Moonlit Mountains


(Jonas Wagner) #1

I was out snowboarding this week. We were supposed to visit a local observatory but that didn’t pan out so I went on a little night time hike. It was a bright moonlit night with fresh snow. This is one of my favorite shots from that night:

D810 / Sigma 50mm/1.4 art - ISO 180, F/2, 8s - processed in darktable & gimp

The RAW was underexposed by 3 EV. I guess the snow & dark trees threw off the metering. I didn’t look at the histogram when shooting because my gloves were frozen solid. :smiley: The image is also cropped quite a bit:

To give you a bit more context here is a (messed up) panorama of the place:

I’m looking forward to your feedback and suggestions. Would you frame the photo differently? Would you process it differently?

Cheers,
Jonas :slightly_smiling:


#2

Fantastic shot, the brightly lit landscape and the stars in the sky make it look a bit surreal. I like it. IMO the composition is fine, and the panorama (even though it’s tiny) looks cool, too. I like the blue tint with the yellow highlights on the left and right.


(Morgan Hardwood) #3

Great shot! The stars with the frame ending in black at the top works very well. I like the cropped composition.
I would try two things: see whether there is any texture to be recovered in the clouds, as they look clipped, and see if adding a bit of warmth to the mid section (the trees) would make a positive difference. Just a touch of warmth, not too much.


#4

Looking at your pic before looking at the text, I had an irresistible urge to wipe all these dust specks off my screen. In short the stars don’t look too much like stars, especially if you keep the picture rather bright. The darker the sky, the more star-like the stars… You can also try to either single out a recognizable constellation, or bring out fainter stars.


(Jonas Wagner) #5

[quote=“Morgan_Hardwood, post:3, topic:916”]
I would try two things: see whether there is any texture to be recovered in the clouds, as they look clipped,
[/quote]There is very little detail in the clouds to begin with. But the noise reduction definitely lost some more. I don’t think I’ve lost much due to clipping but I’ll recheck.

[quote=“houz, post:2, topic:916”]
the panorama (even though it’s tiny) looks cool, too. I like the blue tint with the yellow highlights on the left and right.
[/quote]I like the colors too but I couldn’t find a projection that looks reasonable so far. I find hugins UI very fiddly in that regard.

@Ofnuts you are right the stars look a bit off. Maybe I pushed them a bit too much with the curves. They shouldn’t look so ‘fat’.

I’ll try to reprocess the image according to your suggestions when I find some time. Coming back from holidays means a lot of work to do. :confused:


(Pat David) #6

Smashing result!

I think the composition looks good. Not much to really modify I guess other than shifting vertically one way or the other - what you decided on is a nice compromise of foreground/sky, I think. If anything I might play around with keeping something closer to your original crop?

I also love the fade-to-black in the upper sky. It helps that the colors are quite pretty (and chilly feeling). The toning really enhances the image, I think.

At full view I can see what @Morgan_Hardwood means with the clouds looking… off?

Seems that NR might have done some smearing of the textures there? It’s not noticeable at smaller sizes, just when pixel peeping.

I also think the full panorama view is awesome. The complementary cold blues + white contrasts nicely with the warmth of the town lights. Also - remind me to come visit you . :slight_smile:


(Jonas Wagner) #7

I tried to reprocess the file to fix some of these issues but I introduced some other artifacts I don’t like (and didn’t get the same colors/contrast):

But I found the two issues. The stars are so fat because they are slightly trailing (should have chosen a faster shutter speed) and because I pushed the contrast a bit much with the curves.

The issues with the clouds are from denoising.

So for the next time when I’m shooting something similar:

  • Exposure compensation up to expose properly (should have known that, snow usually leads to underexposed shots)
  • Shorter shutter speeds that 500 rule doesn’t seem to work at the sizes a like to have my images
  • Taking more shots so I can stack out the noise this creates

Thanks for all the feedback guys!


(Pat David) #8

I was going to ask earlier and got sidetracked - would you consider letting us use this as a background lede image for the front page?


(Jonas Wagner) #9

[quote=“patdavid, post:8, topic:916, full:true”]
I was going to ask earlier and got sidetracked - would you consider letting us use this as a background lede image for the front page?
[/quote]You may certainly use it.
You can find a higher res version on flickr:

It’s got a CC NC BY SA license on it but as long as it’s on pixls.us use it for what ever you see fit. :slightly_smiling: