Milky Way Post-Processing

I’m quite happy to finally have gotten the chance to play around with a bit of astrophotography.

As I’m still quite new to darktable I’d love to see what is possible given the provided raw file.
I’ve tried to make the milky way pop a bit more with by adding an extra exposure module with a multiply blend mode. (trick picked up from this forum of course :wink: ! )

I quickly ran into somehow creating a bit of unwanted color shadings as well as some magenta stars though :confused:
Tried to somewhat get rid of the magenta stars by just desaturating magenta a bit via color zones.

Here is the raw
2022_07_28-0426-0126.NEF (35.5 MB)

This file is licensed Creative Commons, By-Attribution, Share-Alike.

The result of my attempt:

and the xmp:
2022_07_28-0426-0126.NEF.xmp (11.1 KB)

Looking forward to learning from your suggestions :slight_smile:


2022_07_28-0426-0126.NEF.xmp (16.7 KB)

2022_07_28-0426-0126.jpg.out.pp3 (11.6 KB)

2022_07_28-0426-0126.jpg.out.pp3 (11.8 KB)


Nice shot, thanks for posting
darktable 4.0

2022_07_28-0426-0126_03.NEF.xmp (35.7 KB)

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Nice photograph. I know nothing about astro-photography, so I am sure others will achieve far better results. I added a desaturated layer in overlay mode and then minor tweaks of the base layer using curves. Converted to tiff using Filmulator (default settings) and then in GIMP.

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2022_07_28-0426-0126.NEF.xmp (10.6 KB)


Thanks a lot everyone! :slight_smile:
Still on vacation so it will take a bit until I get a chance to play around in more detail with the suggestions.

Really great to see how much more structure the Milky Way has in some of the suggested edits! That’s what I was trying to get to!

I tried a gentle edit with dt 4.1.0 (git master)

I am way out of practice, but hope it looks a bit nice :blush:

2022_07_28-0426-0126.NEF.xmp (38,3 KB)

I kept working on it…

2022_07_28-0426-0126.NEF.xmp (16,1 KB)

@hassec nice shot btw!!!

acc. to the theory, your 20s should be o.k. (500/focal length), however, you see a bit of star trail, so I’d try 15s next time and I am convinced, your sensor is as good, you could try ISO 3200 (yes it will be way darker, however… NIKONS are ISOinvariant and it may preserve the color of the stars better)

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That’s a pretty cool and colourful shot of our galaxy, thanks for the share.