So first on how it was created:
I don’t remember the exact details but I’ll try to reconstruct it from the exif data and memory.
It’s twenty six exposures of ~15s (it varied because again, these were taken while setting up)@f1.8 taken with the sony/zeiss 24mm f/1.8 on the a6000. Developed them using dark table. I then did two passes of aligning the images with hugin. Once for the stars and once for the foreground. I then stacked them, I usually do median stacking with image magick but it’s also possible that I used gmic, don’t remember. Processed the results again in darktable and then fed them into the gimp for compositing the foreground back onto the sky.
The shot was taken in one of the few halfway dark places in Switzerland (bellow 3000 masl anyways) in the Toggenburg. I’m not 100% sure but it’s likely that I’ve taken them from (what was once) my bedroom in my dads place.
If there is interest in this process I could try to write it down or record a video on it. It’s fairly resource and work intensive. Plus one could probably get similar if not better results by just sticking a fast lens on a A7S.
The ‘brightness clamping/compression’ comes mainly from three sources. The Noise reduction, curves and the exponential RL deconvolution sharpening I applied. It is a bit sad to reduce the ‘dynamic range’ between the stars. But I really like the ‘sky full of stars’ look, so I’m half way okay with that trade off. But it’s definitely a trade off and not a pure choice.
Regarding the foreground: If I would have planned this shot I would have taken a regular long exposure+darkframe for the foreground. Because I didn’t, I approximated it by stacking. I lost a good bit of details that way. I will try to recover some more of it. The grass in the foreground does look oddly flat.
Then again, the positive effect of this is that the eye wanders towards the center of the image where the most contrast and detail is located, which I like.