Twenty four hours pas new year’s eve, I was out for my first photography outing of 2019. I wanted to take some starry sky photos, and decided to go to the Pointe des Châteaux area. My goal was to take pictures of the Milky Way while having some interesting foreground.
I used the photopills application on my smartphone to plan my trip and see where the Milky Way would intersect with the horizon so I could get both the Milky Way and some point of interest in the same frame. The POI I wanted to feature is a big concrete christian cross.
I entitled this post “The Creations” because in the same picture I see the duality between the religious (here Christian) and the scientific viewpoints on the Creation:
- just above the foreground hill, at the bottom of the Milky Way you can see a reddish area: it is called the Carina nebula, which is an H II region, in which stars are forming along with protoplanetary disks;
- if you let your eye follow the hill to the left, you will see the 10 meters-high concrete cross on the clifftop, which was first erected by catholic Christians in 1946, and replaced by the one you see here in 2002.
The technical stuff
This image is a stack of many different frames, first processed in Siril 0.9.10-rc2, using:
- 10 light frames (Samyang 12mm lens, f/2.0, iso 800, 10’’ exposure),
- 200 bias (offset) frames (1/8000),
- 25 dark frames (iso 800, 10’’ exposure),
- 25 flat field frames (f/2.0).
Siril demosaiced and processed the raw files (Fujifilm X-T2) directly, which is great (support for x-trans raw files was added earlier in 2018). I just used one the scripts posted on their website, which takes care of everything.
I ran the script twice : once with star registration, to get the stars aligned, and then without registration for using the stacked foreground.
The 2 resulting 16-bit TIFF files were slightly processed in RawTherapee (exposure, tone curve, contrast, white balance).
The final step was to merge both TIFF’s in the GIMP (masking the foreground of the star-registration image, manual removal of hot/stuck pixels, ‘creative’ midtones dodging in the foreground, cropping and resizing to 1920x1080).
I hope you enjoy the result.