Acadia National Park - Aaron Priest Photography
100 2014 2015 8353 8359 8719 10738 10748 238724 239126 239264 239280 239283 239290 239305 2x3 aaron priest acadia acadia national park air glow airplane andromeda astronomy astrophotography autumn bar harbor barn bass harbor beach beaver beehive lagoon behind the lens behind the scenes bernard big dipper bird blue blue hour boardwalk boats bokeh bokehrama boulder beach boulders bracy cove branch brook bruce neumann bts buoy cadillac mountain cadillac mtn carriage road charlie widdis chris lawrence clouds cloudy coast coastal color connie pooler cove crop d810 dan miles dark skies david francis dawn dock docks duck brook dusk dynamic perception eagle lake emotimo fall farm fire fisheye fishing flowing focus stacking fog foliage forest full full sky gigapan gigapixel goal zero golden hour great hill green group handshake harbor hdr hunter's beach hunter's brook ice joe meirose jordan pond karen king lake landscape leaves little long pond little planet lobster trap log long exposure lynda appel macro macrorama maine margaret todd mast matthew parks meteor mike lawie mike taylor milky milky way moon moonlight moonlit mount desert island mountains new england night night photography night sky north east creek ocean ocean path orange orion otter cliffs otter cove otter point overcast panorama photographers planet pond portal promote control rain red reflection river road rocks rocky sailboat sailing sand sand beach schoodic schooner head road seagull seal harbor seaweed selfie shack shadow shore silhouette sirius sky snow spherical spinning square stairs stanley brook bridge stanley brook road star star trails stars startrails steel wool steps stream summer sun sunrise sunset swirl the bubbles the gorge thunder hole thurston's lobster pound tide time timelapse timewarp trails tree trees truck twilight vehicle venkat pakala vincent lawrence warp water waterfall way western point wharf wide wild gardens of acadia winter winter harbor woods workshop yellow

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Milky Way Symphony

Sand Beach, Acadia National Park, Maine, July 1, 2014, 01:04 AM. On Monday night I helped Mike Taylor with a private night photography workshop for Eastern Maine Camera Club. We had a great time and this is one of the images we captured. The light on the horizon is the lighthouse on Baker Island. The meteor was just sheer luck! I saw it streak overhead while I was standing there and hoped it was in the first 30 second exposure of the sky.

I used a Promote Control in HDR mode and shot three exposures of 30 seconds, 80 seconds, & 200 seconds in 1.3 EV steps at 14mm, f/2.8, & ISO 4000. I then shot the three brackets again at f/22 with the lens cap on to create dark frames and removed the hot pixels with PixelFixer later—free download at I had already held my hands in the air for 5 minutes and didn’t want to repeat it for long exposure noise reduction in camera! Haha!

For post-production, I edited the RAW files in Lightroom. I kept the manual white balance of 3450° K and added some highlights and white to the darkest frame with a little clarity, vibrance, and saturation to make the Milky Way pop. I added a bit of highlights and lights to the tone curve as well. I also added some noise reduction, sharpening, and lens corrections. For the longest exposure I added some contrast and dropped the exposure and shadows some because it was quite bright compared to the dark sky of the shortest exposure. I then blended the two exposures in Photoshop manually with masks. I didn’t need the middle exposure, but it’s good to have more than you need than not enough! To select the sky for my mask I disabled red and green channels leaving just blue and selected highlights with the color range tool, then re-enabled the other two color channels. I had to touch up the mask some manually and add some feathering to the edge, but it helped select the lifeguard chair and myself against the sky easier. I softened the edge along the horizon in the distance, but left it pretty sharp against the chair in the sky.

After shooting this we turned north and shot timelapses of the chair in front of the North Star (Polaris) to get circular star trails until astronomic dawn. Unfortunately clouds started rolling in, which makes for a great timelapse, but not great star trails. So we decided to pack up and shoot the sunrise on Cadillac Mountain, which did not disappoint through the clouds! ;-)

Acadia National ParkMaineMilky WaySand Beachastrophotographybeachmeteornightselfieworkshopnight skymount desert island

From Acadia National Park & Mount Desert Island