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