My first shot of our galaxy's center

I’ve been drooling over Milky Way pictures on astro/night photography groups. I already tried to shoot it, but this time I wanted to see galactic core, which has nice features and colors.
Woke up at 2:15am on Sunday, drove to my favorite remote place (the farthest I could get way from light pollution). I arrived there at 3am, got off the car and… Wow, it was there, thank you PhotoPills and Stellarium!
Took my Fujifilm X-T2, mounted with the Samyang 12mm f/2.0, set ISO to 3200, shutter speed to 25 sec, aperture to 2.4 (to reduce coma). Put that on a tripod, in portrait mode, and fired 15 times to cover the whole galactic arch.
It’s not the best milky way image by far, but so far it’s my best.

You can see the trace of a satellite on the left, and of a shooting star at the middle top.
The lights at the horizon come from a small island called “La Désirade”.

The processing was quite simple: raw development in Rawtherapee (using its dark frame subtraction feature), stitching in Hugin (with the 12mm, I find that I have less trouble if I let Hugin to correct for barrel distortion, in additions to positions), back in RT for tweaking noise reduction, colors, wavelets (I used my “clarity” settings), and finally some burning and dodging in Gimp (to give more pop to the milky way).


Very nice! Also the colors are correct :slight_smile:

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Never cease to amaze.

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Your satellite is likely a plane. You can’t see satellites at 3AM, those that are in your field of view (and low enough to be visible) are in the Earth’s shadow.

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I’m not so sure about the sun, because it was just 1h and a half before sunset. But you may be right. At first I thought of a plane as it was kind blinking, but then it stopped blinking and I could still see it for a few seconds.

How do you know? Have you been out there? :wink:


Imho a shooting star should result in a straight line (without curve). Except the case the lens causes the curve, which I don’t think is the case.

Ingo, for the shooting star I’m sure it is one, as I saw it during the capture. I saw 5 shooting stars during that session, only 1 during an exposure. The curvature is caused by the equirectangular projection in Hugin, which causes this stype of distorsion on top and botoom of the frames.
Here’s a screenshot of the raw frame in RT, looks pretty straight to me:

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@sguyader Sebastien, I thought you meant the one center top which is clearly curvy and does not look like a shooting star. For the one you showed in your last post I would agree being that a shooting star.

@sguyader Sebastien, I just detected that’s the same part of the whole picture. Please excuse my ignorance. It really seems to be distortion caused by lens or by projection of the panorama.

Anyway, great work :+1:


I’ll bite and share my milky way shot.

Location: Rattlesnake ledge, Washington, US.

Exposure settings: Somewhere between ISO 800 to ISO 25,600, 20 second exposures, f2.8 .

Gear used: Sony A7ii with old Sigma 20mm f/1.8 .

Photos taken: 4 image panorama, 3-4 shots per image for median stacking, 15 photos total.
Editing process: Basic raw adjustments (WB and exposure), light NR, and sharpening in Rawtherapee. Then I did a median stack the foreground in Affinity Photo, and the stars in DSS (Deep sky Stacker). Hugin didn’t do well with the star images, so I stitched the star images in Affinity Photo, and there I composited in the foreground image that I had raw processed with more exposure than the stars. In Affinity Photo, I did some more light noise reduction, added local contrast on the core of the milky way, dodge and burn, local color manipulation, light chroma noise reduction with the core masked out, and finally, contrast curves.

Rattlesnake lake milky way


It’s not blue! The night sky doesn’t have (much) rayleigh scattering …


Impressive images.

I really must try out some astrophotography myself :slight_smile:


This genre of photography is so dreamy. A friend turned me onto this web site that post a new photo each day.

Think you’ve done a great job with this Sebastien! Nice work!

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