Behind the Lens - Aaron Priest Photography
2014 2015 19283 29727 29746 29748 29753 227072 228902 228915 228922 228953 229561 239126 239280 0181 0188 3d aaron aaron priest abol bridge acadia national park aerial air glow alex jones astrophotography autumn back yard bangor barn beach beaver beehive lagoon behind the lens behind the scenes big dipper blue boulders brewer bridge bruce neumann bts cadillac mtn canada caribou wind park cell phone charlie widdis chris lawrence city cliffs coast colin chase dan miles david francis dawn dolly doug jackson drone dusk dustin farrell dynamic perception eagle lake eastern maine medical center emotimo fall farm fisheye fog four tree island fstop garrett evans golden road grindstone road group handshake herseytown township historic homepage hunter's beach hunter's brook imax iphone jordan pond karen king kittery long exposure lynda appel maine marc guerette matthew parks memorial bridge meteor mike lawie mike taylor milky way millinocket moonlight moonlit morning mount desert island mountain mt. katahdin nature new brunswick new england new hampshire night night photography night sky nikon ocean ocean path orion otter cove panoneed panorama penobscot penobscot river people peter chang photographers photopills piscataqua river pond portrait portsmouth railroad rain ramperpro really right stuff reflection river route 1 rural sand sand beach scott stulberg selfie shore silhouette sirius slider snow spencer cove spherical stacyville stairs stanley brook bridge stanley brook road stars steff rahaim steps steve marsel summer summit farm sunday pond sunrise sunset tahoe the bubbles the gorge thunder hole timelapse trestle tripod twilight venkat pakala vincent lawrence violet angell west branch wide wild gardens of acadia wind windmill winter 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 http://pixelfixer.org/ 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