Laurie McShane  

Milky Way Magic by Laurie McShane

July 2024 - Milky Way Magic

About the Image(s)

This shot of the Milky Way was taken at the end of May on one of our dark nights. It was on a beach on Lake Superior, and it seemed magical with only a hooting owl to break the silence. It was taken with a prime lens - 20mm @ 1.8; ISO 4000; and 8 seconds. There was a fair amount of editing done in order to bring out the colors - and I did run it through a Denoise program because of the obvious noise. I look forward to your suggestions!

9 comments posted

Prasad Indulkar   Prasad Indulkar
Wow Laurie,
Amazing work, This is my favourite genre of Photography, sadly I have to travel a lot for this to get dark sky. So its not very frequent. you have chosen a very good spot for this, kudos for that, Because Milkway looks always the same. for ages and ages it will look the same. what brings magic to our image is the foreground. So choice of Foreground is as important as the MW.

I wanted to ask you how you decided 8 secs of exposure time. Did you try several exposure settings and found this to be perfect or did you use some app to find out which is the best exposure for your camera + Lens combo. You have edited the photo very nicely.

I have given here by edit of your JPEG file. I have basically played with Curves and Levels in photoshop, As you can see i opened shadows on the foreground and the island in middle ground to show some more details, and I have improved the color contrast of the MW hence it is popping out more. Hope you like my version, I personally prefer a little bolder MW , as MW cannot be seen by naked eyes, so it is upto each individual to bring out his version of it   Posted: 07/02/2024 21:00:28
Comment Image
Laurie McShane
Prasad, thanks for revealing the true potential of this shot. I'd tried to edit it with Lightroom, but don't have the skills to accomplish what you did!

As far as the 8 seconds, the formula that my lens needed was up to 15 seconds in order to keep the stars as pinpoints, and I experimented with different settings.   Posted: 07/03/2024 16:12:03
Prasad Indulkar   Prasad Indulkar
absolutely spot on. i am so happy that you used the formula or took the efforts to find out what will be the correct exposure time to get pin point stars, brilliant. editing takes practise and also watching and learning from youtube. you can find some really good videos there. i too learnt it same way.   Posted: 07/04/2024 03:50:37

Jerry Taylor   Jerry Taylor
I agree with Prasad about the foreground-as he said, "the MW will always be the same." I am not too far away from a "Certified Dark Sky"-I've only gone up to PA once, and the overcast that was not predicted showed up anyway.
Nicely composed. Darkening the sky and contrast was the key.   Posted: 07/05/2024 19:54:00
Laurie McShane
Thanks, Jerry! i appreciate your thoughts.   Posted: 07/07/2024 19:05:17

Keith Francis   Keith Francis
What a great image - love it. You've got a great leading line with the shoreline and the island is perfect.

I do agree with Prasad and Jerry that the sky is a bit too bright. Prasad's VF adds great drama to the image.   Posted: 07/06/2024 09:26:03
Laurie McShane
Thanks, Keith. I see now that darkening the sky is an improvement.   Posted: 07/07/2024 19:05:59

Kathleen Colligan
Laurie, You have done it again! I love how you take so many different types of photos. This one is awe-inspiring. Maybe it is my monitor, but I actually like your original photo best.   Posted: 07/08/2024 05:22:40

David Garrison
I really like the photo---it has a great leading line going to a very good shot of the milky way. I like the island and the fact that there is just enough beach present.   Posted: 07/08/2024 10:46:38


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