The art of night sky imagery begins with capturing the image, but the real artistry happens in post production, and how you choose to process your image.

Credit: Matthew Saville
Credit: Matthew Saville

Kenneth Brandon is an avid night sky shooter, who runs a great channel on YouTube, and today, I wanted to share this amazing tutorial he did on how to process images of the Milky Way. Kenneth is a timelapse guy, so the context of his processing is for timelapse, but it will be no different for you if you are just shooting single stills. You will just only do this once, rather than repeat it many times.

The process here would be very similar if you are using Lightroom. The sliders are all the same as in Camera RAW, they are just laid out differently. So you would do your base processing in Lightroom, and then pull the image into Photoshop using Lightroom’s built-in features for that.

I found this particular tutorial very interesting. I loved hearing his process and not only what decisions he was making, but why he was making them. My only bit of hesitation here is that he is editing every single shot like this in Photoshop, that is a LOT of work for timelapse (24 frames for every one second of video). But, if you have seen any off his timelapse stuff on this channel, you know that it’s time well spent.

It also is worth mentioning that this would be a great technique to try if you were hoping to enter our Night Sky Contest(which closes tomorrow!), but were stuck on how to process your image for the maximum effect. 


What did you think of this tutorial? Has it helped open your eyes to how to process an amazing looking night sky image? Leave a comment below!

[via Kenneth Brandon on Youtube]