Dario Giannobile, Astrophotography...Dreamscapes of Sicily!: Blog https://www.dariogiannobile.com/blog en-us (C) 2014 - 2021 Dario Giannobile (Dario Giannobile, Astrophotography...Dreamscapes of Sicily!) Thu, 11 Feb 2021 00:50:00 GMT Thu, 11 Feb 2021 00:50:00 GMT Dreamscape of Sicily - Castello Gresti or Pietrataglia https://www.dariogiannobile.com/blog/2020/6/dreamscape-of-sicily---castello-gresti-or-pietrataglia Dreamscape of Sicily - Castello Gresti or Pietrataglia

Star Trail Over Castello Gresti Sicily ItalyStar Trail Over Castello Gresti Sicily ItalyStar Trail Over Castello Gresti Sicily Italy

Stack and blend

Con questa immagine vi voglio presentare quello che a mio avviso è uno dei luoghi più belli della Sicilia: il castello Gresti o di Pietratagliata. Il castello sorge su un'elevata cresta rocciosa di natura arenitica, che per due km, in direzione NE-SO, affiora nella vallata del Gornalunga. Nella parte centrale, lo sperone più alto, posto a cavallo del torrente Canne o Gresti è stato utilizzato dall'uomo per la sua posizione strategica come postazione di controllo e difesa. Infatti il castello costituisce un avamposto o una fortezza di avvistamento per il controllo di un vasto territorio. La tradizione popolare lo conosce con il nome "castello dei Gresti", probabilmente per la sua vicinanza con il Cozzo dei Gresti. La struttura esistente è probabilmente di epoca arabo-normanna, ma nei documenti appare per la prima volta nel 1374, quando il feudo ed il fortilizio di Pietratagliata viene assegnato da Federico III di Sicilia, con un privilegio, a Perronus de Iuenio.
Quando sono arrivato sul post mi sono ritrovato nel centro della Sicilia, circondato da colline brulle e da una distesa di fiori di cardo dalla brillante colorazione viola che contrastava naturalmente con il giallo dell’erba e l’arancio della pietra del castello.
Uno stormo di cornacchie mi ha accolto con il loro gracchiare mentre volavano intorno al torrione. In alto una coppia di falchi controllava la campagna e di tanto in tanto si recava nel loro nido realizzato in una insenatura della roccia che fa da base al maniero. Una volpe mi è passata vicino mentre preparavo l’inquadratura e poco dopo anche una biscia nera. Ancora una volta ci troviamo di fronte ad un luogo di grandissimo fascino che raccoglie in se sia la storia di questa meravigliosa terra al centro del Mediterraneo che i suoi splendidi paesaggi. Insieme al castello è stato ripreso uno star trail orientato verso sud. Gli scatti sono iniziati durante l’ora blu e sono te
With this image I want to present you what in my opinion is one of the most beautiful places in Sicily: the Gresti or Pietratagliata castle. The castle stands on an elevated rocky ridge of arenitic nature, which for two km, in a NE-SW direction, emerges in the Gornalunga valley. In the central part, the highest spur, straddling the Canne or Gresti torrent, was used by man for its strategic position as a control and defense post. In fact, the castle constitutes an outpost or a sighting fortress for the control of a vast territory. The popular tradition knows it with the name "Castello dei Gresti", probably for its proximity to the Cozzo dei Gresti. The existing structure is probably of the Arab-Norman era, but in documents it appears for the first time in 1374, when the feud and the fort of Pietratagliata was assigned by Frederick III of Sicily, with a privilege, to Perronus de Iuenio.
When I arrived on the post I found myself in the center of Sicily, surrounded by barren hills and an expanse of thistle flowers with a bright purple color that contrasted naturally with the yellow of the grass and the orange of the castle stone.
A flock of crows welcomed me with their croaking as they flew around the keep. Above, a pair of hawks controlled the countryside and occasionally went to their nest built in a rocky inlet that serves as a base for the manor. A fox passed by me while I was preparing the shot and shortly afterwards also a black snake. Once again we find ourselves in front of a place of great charm that collects in itself both the history of this wonderful land in the middle of the Mediterranean and its splendid landscapes. Together with the castle, a south-facing star trail was filmed. The shots started during the blue hour and ended after about 5 hours and 30 minutes.

Canon 7d, Sigma 14 mm, 22 sec, iso 800, f/2.5 800 shots for the trail; f/11, 30 sec, iso 200 for the flowers at the end of twilight.

 

 

 

Milky Way Saturn And Jupiter Over Castello Gresti Sicily ItalyMilky Way Saturn And Jupiter Over Castello Gresti Sicily ItalyStar Trail Over Castello Gresti Sicily Italy

Tracked and Blend

Con questa immagine vi voglio presentare quello che a mio avviso è uno dei luoghi più belli della Sicilia: il castello Gresti o di Pietratagliata. Il castello sorge su un'elevata cresta rocciosa di natura arenitica, che per due km, in direzione NE-SO, affiora nella vallata del Gornalunga. Nella parte centrale, lo sperone più alto, posto a cavallo del torrente Canne o Gresti è stato utilizzato dall'uomo per la sua posizione strategica come postazione di controllo e difesa. Infatti il castello costituisce un avamposto o una fortezza di avvistamento per il controllo di un vasto territorio. La tradizione popolare lo conosce con il nome "castello dei Gresti", probabilmente per la sua vicinanza con il Cozzo dei Gresti. La struttura esistente è probabilmente di epoca arabo-normanna, ma nei documenti appare per la prima volta nel 1374, quando il feudo ed il fortilizio di Pietratagliata viene assegnato da Federico III di Sicilia, con un privilegio, a Perronus de Iuenio.
Quando sono arrivato sul post mi sono ritrovato nel centro della Sicilia, circondato da colline brulle e da una distesa di fiori di cardo dalla brillante colorazione viola che contrastava naturalmente con il giallo dell’erba e l’arancio della pietra del castello.
Uno stormo di cornacchie mi ha accolto con il loro gracchiare mentre volavano intorno al torrione. In alto una coppia di falchi controllava la campagna e di tanto in tanto si recava nel loro nido realizzato in una insenatura della roccia che fa da base al maniero. Una volpe mi è passata vicino mentre preparavo l’inquadratura e poco dopo anche una biscia nera. Ancora una volta ci troviamo di fronte ad un luogo di grandissimo fascino che raccoglie in se sia la storia di questa meravigliosa terra al centro del Mediterraneo che i suoi splendidi paesaggi. Insieme al castello è stata ripresa la via Lattea con Saturno e Giove.

With this image I want to present you what in my opi

This is another view of the castle captured from a different spot of the previous image. I wanted to present the castle with the Milky Way behind. I moved positioning myself in front of a giant rock that had fallen from the hill above during the winter. The Galaxy is followed by planets Saturn and Jupiter while on the right the star Antares and Rho Ophiucus complex are setting behind the main tower.

 

 

Galactic Center Above Gresti Castle Sicily ItalyGalactic Center Above Gresti Castle Sicily ItalyStar Trail Over Castello Gresti Sicily Italy

Tracked and Blend

Il racconto di una splendida serata continua. Ho atteso qualche ora finchè la via lattea si è pazziata in verticale ed ho percorso un piccolo sentiero che conduce alla valle su cui il castello Gresti si affaccia. Ho fatto diversi tentativi finchè non ho trovato l'inquadratura che mi piaceva e che spero piaccia anche a voi. Da questo punto basso il castello sembra proiettarsi in cielo su cui brilla il centro galattico della Via Lattea. Provate ad immaginare con me il momento: silenzio, odori dolci e aspri delle erbe spontanee e della vegetazione che iniziava a seccarsi. un castello che ha fatto da guardia alla campagna siciliana e che è rimasto li sin dal medioevo. Le stelle che brillano nel cielo e che lentamente si muovono avvicinandosi al castello.

The story of a splendid evening continues. I waited a few hours until the Milky Way went crazy vertically and I walked a small path that leads to the valley on which the Gresti castle overlooks. I made several attempts until I found the shot that I liked and that I hope you like too. From this low point the castle seems to project itself into the sky on which the galactic center of the Milky Way shines. Try to imagine the moment with me: silence, sweet and sour smells of wild herbs and vegetation that was starting to dry out. a castle that has guarded the Sicilian countryside and that has remained there since the Middle Ages. The stars that shine in the sky and slowly move towards the castle.

IG&FB: @dariogiannobile

Canon 6d, Sigma 50 mm, 46 sec, iso 800, f/2

 

The story of a splendid evening continues. I waited a few hours until the Milky Way went crazy vertically and I walked a small path that leads to the valley on which the Gresti castle overlooks. I made several attempts until I found the shot that I liked and that I hope you like too. From this low point the castle seems to project itself into the sky on which the galactic center of the Milky Way shines. Try to imagine the moment with me: silence, sweet and sour smells of wild herbs and vegetation that was starting to dry out. A castle that has guarded the Sicilian countryside and that has remained there since the Middle Ages. The stars that shine in the sky and slowly move towards the castle.

 

Canon 6d, Sigma 50 mm, 46 sec, iso 800, f/2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Secular Custodian Observes The Gresti Castle And The Milky Way - SicilyThe Secular Custodian Observes The Gresti Castle And The Milky Way - SicilyThe Secular Custodian Observes The Gresti Castle And The Milky Way - Sicily

Tracked and Blend

A volte si riesce a vedere la magia di alcuni scatti nel momento stesso che vengono immortalati. Altre volte invece ti accorgi di piccoli dettagli solo quando guardi le immagini sul monitor del computer.
E' il caso di questa fotografia, scattata sempre al castello Gresti con l'obiettivo di riprendere la via lattea con Saturno e Giove ed il triangolo estivo nella sua quasi interezza accanto allo sperone roccioso che taglia la valle e sul quale è stato costruito il castello. Anche la strada è un elemento importante della composizione perchè invita metaforicamente l'osservatore a dirigersi con lo sguardo presso il bastione. Ma non è solo questa la magia di questa immagine! Infatti ho scoperto solo dopo due dettagli che impreziosiscono lo scatto. La mia ombra con il cavelletto e la macchina fotografica che mostra in modo discreto il dietro le quinte dello scatto ma che racconta anche di come la luna sia appena sorta proiettando creando questi giochi di luci ed ombre. Ancora più stupefacente è il profilo di un volto che si è disegnato sulle rocce a destra del castello che sembra osservarlo come se ne fosse il suo custode secolare!

Sometimes you can see the magic of some shots at the same time that they are immortalized. Other times, however, you notice small details only when you look at the images on the computer monitor.
This is the case of this photograph, always taken at the Gresti castle with the aim of resuming the milky way with Saturn and Jupiter and the summer triangle in its entirety next to the rocky outcrop that cuts the valley and on which the castle was built . The street is also an important element of the composition because it metaphorically invites the observer to look towards the bastion. But this is not only the magic of this image! In fact, I only discovered after two details that embellish the shot. My shadow with the cable and the camera that di

Sometimes you can see the magic of some shots at the same time that they are immortalized. Other times, however, you notice small details only when you look at the images on the computer monitor.
This is the case of this photograph, always taken at the Gresti castle with the aim of resuming the milky way with Saturn and Jupiter and the summer triangle in its entirety next to the rocky outcrop that cuts the valley and on which the castle was built . The street is also an important element of the composition because it metaphorically invites the observer to look towards the bastion. But this is not only the magic of this image! In fact, I only discovered after two details that embellish the shot. My shadow with the cable and the camera that discreetly shows the behind the scenes of the shot but which also tells how the moon has just risen by projecting creating these games of light and shadow. Even more amazing is the profile of a face that was drawn on the rocks to the right of the castle that seems to observe it as if it were its secular custodian!

 

Canon 6d, Canon 8-15mm, f/4, iso 800

 

To be continued...

 

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(Dario Giannobile, Astrophotography...Dreamscapes of Sicily!) Castello Dreamscaoe giove Gresti jupiter lattea milky Pietratagliata saturn saturno sicilia Sicily via way https://www.dariogiannobile.com/blog/2020/6/dreamscape-of-sicily---castello-gresti-or-pietrataglia Sun, 21 Jun 2020 18:39:06 GMT
Strawberry Moon Over Brancati's Islet at Marzamemi https://www.dariogiannobile.com/blog/2020/6/strawberry-moon-over-brancatis-islet-at-marzamemi-Siciliy Strawberry Moon Trail Over Vitaliano Brancati's Islet - At Marzamemi
 

Strawberry Moon Trail Over Brancati's IsletStrawberry Moon Trail Over Brancati's IsletStrawberry Moon Trail Over Vitaliano Brancati's House - An Italian Writer and Playwright


Questa immagine sicuramente vi colpirà per i diversi elementi scientifici e per il luogo in cui è stata scattata. Essa riprende il sorgere della Strawberry Moon, la luna piena di giugno, il cui nome deriva dal fatto che le fragole selvatiche maturano in questo periodo dell’anno nell’emisfero Nord. La luna sorgendo attraversa diversi strati dell’atmosfera colorandosi di rosso negli strati più bassi fino ad apparire via via sempre più gialla ed infine bianca. Non è stato possibile riprendere il suo levarsi dal mare a causa di uno strato di umidità sopra l’orizzonte marino. Quando la luna è sorta però il cielo si colorava della cintura di venere (la fascia rosa nella parte alta dell’immagine) mentre sull’orizzonte appariva l’ombra terrestre proiettata sulla coltre atmosferica. Il luogo in cui questo fenomeno è stato ripreso è l’isolotto nel porto di Marzamemi (Sicilia) dove si trova una villa di colore amaranto appartenuta alla famiglia Brancati e dove visse Vitaliano, un noto scrittore e drammaturgo Siciliano.

This image will surely impress you for the different scientific elements and for the place where it was taken. It captured the rise of the Strawberry Moon, the full moon of June, whose name derives from the fact that wild strawberries ripen at this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere. The rising moon crosses several layers of the atmosphere, turning red in the lower layers until it gradually appears more and more yellow and finally white. It was not possible to resume its rising from the sea due to a layer of humidity above the sea horizon. When the moon rose, however, the sky was colored by the Venus belt (the pink band at the top of the image) while the earth's shadow projected onto the atmospheric blanket appeared on the horizon. The place where this phenomenon was captured is the islet in the port of Marzamemi (Sicily) where there is an a

This image will surely impress you for the different scientific elements and for the place where it was taken. It captured the rise of the Strawberry Moon, the full moon of June, whose name derives from the fact that wild strawberries ripen at this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere. The rising moon crosses several layers of the atmosphere, turning red in the lower layers until it gradually appears more and more yellow and finally white. It was not possible to resume its rising from the sea due to a layer of humidity above the sea horizon. When the moon rose, however, the sky was colored by the Venus belt (the pink band at the top of the image) while the earth's shadow projected onto the atmospheric blanket appeared on the horizon. The place where this phenomenon was captured is the islet in the port of Marzamemi (Sicily) where there is an amaranth colored villa that belonged to the Brancati family and where Vitaliano lived, a well-known Sicilian writer and playwright. Stack Canon 6d, Canon 70-200mm, f/8, iso 200, 1/40 sec

 

 

 

 

Strawberry Moon Reflection Over Brancati's Islet - MarzamemiStrawberry Moon Reflection Over Brancati's Islet - MarzamemiStrawberry Moon Reflection Over Brancati's Islet - Marzamemi


Questa immagine mostra la Strawberry Moon riflettersi sul mare di Marzamemi durante l'ora blu. "....Nonostante il suo nome, la luna non diventerà di una sfumatura di rosso fragola e il tag "Luna fragola" viene semplicemente applicato alla luna piena a giugno o all'ultima luna piena di primavera. Questo perché negli ultimi anni, i nomi tradizionali dei nativi americani per le lune piene sono diventati più comuni nel linguaggio moderno. Secondo l'Almanacco del Maine Farmer - che pubblicò per la prima volta i nomi dei nativi americani per le lune piene negli anni '30 - il nome deriva dalla stagione relativamente breve per la raccolta di fragole nel nord-est del Nord America....". Forse la Luna non diventerà rosso fragola ma il suo riflesso dorato non è per questo meno bello Il luogo in cui questo fenomeno è stato catturato è l’isolotto nel porto di Marzamemi (Sicilia) dove si trova una villa di colore amaranto appartenuta alla famiglia Brancati e frequentata di tanto in tanto da Vitaliano, un noto scrittore e drammaturgo Siciliano.

This image shows the Strawberry Moon reflecting on the Marzamemi sea during the blue hour. ".... Despite its name, the moon will not become a shade of strawberry red and the" Strawberry Moon "tag is simply applied to the full moon in June or the last full moon of spring. This is because in recent years, Traditional Native American names for full moons have become more common in modern language. According to the Maine Farmer Almanac - which first published Native American names for full moons in the 1930s - the name derives from relatively short strawberry harvest season in northeastern North America .... ". Perhaps the Moon will not become strawberry red but its golden reflection is no less beautiful. The place where this phenomenon was captured is the islet in the port of Marzamemi (Sicily) where there is an amaranth colored villa belonging to the Brancati family and

Strawberry Moon Reflection Over Brancati's Islet - Marzamemi


This image shows the Strawberry Moon reflecting on the Marzamemi sea during the blue hour.

".... Despite its name, the moon will not become a shade of strawberry red and the" Strawberry Moon "tag is simply applied to the full moon in June or the last full moon of spring. This is because in recent years, Traditional Native American names for full moons have become more common in modern language. According to the Maine Farmer Almanac - which first published Native American names for full moons in the 1930s - the name derives from relatively short strawberry harvest season in northeastern North America .... ".

Perhaps the Moon will not become strawberry red but its golden reflection is no less beautiful. The place where this phenomenon was captured is the islet in the port of Marzamemi (Sicily) where there is an amaranth colored villa belonging to the Brancati family and occasionally frequented by Vitaliano, a well-known Sicilian writer and playwright.

Single Canon 6d, Canon 70-20 mm, 1.6 sec, f/8, iso 200

 

Strawberry Moon Reflection Over Brancati's Islet 2 - MarzamemiStrawberry Moon Reflection Over Brancati's Islet 2 - MarzamemiStrawberry Moon Reflection Over Brancati's Islet - Marzamemi


Questa immagine mostra la Strawberry Moon riflettersi sul mare di Marzamemi durante l'ora blu. "....Nonostante il suo nome, la luna non diventerà di una sfumatura di rosso fragola e il tag "Luna fragola" viene semplicemente applicato alla luna piena a giugno o all'ultima luna piena di primavera. Questo perché negli ultimi anni, i nomi tradizionali dei nativi americani per le lune piene sono diventati più comuni nel linguaggio moderno. Secondo l'Almanacco del Maine Farmer - che pubblicò per la prima volta i nomi dei nativi americani per le lune piene negli anni '30 - il nome deriva dalla stagione relativamente breve per la raccolta di fragole nel nord-est del Nord America....". Forse la Luna non diventerà rosso fragola ma il suo riflesso dorato non è per questo meno bello Il luogo in cui questo fenomeno è stato catturato è l’isolotto nel porto di Marzamemi (Sicilia) dove si trova una villa di colore amaranto appartenuta alla famiglia Brancati e frequentata di tanto in tanto da Vitaliano, un noto scrittore e drammaturgo Siciliano.

This image shows the Strawberry Moon reflecting on the Marzamemi sea during the blue hour. ".... Despite its name, the moon will not become a shade of strawberry red and the" Strawberry Moon "tag is simply applied to the full moon in June or the last full moon of spring. This is because in recent years, Traditional Native American names for full moons have become more common in modern language. According to the Maine Farmer Almanac - which first published Native American names for full moons in the 1930s - the name derives from relatively short strawberry harvest season in northeastern North America .... ". Perhaps the Moon will not become strawberry red but its golden reflection is no less beautiful. The place where this phenomenon was captured is the islet in the port of Marzamemi (Sicily) where there is an amaranth colored villa belonging to the Brancati family and

Same moment but with a different composition.

Single Canon 6d, Canon 70-20 mm, 0,8 sec, f/8, iso 200
 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strawberry Moon Over Brancati's Islet - MarzamemiStrawberry Moon Over Brancati's Islet - Marzamemi
Strawberry Moon Over Brancati's Islet - Marzamemi
 

Here the Moon as just rised and it is within the earth shadow and the Venus belt!

Unfortunately some boats were in the port just so close to the islet that was almost impossible to catch a clean shot. In this case I cut the image with a landscape/panorama effetc.

Single Canon 6d, Canon 70-20 mm, 1/40sec, f/8, iso 200
 

 

 

 

 

 

Strawberry Moon Over Brancati's Islet During the Blue Hour - Marzamemi
 

Strawberry Moon Over Brancati's Islet 2 - MarzamemiStrawberry Moon Over Brancati's Islet 2 - MarzamemiStrawberry Moon Reflection Over Brancati's Islet - Marzamemi


Questa immagine mostra la Strawberry Moon sul mare di Marzamemi durante l'ora blu. "....Nonostante il suo nome, la luna non diventerà di una sfumatura di rosso fragola e il tag "Luna fragola" viene semplicemente applicato alla luna piena a giugno o all'ultima luna piena di primavera. Questo perché negli ultimi anni, i nomi tradizionali dei nativi americani per le lune piene sono diventati più comuni nel linguaggio moderno. Secondo l'Almanacco del Maine Farmer - che pubblicò per la prima volta i nomi dei nativi americani per le lune piene negli anni '30 - il nome deriva dalla stagione relativamente breve per la raccolta di fragole nel nord-est del Nord America....". Forse la Luna non diventerà rosso fragola ma il suo colore dorato non è per questo meno bello Il luogo in cui questo fenomeno è stato catturato è l’isolotto nel porto di Marzamemi (Sicilia) dove si trova una villa di colore amaranto appartenuta alla famiglia Brancati e frequentata di tanto in tanto da Vitaliano, un noto scrittore e drammaturgo Siciliano.

This image shows the Strawberry Moon on the Marzamemi sea during the blue hour. ".... Despite its name, the moon will not become a shade of strawberry red and the" Strawberry Moon "tag is simply applied to the full moon in June or the last full moon of spring. This is because in recent years, Traditional Native American names for full moons have become more common in modern language. According to the Maine Farmer Almanac - which first published Native American names for full moons in the 1930s - the name derives from relatively short strawberry harvest season in northeastern North America .... ". Perhaps the Moon will not become strawberry red but its golden color is no less beautiful. The place where this phenomenon was captured is the islet in the port of Marzamemi (Sicily) where there is an amaranth colored villa belonging to the Brancati family and occasionally frequented by Vi

Final Image during the blue hour. The Moon has a beautiful golden color!

In this case the boats were an intersting element on the photo since they are not so offencive being almost in the shadows.

Single Canon 6d, Canon 70-20 mm, 1/40sec, f/8, iso 200

 

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(Dario Giannobile, Astrophotography...Dreamscapes of Sicily!) Brancati Islet Marzamemi Moon reflection Sicily Strawberry https://www.dariogiannobile.com/blog/2020/6/strawberry-moon-over-brancatis-islet-at-marzamemi-Siciliy Sun, 07 Jun 2020 09:42:10 GMT
Dreamscapes of Sicily - Pantalica - Unesco World Heritage Site https://www.dariogiannobile.com/blog/2020/5/dreamscapes-of-sicily---pantalica---unesco-world-heritage-site Pantalica A Dreamscape Of Sicily

 

Pantalica - Dreamscape Of Sicily - Unesco World Heritage SitePantalica - Dreamscape Of Sicily - Unesco World Heritage Site There are places in Sicily of great emotional impact.
Pantalica (Unesco World Heritage Site), in my opinion, is the place that allows us to dream and go back in time more than any others. Pantalica, or rather the rocky necropolises of Pantalica, are a naturalistic-archaeological site in the province of Syracuse. The name of the site seems to derive from the Arabic Buntarigah, which means 'caves', due to the obvious presence of multiple natural and artificial caves. It is poetically, but not scientifically, identified with the ancient Hybla, a Sicilian kingdom that from the thirteenth to the eighth century BC. it extended from the Anapo valley to Syracuse.
The necropolis boasts thousands of cave tombs excavated in the steep walls of its valleys where the rivers Anapo and Calcinara flow. Now look at this photograph and try to imagine being with me under the starry sky observing the milky way followed by Saturn and Jupiter, listening to the sweet sound of the river that flows a little further downstream and breathing the sweet and aromatic scents of spring wild herbs. Imagine feeling on your face the fresh morning wind that quickly pushes a bank of clouds that move agile under the starry sky. Let's dream of going back to the times of the Iblea population imagining how important the cult of the dead could be for this population to the point of digging thousands of graves on steep walls with bare hands.

 

Moving Clouds Over Pantalica - Dreamscape Of Sicily - Unesco World Heritage SiteMoving Clouds Over Pantalica - Dreamscape Of Sicily - Unesco World Heritage Site

 

This image is a stack and blend photo realized with a Canon 6d mod, canon 8-15mm @15mm, iso 6400, 20 sec, f/4 for the sky; 40 sec for the landscape.
Exposing for a longer time (40 sec) the moving clouds create ad enveloping effect with the Milky Way behind!

On the right side of the photo it is possible to see the valley with the steep cliffs where the tombs are and the river Calcinara flows. In the bottom right, one of the many caves can be see among the mediterranean plants.

Saturn and Jupiter are just above the outcrop on the left sight.
 

 

 

 


Pantalica Milky Way - Dreamscape Of Sicily - Unesco World Heritage SitePantalica Milky Way - Dreamscape Of Sicily - Unesco World Heritage Site  

This is the same Mily Way shot before the clouds appeared. I used a different focal lenght 20 mm vs 15 fish eye and a modified Canon 6d. Even if I had a lot of signal to be elaborated, I decided to keep a soft and natural (hopefully pleasent) aspect. On the right it is possibile to see part of the rocky valley. in the middle the Rho Ophiucus complex and in the bottom my friend Orazio Mezzio trying to capture a similar scene.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Star Trail Over Pantalica Unesco SiteStar Trail Over Pantalica Unesco SiteStar Trail Over Pantalica Unesco Site

Stack

Questo star trail è stato realizzato sulla strada che porta alla necropoli Nord di Pantalica e al palazzo del principe (Anaktoron). E' stata scattata con l'intento di cogliere diversi elementi: la valle in basso a sinistra dove sono state scavate alcune delle migliaia di tombe del sito Unesco, la città di Sortino che, insieme a Ferla, delimita i due estremi della valle e i due punti di accesso ed infine la strada che corre sulla cresta della valle e che permette di visitarla e guardarla dall'alto. L'immagine è impreziosita da uno star trail. Sebbene il bagliore della macchina sulla destra sembra invasivo in realtà quella è stata l'unica macchina che è passata nella riserva (a parte la nostra) nel pomeriggio fino all'indomani mattina. Eravamo a solo due giorni dal termine del Lock Down italiano. In realtà quello che è molto fastidioso è il bagliore attorno alla città di Sortino. Il mio invito è che le città che confinano con la valle di Pantalica e che di essa si avvalgono per sviluppare la loro economia del turismo, dovrebbero avere un regolamento contro l'inquinamento luminoso che permetta di valorizzare la riserva anche di notte restituendola alle sue origini primordiali ed incrementandone il fascino.

This star trail was created on the road leading to the North necropolis of Pantalica and the Prince's palace (Anaktoron). It was taken with the intent to capture several elements: the valley at the bottom left where some of the thousands of tombs of the Unesco site were excavated, the city of Sortino which, together with Ferla, delimits the two extremes of the valley and the two access points and finally the road that runs on the crest of the valley and which allows you to visit it and look at it from above. The image is embellished with a star trail. Although the glow of the car on the right seems invasive, in reality that was the only car that passed through the reserve (apart from ours) in the afternoon un
This star trail was created on the road leading to the North necropolis of Pantalica and the Prince's palace (Anaktoron). It was taken with the intent to capture several elements: the valley at the bottom left where some of the thousands of tombs of the Unesco site were excavated, the city of Sortino which, together with Ferla, delimits the two extremes of the valley and the two access points and finally the road that runs on the crest of the valley and which allows you to visit it and look at it from above. The image is embellished with a star trail. Although the glow of the car on the right seems invasive, in reality that was the only car that passed through the reserve (apart from ours) in the afternoon until the following morning. We were only two days after the end of the Italian Lock Down. In reality what is very annoying is the glow around the city of Sortino. My invitation is that the cities that border the Pantalica valley and that they use to develop their tourism economy, should have a regulation against light pollution that allows to enhance the reserve even at night by returning it to its primordial origins and increasing its charm.
Pantalica is an impressive place to visit but due to the many possible options a guided tour, like those organized by Hermes Sicily Tours, is a good choice.

 

To Be Continued......

 

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(Dario Giannobile, Astrophotography...Dreamscapes of Sicily!) Anapo Calcinara Giove graves Heritage Jupiter Lattea Milky Necropoli Necropolis Pantalica Saturn Saturno Site Tombe Unesco Via Way World https://www.dariogiannobile.com/blog/2020/5/dreamscapes-of-sicily---pantalica---unesco-world-heritage-site Sun, 24 May 2020 14:00:07 GMT
Green Flash - A reference found in Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings https://www.dariogiannobile.com/blog/2018/9/green-flash-tolkiens-lord-of-the-rings Apart from being an amateur astrophotographer, one of my passions is fantasy literature. Many authors wrote incredible books but, for sure, Tolkien is the most known and loved for his masterpieces: The Hobbit, The Lord of The Rings and The Silmarillion….the latter being my favourite.

Last summer, I decided to start reading the LOTR once again but in original language.

Close to the end, when I arrived to the chapter "Many Partings" in "The Return of the King" I focused my attention on the following paragraph.

The hobbits were on their trip back to the Shire and Aragorn was greeting them….

 

 "....With that they parted, and it was then the time of sunset; and when after a while they turned and looked back, they saw the King of the West sitting upon his horse with his knights about him; and the falling Sun shone upon them and made all their harness to gleam like red gold, and the white mantle of Aragorn was turned to a flame. Then Aragorn took the green stone and held it up, and there came a green fire from his hand….." 

in Italian

"E con ciò si separarono, ed era l'ora del tramonto; e quando dopo qualche minuto si voltarono a guardare, videro il Re dell'Ovest seduto sul suo cavallo circondato dai suoi cavalieri; e il Sole calante li illuminava, facendo brillare i finimenti come oro rosso, mentre il bianco mantello di Aragorn si era trasformato in una fiamma. Poi Aragorn prese la gemma verde e la tenne alta, e dalla sua mano si sprigionò una luce verde"

 

This is a clear reference to the green flash: a photometeor that can happen when the Sun is close to the horizon or just below it. Suddenly a green light appears on the top border of the star or just upon the horizon where the Sun was few seconds before as a consequence of many factors like air turbulence and optical physic like dispersion, diffusion, selective absorption and so on.

 

video by Marcella Giulia Pace

Tolkien describes the moment of the greeting as happening during sun set: ...With that they parted, and it was then the time of sunset and also the falling Sun shone upon them...

Aragorn is clearly aligned with the setting sun, again:  ...and the falling Sun shone upon them...

The sun was red... so very close to horizon: ...their harness to gleam like red gold, and the white mantle of Aragorn was turned to a flame...

and finally the green flash happened: Then Aragorn took the green stone and held it up, and there came a green fire from his hand…..

This is clearly a reference to the green flash. Furthermore Tolkien used the following words: here came a green fire...he could have used the words green light. The word fire suggests me a stronger reference to the sun itself. The green flash appears not like a simple light but as an atmospheric distortion of the upper rim of sun disk coloured in green, much more similar to a flame than a simple light.

Green flashGreen flashPhoto by Marcella Giulia Pace; https://greenflash.photo/

I found no other references on the net of this modest discovery. I hope that all Tolkien fans and astrophotographers will be intrigued by this small article.

Other information on Green Flash phenomena:

https://greenflash.photo 

http://www.meniero.it/

Dario

 

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(Dario Giannobile, Astrophotography...Dreamscapes of Sicily!) Aragorn Flash Green Lords Meteor of Photo Rings the Tolkien https://www.dariogiannobile.com/blog/2018/9/green-flash-tolkiens-lord-of-the-rings Sat, 08 Sep 2018 13:02:57 GMT
Dario Giannobile from Syracuse winner at the international 2016 Photo Nightscape Awards https://www.dariogiannobile.com/blog/2016/11/dario-giannobil-winner-at-2016-PNA Dario Giannobile from Syracuse is the winner of the 2016 international Photo Nightscape Awards (PNA)

 

PNA, or better Photo Nightscape Awards, is an international contest dedicated to landscape and nightscape astrophotography arranged by the French Astronomical Society in collaboration with prestigious partners such as: ESO the European Southern Observatory, the French Culture Ministry, Nikon France, the Industry and Science City of Paris, the natural reserve Dark Sky Alqueva and many others.

 

 

The contest, now at its third edition, has the purpose to look for the best of the best, the “state of art” that it could be reached in a final photograph. It´s not only the astronomy itself that matters, or just beautiful night visions with the natural appearance of sky, even of being indeed, a very important part of the image.

It´s not only the photography technique applied to reach the final result, but it´s the feeling that it can be promoted when someone looks these images and feels something deeply big inside of it, when anyone can really relax with a deep sensation of peace and joy. The observer should naturally forwarded to come inside of the atmosphere in the scene, losing the perception of the moment “NOW” - the present - and start recognizing the 4th dimension of Time in Space. The goal of the contest is also to help everybody to start recognizing the magnificent power of nature and their beauty, the elements and details on the image that combined, can show how the Art can work together with - or even above - the Science!

Inside the contest, four main categories have been defined: Nightscape, In Town, TimeLapse and Junior.

Dario Giannobile participated with three works in the first three categories.

 

  • He placed himself among the ten best timelapses with a movie called Nights of Sicily where it is possible to admire the movement of the stars and Moon with the beautiful architectures and history of Syracuse, Ancient Noto and Castelluccio;

 

 

  • He received the jury special mention for the shot The Missing Observer in “Nightscape” category;

 

The Missing Observers - Jury Special Mention - Nightscape Category - Photo Nightscape Awards 2016The Missing Observers - Jury Special Mention - Nightscape Category - Photo Nightscape Awards 2016Once the courtyard of our farmhouses were places where people met and talked about the strenuous day of work in the fields. May be they stayed sit looking at the clear and dark sky. Nowadays these places are abandoned and no one is looking at the sky any more. That's the reason why the chairs are empty and the mirror reflects the sky that the missing observers would have looked at.
A hoe remembers the farming vocation of such places while the prickly pears on the chair represent the island where I live and the period (summer) when this sky has been captured. Light painting creates a surreal mood for a sky that is not seen but is there at the same time.

 

  • He won the first prize in “In Town” category with the photography Pinching the North Star with the incredible baroque style of Syracuse’s cathedral.

 

Pinching The North Star  - First Place In Town Category Photo Nightscape Awards 2016Pinching The North Star - First Place In Town Category Photo Nightscape Awards 2016The Cathedral of Syracuse is enriched by many external sculptures: Saint Lucia, Saint Marciano, the Virgin Mary, Saint Peter and Paul. Here Saint Paul keeps upon his fingers the north star Polaris whilest all the other stars rotate around his hand in a very extreme star trail.

Ancient Syracuse includes the old city’s foundation, Ortygia, built by Greeks from Corinth in the 8th century BC. The site of the city, which Cicero described as ‘the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of all’, retains vestiges such as the Temple of Athena (5th century BC, later transformed to serve as a cathedral), a Greek theatre, a Roman amphitheatre, a fort and more.

1st place - In Town Category - PNA 2016
Photo Nightscape Awards

 

As said above, this shot has been realized in Piazza Duomo (Syracuse) and shows the stars rotation around Polaris (the north star) that the photographer placed just above the fingers of Saint Paul statue.

The same image was previously selected among the honorable shots in the 2016 International Earth & Sky organized by The World at Night (TWAN.org).

 

Earth & Sky Photo Contest 2016 from Babak Tafreshi on Vimeo.

 

From a technical point of view the photo represented a huge challenge. In fact it was necessary to accurately place the Polaris exactly above the finger of Saint Paul and the start the shooting session. Almost a thousands of shots have be done with a very short exposure time in order to minimize the effect of light pollution. In a second moment the photographer recovered the highlights of the enlighted cathedral and, in the end, he saturated a 32 gb compact flash in less than two hours!

 

The award ceremony took place the 12th of November at Paris at the Science and Industry City during the event “Des Rencotres du ciel et de l’espace” a three days long international fair dedicated to the astronomy world. Syracuse and the Sicilian landscapes, and some of its Unesco World Heritage Sites, have been appreciated by an international audience who had the pleasure to look at the prints exposed at the planetarium and watched the videos with the best images and timelapses.

 

Premiazione Pinching the North Star 2Premiazione Pinching the North Star 2

Premiazione The Missing ObserverPremiazione The Missing Observer

PNA 2016 Winners Interview part A

 

Have a look to PNA web site to look at the best photos from the three editions and be ready for the 2017 contest!!!!!

http://www.photonightscapeawards.com/

 

 

 

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(Dario Giannobile, Astrophotography...Dreamscapes of Sicily!) Awards Dario Giannobile in town Nightscape Photo Siracusa winner https://www.dariogiannobile.com/blog/2016/11/dario-giannobil-winner-at-2016-PNA Fri, 25 Nov 2016 20:19:44 GMT
Castelluccio - Noto - Syracuse - Double Star Trail https://www.dariogiannobile.com/blog/2016/1/castelluccio---noto---syracuse---double-star-trail-story-of-a-shot The story of a shot.

It had been a long time since I was attracted by the idea of finding an evocative place in the countryside of Syracuse. The best choice always seemed to me the rocky necropolis of Pantalica. I found fascinating the idea to light on  the little encarved tombs from inside. I wanted to put the observer in the condition to feel the supernatural and enchanted dimension of that place. Unfortunately Pantalica is rich in tombs that are not easy accessible.

Recently I discovered another interesting place: the rocky necropolis of Castelluccio in the countryside of Noto – Syracuse whose  images and location are quite difficult to be found on internet, apart from the (prince tomb).

By chance I found this image:

http://www.antoniorandazzo.it/sicilia/necropoli-castelluccio.html

It seemed a perfect place: many graves and easy accessible.

Where it was? Using Google map, Bing map, some references such as: trees, rocks and a road I understood where the place was.

On a Monday I decided to have a walk during the twilight togheter with a friend. The idea was to shoot some images in order to decide the best scene for the night shooting session.

The place was oriented toward south west not being the ideal landscape for a star trial since Polaris was not in the frame. After a couple of hours I had my three potential scenes (fig.1,2,3):

 

Castelluccio - selected scenes fig.1Castelluccio - selected scenes fig.1Castelluccio - selected scenes fig.1 Fig.1

 

Castelluccio - selected scenes fig.2Castelluccio - selected scenes fig.2Castelluccio - selected scenes fig.2 Fig.2

 

Castelluccio - selected scenes fig.3Castelluccio - selected scenes fig.3Castelluccio - selected scenes fig.3

Fig.3

 

 

On Friday the 8th  of January, I went there again taking with me a mirror to focus the north star by leaning it upon the rock in fig.2. 

I carried also: 2 cameras, 3 lens, 2 tripods, ambient lights, spare batteries, a falsh, 2 intervallometers, a backpack, dresses for cold weather and some food for the night.

Unfortunately soon after the sunset, some heavy cloud started to condense and I decided to come back to Syracuse empty-handed.

I returned to Castelluccio on Monday the 10th carrying the equipment through 400 mt of rock, small path and undergrowth...and I started my shooting session with the landscape of fig.1.

Then I went to the lawn in fig.2 and placed the mirror upon the rock (fig.4).

 

Castelluccio - placing the mirror fig.4Castelluccio - placing the mirror fig.4Castelluccio - placing the mirror fig.4 Fig.4

 

 

I spent 1 hour to catch the north star with my camera (60d) at 3200 iso (fig.5).

 

Castelluccio Start of Session fig.5Castelluccio Start of Session fig.5Castelluccio start of session fig.5

Fig.5

 

 

Once I finished this procedure I placed the ambient light inside and outside the graves ….45 minutes more…..checking from time to time in order to be sure that the exposition was in control.

In the end, I had to light up the grass using my flash. 30 minutes later I had my 16 shots for the foreground and I started my star trail sequence.

I was so tired that I made an unforgivable mistake:I left my camera at 3200 iso!!!!

Being alone, the night seemed not to pass: my car was really uncomfortable and cold seemed to enter from every rent in spite of my effort to warm the cabin living the car’s engine on.

Although the weather forecasts said that it should have been a cold but clear night, some low and dense clouds flowed over the scenes breaking the faint tracks of the stars.

 

http://www.dariogiannobile.com/time-lapse

 

At 3 am I decided to leave (too many clouds) spending other 40 minutes to carry back all the equipment and one hour more to come back home.

What this effort was for (fig.6)?

 

Castelluccio first file of the sequence fig.6Castelluccio first file of the sequence fig.6Castelluccio first file of the sequence fig.6 Fig.6

 

 

This is my first image that suffers of two big problems:

  1. High noise due to high iso;
  2. White balance which could be good for the foreground but not for the sky (light pollution gives a reddish hue).

For this reason it was necessary to white balance the sky toward blue-cyan in order to cast a night blue shade. The reference was of course the rule of color correction a la Dan Margulis (Fig.7).

 

Castelluccio star trail cold white balance fig.7Castelluccio star trail cold white balance fig.7Castelluccio star trail cold white balance fig.7 Fig.7

 

 

On the foreground the white balance was calibrated to have a believable green on the lawn. To reduce the noise by a factor of 4 I made an average of my first 16 shots, the ones enlighted by the flash light (fig.8).

 

Castelluccio foreground warm white balance fig.8Castelluccio foreground warm white balance fig.8Castelluccio foreground warm white balance fig.8 Fig.8

 

 

Some minor adjustment have been applied to recover the highlight in some graves and to open the most closed shadow. To do the last passage I applied a stronger noise reduction in ACR and blended the result with an inverted luminosity mask calibrated around the tones.

The sky and the foreground have been blended by means of a luminosity mask developed from the composite star trail shot with the darker foreground (fig.9).

 

combined star trail and foreground fig.9combined star trail and foreground fig.9Castelluccio foreground warm white balance fig.9

 Fig.9

 

 

From this point I proceeded with some minor color correction adjustments, some contrast optimizations, a shadow/highlight passage before entering the Moder Man From Mars and Color boost (fig.10).

 

Castelluccio Color Correction fig.10Castelluccio Color Correction fig.10Castelluccio Color Correction fig.10

Fig.10

 

 

The image resulted in an important saturation mainly around the warm shades. The sky also needed to be brought back toward the reference.  Working around the opacity and using a mask developed from the inverted a channel, I ended in the image here under (fig.11).

 

Castelluccio adjusted saturation fig.11Castelluccio adjusted saturation fig.11Castelluccio adjusted saturation fig.11

Fig.11

 

 

At this point the file was ready for a star trail improvement and an unsharpening mask for fine details and micro contrast as described in this tutorial:

 

http://www.dariogiannobile.com/blog/2014/4/the-imaginary-friends-the-imaginary-colors

 

After:

6 hours traveling by car, 3 hours spent to find out the best scenes, 11 hours of star trail during the night, too much cold, 5 hours to create the star trail in PS as described in this article:

 

http://www.dariogiannobile.com/blog/2015/11/how-to-create-a-star-trail-in-photoshop

4 hours of post production, this is the final result:

 

Castelluccio Noto Syracusa - Double Star Trail fig.12Castelluccio Noto Syracusa - Double Star Trail fig.12Castelluccio Noto Syracusa - Double Star Trail fig.12 Fig.12

 

 

You can like or not the shot but I cannot not feel satisfied by the idea to have designed and realized this portrait. It wants to put attention on the supernatural dimension of this place (the enlighted tombs) that does not change with the time passing by (the star trail).

Dario Giannobile

WWW.DARIOGIANNOBILE.COM

 

"...It often seems to me that the night is much more alive and richly coloured than the day..."

Vincent Van Gogh, letter to Theo Van Gogh nr 676 Arles, 8/9/1888

 

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(Dario Giannobile, Astrophotography...Dreamscapes of Sicily!) Castelluccio Noto Sicilia Sicily Siracusa Star Syracuse Trail https://www.dariogiannobile.com/blog/2016/1/castelluccio---noto---syracuse---double-star-trail-story-of-a-shot Fri, 22 Jan 2016 18:40:28 GMT
How To Create A Star Trail In Photoshop https://www.dariogiannobile.com/blog/2015/11/how-to-create-a-star-trail-in-photoshop  

Introduction

In this short tutorial I will try to explain how to create a star trail in Photoshop.

We will use an automatic procedure that will convert our  night shots (sometimes a big number!!!!) in a single composite image.

 

The Most Common Method

The most common method to create a star trail is to download some freeware software like startrail or starstax.

These tools offer different effects but none of them allows us to use the potentialities of Adobe Camera Raw or Photoshop. The first one do not use 16 bit files, the second do not permit to use raw files (at least until the moment when I am writing this article). In any case, here are the links to the softwares:

 

Startrail: http://www.startrails.de/html/software.html

Starstax: http://www.markus-enzweiler.de/software/software.html

 

 

The First Step in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR)

If you like to retain the full control on your files and want to spend the right time to obtain the best results from your night photographic session, here is for you the long way.... I assume that yours are raw files that need to be processed in ACR.

First thing to do is to set the default parameters for the raw processing in ACR. This parameters will be applied to all single raw file in order to have images that are coherent each other’s in terms of white balance, shadows and highlight handling, noise reduction and so on. (fig.1).

 

Star Trail in PS - ACR fig.1Star Trail in PS - ACR fig.1Star Trail in PS - ACR fig.1

Fig.1

 

 

To save the settings let’s open the menu clicking on the small black arrow (top right upon the white balance slider). Then save settings with the name that you like e.g: star trail (fig.2)

 

Star Trail in PS - Save Settings fig2Star Trail in PS - Save Settings fig2Star Trail in PS - saving settings fig.2

Fig.2

 

 

I really recommend not to correct for your lens profile except for chromatic aberration otherwise you will face unwanted artifacts. From now on, any raw image will be opened with our default parameters.

Once saved the settings we need to say to ACR that these are default settings. In the same menu just select Save New Camera Raw Default  (fig.3).

 

Star Trail in PS - Save Default Settings fig3Star Trail in PS - Save Default Settings fig3Star Trail in PS - saving default settings fig.3

Fig.3

 

 

The first step in Photoshop

At this point we need to create an action in Photoshop that emulate the workflow for the star trail creation. Here is the procedure:

  1. keep your raw files in a single folder;
  2. open the first raw file and enter Photoshop from ACR;
  3. convert it in a RGB color space by Edit > convert to Profile choosing whatever RGB color space you like (e.g: Adobe RGB);
  4. Open the second file of the star trail (same procedure of point2);
  5. Open the menu actions from Window> Actions;
  6. Then create an action cliccking on the small icon of fig.4  (bottom right);
  7. Give a name to your action;
  8. Then click record to record the following steps (fig4).

 

Star Trail in PS - Create the action fig.4Star Trail in PS - Create the action fig.4Star Trail in PS - Create the action fig.3

Fig.4

 

 

  1. On the second file select all;
  2. Copy and paste on the first image;
  3. If the source and destination clor space are not the same PS could ask you what to do. Answer covert and check the little box do not ask again;
  4. The first image now has two layers the background and the layer 1;
  5. On layer1 select the blending method lighten; a small trail have been created!!!!
  6. Merge down the levels;
  7. Select all;
  8. Copy and paste on the second file;
  9. Merge down the level on the second file;
  10. Stop the recording (first button down on the action menu).

 

Now Photoshop needs to:

  • Open one by one your raw files;
  • Apply the default ACR settings without opening ACR;
  • Apply the recorded action to create step by step the star trail;
  • Save every single file once it has created the star trail.

 

The star trail will be created on the first file, copied on the second and saved. The first file remains open to receive another little piece of star trail….and again….

 

 

Photoshop and the image processor

  1. Let’s close all the opened files in PS;
  2. Open the first file of the star trail (very important step);
  3. Open the image processor File > Scripts > Image Processor (fig.5);

 

Star Trail in PS - Image Processor fig.5Star Trail in PS - Image Processor fig.5Star Trail in PS - Image Processor fig.5

Fig.5

 

 

Now we are inside the image processor module

  1.  On section1 select the folder containing the source file (your raw files);
  2.  On section one remove the check on “open image first to apply settings”. The ACR module will not be opened but your default ACR settings will be applied;
  3.  On section 2 select the destination folder;
  4. On section 3 select the way you want that PS saves your files;
  5. On section 4 select the action the creates the star trail;
  6. You can decide to apply your copyright;
  7. Select the little box to apply ICC Profile fig.6.

 

The most important options are the one inside the blue circles.

 

Star Trail in PS - Image Processor details fig.6Star Trail in PS - Image Processor details fig.6Star Trail in PS - Image Processor details fig.6

Fig.6

 

 

The final result

At the end of the process, you will get lots of file each containing a star trail. Every star trail is a little bit longer then the previous one.

The first one is just a star field, the last one is your final star trail. These files can be used to create a time lapse with the trail like this one:

 

http://www.dariogiannobile.com/time-lapse/h1836f249#h1009b9ce

or this:

http://www.dariogiannobile.com/time-lapse/h1836f249#h1836f249

 

If in the Image Processor module you do not select the action you will simply convert your raw files in JPG or TIFF or PSD without opening every single shot in ACR. These files can be used to create the most common time lapse like this one:

 

http://www.dariogiannobile.com/time-lapse/h1836f249#h13efbae8

 

You can even decide to create your star trail action with inside some regulations and filters such as curves, saturation, unsharpening and so on.

 

 

Conclusions

Even if the procedure could appear a little bit complicated, once you go through it for the first time it will be very simple indeed. It is required a little effort to create the action but then i twill be available for all your next stra trail and you do not need to do ita gain everytime.

On the other hand you will get the full control of your file using all the power of ACR and PS as for image below (fig.7) and your workflow will remain inside PS without changing software.  

 

Star Trail in Photoshop - the missing observer fig7Star Trail in Photoshop - the missing observer fig7Once the courtyard of our farmhouses were places where people met and talked about the strenuous day of work in the fields. May be they stayed sit looking at the clear and dark sky. nowadays these places are abandoned and no one is looking at the sky any more. That's the reason why the chair is empty and the mirror reflects the sky the the missing observer would have looked at.

Fig.7

 

 

http://www.dariogiannobile.com/sky/startrail/h2e3b828b#h2e3b828b

 

Do not forget that even the best shot you can do will not compete with the nature show itself!!

If you think that this Tutorial could be useful to other astronomy and astrophotography amateurs, please feel free to share it!!

 

"...It often seems to me that the night is much more alive and richly coloured than the day..."

 

Ciao

Dario

 

www.dariogiannobile.com

www.dariogiannobile.com/blog

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Astrophotography-Behind-the-Scenes/50145427330941

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(Dario Giannobile, Astrophotography...Dreamscapes of Sicily!) PPW astrophotography blog color correction dario giannobile lapse star time trail tutorial https://www.dariogiannobile.com/blog/2015/11/how-to-create-a-star-trail-in-photoshop Fri, 06 Nov 2015 19:57:47 GMT
The imaginary friends...the imaginary colors!!! https://www.dariogiannobile.com/blog/2014/4/the-imaginary-friends-the-imaginary-colors The imaginary colors, the power of Lab and their application in starry night photo correction.

 

Introduction

In this article I will try to explain with few words and some example the concept of imaginary color and how this could be useful when we want to improve a starry night photography.

In this context we will not make any difference between the meaning of “impossible” or “imaginary” color and will use them whenever we talk about a group of colors that cannot be called back in our mind by our day by day experience.

Some rules: our working space is 8 bit sRGB except when we will move to Lab. When I generally talk about RGB I refer to sRGB. In Lab a number between brackets indicates a negative value of the primary a or/and b.

 

The Imaginary Colors - The RGB Way

Everyone knows that in a RGB color space the color is defined by a combination of the three primaries R (Red), G (Green), B (Blue).

Every color can assume a value in the range of 0 – 255: the brightest red is R=255, G=0, B=0; the brightest green is R=0, G=255, B=0 and the brightest blue  is R=0, G=0, B=255.

Any other color can be specified from a combination of the above mentioned primaries. When the three colors are equally balanced R=G=B, no hue prevails on the others and we will speak about neutral color or gray.

Among the neutral colors, we can define the darkest one, the black = 0,0,0 and the brightest, the white = 255, 255, 255.

This color space, that embraces thousands of shades, is not able to represent some of the most brilliant colors of the nature such as: the magenta of fireworks, the yellow of the sun, the red from a powerful laser. These kind of colors cannot be reproduced by our devices but our experience tells that they exist and we can imagine them!

For imaginary colors we intend the ones that can be defined only from a mathematical point of view but cannot be observed in the real life world: let’s think about a magenta which is even brighter and more saturated then the magenta of a firework. Let’s think about a very saturated green (e.g.: an emerald green) which is in the same time very very dark.

To summarize, these colors can be defined with the following sentence: extremely saturated colors which are very bright or dark at the same time.

To define an impossible color is like trying to define in RGB a triad with the following values: 300, 300, 255!!! That is impossible. Once we reach the maximum value of luminosity 255, 255, 255 (white) no other color component can be added.

 

The Imaginary Colors - The Lab Way

In Lab, the RGB white (255, 255, 255) can be identified  by the following coordinates: L=100, a=0, b=0  that, in brief, informs us to have reached the highest luminosity (L=100) without any color component (a=b=0).

And now here is the magic: since Lab allows to define luminosity with or without specifying a color, starting from L=100, we can begin to introduce a color component more and more intense.

We are defining a kind of very bright color which at the same time begins to be saturated!

 

If, for instance, we pick a purplish magenta R=255, G=0 e B=255, the equivalent Lab coordinate is L = 68, a =94, b = (60).

Let us pay attention to luminosity: the brightest purplish magenta in RGB has got only 68 point in L!!! not even close to L=100.

From this point on, every L boost that retain the same color component of a and b will take us in a range of luminosity and color that RGB cannot copy with. The thing becomes even more extreme if  we think that we can increase the saturation pushing hard on a (+20 points) and b (-80 points).

 

Let us recap:

  • An imaginary color is a very dark or bright intense color that can be defined only from a mathematical point of view;
  • The right color space to do so is Lab since it can deal with the luminosity channel separately from the color channels;
  • In RGB, once reached the white and black, no color information can be added as Lab can do instead;
  • To make an example: the brightest purplish magenta in RGB is a color more or less in the middle of the color space Lab.

 

A Matter of Translation

Our devices work only with a color space which is a small set of Lab: Monitors work with a color space very similar to sRGB and printers with CMYK color space (e.g.: fogra 39).

Every time we work in Photoshop with the color space Lab and we bump into an impossible color, Photoshop needs to reinvent it in a way that our device can reproduce it properly.

There is only one path to follow: changing the luminosity (increasing or decreasing it) and the saturation until we enter again the device’s color space gamut.

We already know that the RGB 255,0,255 is equal to Lab 60, 94, (60).

Let’s now increase luminosity keeping the same hue: a very intense purple-magenta that becomes brighter and brighter according to the following table:

 

  1. 60, 94, (60)
  1. 80, 94, (60)
  1. 90, 94, (60)
  1. 100, 94, (60)

 

Let’s use the color picker to pick these colors (fig.0).

 

Imaginary colors - Color PickerFig. 0 Imaginary colors - Color Picker Imaginary colors: picking an imaginary color!

                                

 

Then with the help of a brush, let’s paint every single color of the table. At the end, let’s read which “real” color PS has used (fig.1).

 

Imaginary colors - gradient1Fig.1 Imaginary colors - gradient1Imaginary colors: increasing or decrasing luminosity in a very saturated color could creates an imaginary color that photoshop translates in a real color.

                                            RGB                                                                          Lab

 

Lab

Point #1

Point #2

Point #3

Point #4

Imaginary

60, 94, (60)

80, 94, (60)

90, 94, (60)

100, 94, (60)

Real

60, 94, (60)

68, 72, (48)

74, 57, (39)

80, 42, (30)

 

The imaginary color corresponding to Point #4 (highest luminosity L = 100 and same hue 94, (60)) has been translated in a real color decreasing L from 100 to 80 and the primaries a and b by half at the same time reaching the values 42 and (30) .

 

In the same way, if we imagine an impossible color with L=0 and color components equal to 94 and (60) and we begin to increase the saturation in a channel according to the table below, this is what it happens (fig.2):

 

  1. 0, 94, (60)
  1. 0, 105, (60)
  1. 0, 115, (60)
  1. 0, 127, (64)

 

Imaginary colors - gradient2Fig. 2Imaginary colors - gradient2Imaginary colors: increasing or decrasing luminosity in a very saturated color could creates an imaginary color that photoshop translates in a real color.                                            RGB                                                                          Lab

 

Lab

Point #1

Point #2

Point #3

Point #4

imaginary

0, 90, (60)

0, 105, (60)

0, 115, (60)

0, 127, (60)

real

19, 44, (29)

22, 46, (25)

24, 49, (20)

27, 52, (16)

 

The first point, which is black and purple at the same time, has been lightened increasing Luminosity from 0 to 19; the a component  is decreased by a factor of 2 (from 90 to 44) and the b ones by a factor of 4 (from (60) to (16)).

Any other attempt to boost the saturation will result in lighter color and even if the a channel increases a bit, the same we cannot say for the b that is further reduced.

 

Recap Again:

  • We have seen how to define impossible colors and how PS translates them in real colors changing luminosity and saturation;
  • We have seen this for a bright color and a dark color.

 

 

Another little bit of theory - Hold on!!!!

How can all of this be useful during the post-production of a starry night?

To improve the visibility of the stars is quite common to apply an Unsharpening Mask (USM).

The effect is to add a light halo to the stars and a dark one all around them (that can be removed by merging in lighten mode).

This technique finds its limit if applied to the brightest stars that are close to the RGB maximum value. They can easily reach it once the USM add another bit of luminosity making lose any residual color information.

To better understand the subject let’s try to emulate one of most beautiful star in the sky: Albireo, a binary system in the Cygnus constellation with an orange and a blue star (fig.2a).

 

Albireo copyright Francesco Di TofanoFig. 2a Albireo copyright Francesco Di TofanoAlbireo copyright Francesco Di Tofano

 

 

With a 25% hardness brush, let’s paint the binary system in a black background. Then let’s try an USM with the following parameters: amount 300, radius 30, threshold 0. Let’s do it first in sRGB then in Lab color space and let’s read the color in the middle of the star (fig.3).

 

Imaginary colors - USM - AlbireoFig.3 Imaginary colors - USM - AlbireoImaginary colors: Applying an USM in RGB to the stars makes them lose any color information. This does not happen in Lab

                 (the two readings refers to the blue and orange star)

 

In RGB  the stars are completely burn out except for a little halo in the border. In Lab the colors still exit thanks to the fact that there it is possible to define an imaginary color which is very bright and saturated at the same time. This color is translated in a real color by Photoshop and even if a small color shift occurs in the blue component, it is a little price to pay not to completely burn the brightest stars.

We need to remember also that the USM has been applied not only to L but also to a and b channels introducing an increase in luminosity  and saturation at the same time!!!!

Furthermore. we can observe what would happen if we blend the result in luminosity mode which is equivalent to apply the USM only to the L channel (fig.4):

 

Imaginary colors - USM - LabFig.4 Imaginary colors - USM - LabImaginary colors: Applying the USM to the three Lab channels can bring different results compered to USM applied only to L channel.

 

 

In both cases the color has been preserved with the following difference: in the first case the stars are less bright but apparently more saturated; in the second case exactly the opposite. Which method to use depends on what we want to obtain: to maximize the contrast rather than to preserve the color.

One last interesting step is to apply the USM in Lab, convert in RGB and use the lighten blending mode (on the left) then compare it to the result that we obtain remaining in Lab and applying the screen method (on the right) (fig.5):

 

Imaginary colors - Blending MethodFig.5 Imaginary colors - Blending MethodImaginary colors: different blending methods in different color spaces lead to different results.

 

 

The conclusion is that the best way to increase the luminosity of the stars, keeping their colors, is to stay in Lab, apply an USM and blend the result in screen mode.

 

From Theory to Practice

Now we need to understand how to isolate/select the stars in the sky, for example in the photography below (fig.6).

 

Imaginary Colors - starting pointFig.6 Imaginary Colors - starting pointImaginary Colors - the starting point: point 2 measures the color on a bright star trail

 

 

In this shot, the color sample #2 identify a very bright star trail (253,252,248) that we need to improve along with the others. If the photo has been shot with a wide-angle, the stars can be assimilated to small edges. For this reason we can:

  1. Move to Lab;
  2. Duplicate twice the background level;
  3. Apply the find edge filter to the top level (fig.7);

 

Imaginary Colors - find edgeFig.7 Imaginary Colors - find edgeImaginary Colors - The application of the filter find edge to a star trail

 

 

  1. Desaturate and apply a curve to lighten the sky and darken the stars (or star trail);
  2. Other useless borders can be removed by means of a white brush (fig.8);

 

Imaginary Colors - find edge maskFig. 8Imaginary Colors - find edge maskImaginary Colors - The mask obtained after the application of the filter find edge to a star trail.

 

 

At this point the stars (or star trail) will appear black in a white background.

  1. On the second layer, apply a mask;
  2. On the mask apply the inverted luminosity of the top layer (the one resulting from the find edge filter);
  3. Deselect the top layer no more useful;
  4. Select the second layer and apply a Gaussian blur of about two pixels to remove small defects;
  5. Deselect the lock that links the image with the mask;
  6. On the second layer apply USM with the following parameters: amount 300, radius 30, threshold 0;
  7. Apply the screen method and eventually reduce the opacity to keep in control the final effect (fig.9).

 

Imaginary Colors - Improving the star trailsFig.9 Imaginary Colors - Improving the star trailsImaginary Colors - the final result

 

 

The star field has been improved and the brightest stars still retain their color as can be seen with sample point #2: 255,252,228.

 

Conclusions

If we do not pay attention during color correction in RGB, we risk to reach the upper limit (255, 255, 255) with the brightest pixels losing any of their color information.

In Lab, even if we reach the maximum luminosity L=100, the color information is kept by the a and b channels.

The new color, the Lab imaginary color, will be translated by Photoshop in the most similar RGB color without burning it out.

The power of Lab in handling the impossible colors can be an help for us when we want to increase the luminosity of the stars without losing the color of the brightest ones.

 

 

Some Considerations coming from your comments

1) is it lab the only color space where it is possible to define imaginary colors? No... even Prophoto can call for imaginary colors: 0, 255,0 (green) and 0, 0, 255 (blu) are outside the visible colors in CIE 1931 xy chromaticity diagram. Even so, until now, the work flow I described works better in Lab then in prophoto (in prophoto there is always the risk to reach the limit of 255). 

2) CMYK fogra 39 is a basic sottractive color space. That does not mean that there are not other possibilities to use more inks and expand the gamut!!!

3) LAB does not include all the visible colors: fluorescent color are out of Lab's capability

4) I used an expample speaking of RGB and colors that should need a kind of coordinates such as 300,255,255 that is also impossible from a mathematical point of view. We must remember anyway that imaginary colors are "imaginary" because they can not be sensed by our eyes/brain; which is the limit that separates an imaginary color from a real one? I think it is impossible to say.

 

Do not forget that even the best shot you can do will not compete with the nature show itself!!

If you think that this Tutorial could be useful to other astronomy and astrophotography amateurs, please feel free to share it!!

Paint the Sky, Share your Knowledge!!

Ciao

Dario

 

www.dariogiannobile.com

www.dariogiannobile.com/blog

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Astrophotography-Behind-the-Scenes/501454273309416

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(Dario Giannobile, Astrophotography...Dreamscapes of Sicily!) Astrophotography Tutorial Dario Giannobile Imaginary Colors astrophotografy pdf astrophotography impossible colors starry night https://www.dariogiannobile.com/blog/2014/4/the-imaginary-friends-the-imaginary-colors Tue, 15 Apr 2014 14:25:42 GMT
Golden Ribbon https://www.dariogiannobile.com/blog/2014/3/golden-ribbon  

Few simple steps to capture the beauty of the golden reflection of the Moon as it rises from the sea

 

 

From my personal point of view the Moon rising from the sea is one of the most beautiful shows that nature can exhibit us. If you are lucky enough to watch this event during the blue hour, for sure you will be dazzled from the palette of colors that paint the sky and the ocean from the blue hour turquoise to the golden orange of the Moon as it pass through the lower layer of the atmosphere. Unfortunately the camera sensor (CCD) is not always able to catch the whole range of colors in the same moment nor it is able to reproduce the way our brain splits apart every single shade. For this reason it is necessary to color correct the shot after it is made sometimes using a “White balance bracketing” directly from ACR (Adobe Camera Raw).

 

Color Handling

The original shot has been made with the following set-up:

Canon 7d, Tamron 17-50 f2.8 VC @45mm, f5.6, 20 sec, iso 200

In ACR the original white balance was determined by these vales of temperature and hues: T = 3250 °C e hue = +13.

Reading the color of the sea and the sky, far from the Moon reflection, we can say that the color is almost neutral apart from a tiny purple color cast (fig.1); in LAB: L = 5, a = 1, b = -1.

This almost neutral color is not what we expected from this landscape during the blue hour where the saturation in the cold colors should be higher.

 

Golden Ribbon as shot; the shot with the original white balanceGolden Ribbon as shot fig.1Golden Ribbon as shot; the shot with the original white balance

 

 

For this reason I decided to operate in ACR and to manual change twice the white balance creating two files one for the landscape and one for the Moon glare.

For the sea: T = 2000 °C e Hue +0.

For the reflection: T = 5250 °C e Hue +5.

 

The files have been merged in Photoshop (color space Lab) in the following way:

 

  1. Apply the first file (sea and sky) as background layer;
  2. Copy the second file in a new layer and apply a white mask;
  3. Apply the L channel;
  4. Apply a curve to the mask (fig.2) and blur (radius 30 pixel);
  5. Change the blending mode in “color”.

 

Golden Ribbon color adjustment mask used to mix together the two different white balancesGolden Ribbon color adjustment mask fig.2Golden Ribbon color adjustment mask used to mix together the two different white balances

 

 

The final result can be seen in fig.3.

 

Golden Ribbon color adjustment layered structure used to mix together the two different white balancesGolden Ribbon color adjustment fig.3Golden Ribbon color adjustment layered structure used to mix together the two different white balances

 

 

Next step is to selectively reduce the background noise:

  1. Merge down and duplicate the background layer;
  2. Apply the filter noise reduction with amount 10 for L, 5 for a and 10 for b that seems to be the worst channel of all;
  3. Apply a mask that protects the glare from the loss of details;
  4. In this case we can apply the inverted L channel and use a black brush to perfectly cover the reflection (fig.4);

In fig.5 it is possible to see a magnified detail of the background before and after the noise reduction (fig.5).

 

Golden Ribbon a comparison before - after applying the noise reduction filterGolden Ribbon Noise reduction fig.4Golden Ribbon a comparison before - after applying the noise reduction filter

 

Golden Ribbon Noise reduction magnificationGolden Ribbon Noise reduction magnification fig.5Golden Ribbon a comparison before after applying the noise reduction filter

 

 

Boosting Color and creating color variations

Small adjustments have been made on the luminosity to completely close the shadows in the cliffs on the left lower corner. Nothing have been made in the lights that are already at the maximum useful value (in RGB one channel at 245-250). Neither I made any contrast increase not to create posterisation in the shades.

I decided instead to darken the glare and to preliminarily saturate the colors in the following way:

 

  1. Apply an adjustment layer curve in multiply blending mode;
  2. Apply the luminosity mask already created in the beginning such as to control the effect only in the lighter areas;
  3. Modify the opacity of the layer to 25% to mitigate the final result (fig.6);

 

Golden Ribbon Lab multiply layer to increase saturation and contrast in the moon reflectionGolden Ribbon Lab multiply fig.6Golden Ribbon Lab multiply layer to increase saturation and contrast in the moon reflection

 

 

At this point the file was ready for the actions of Color Boost e MMM from Dan Margulis’s PPW panel after the selection of a reflection’s portion.

When the actions finished their job, I suggest the following adjustments:

  1. Modify the MMM opacity from 30% to 50% to increase the color variations;
  2. Apply a layer mask to the MMM+CB group from the L channel of the merged file;
  3. Apply a curve such as to lighten the lighter areas of the image where we want to increase the colors’ yield (fig.7);
  4. Gaussian blur the image radius 30 pixels.

 

Golden Ribbon CB and MMM - the mask used in the layerd result from CB and MMM actions of PPWGolden Ribbon MMM and CB Mask fig.7Golden Ribbon CB and MMM - the mask used in the layerd result from CB and MMM actions of PPW

 

 

In the end, the MMM+CB opacity was reduced from 100% to 40% (fig.8).

 

Golden Ribbon CB and MMM - the layerd result from CB and MMM actions of PPWGolden Ribbon CB and MMM fig.8Golden Ribbon CB and MMM - the layerd result from CB and MMM actions of PPW

 

 

 

Unsharpening

To improve the details:

  1. Flatten the layers and duplicate twice the background;
  2. On the first layer, apply a USM with amount 500, radius 3 e threshold 0;
  3. On the second layer, apply a USM with amount 300, radius 30 e threshold 0 and reduce opacity to 50%;
  4. Create a group with the two layers and apply the luminosity mask;
  5. Modify the mask with a black brush pointing out only the reflection;
  6. Reduce the group opacity to 15% such as not to over-sharpen (fig.9).

 

Golden Ribbon unsharpening mask to increase the details of the moon's glareGolden Ribbon USM fig.9Golden Ribbon unsharpening mask to increase the details of the moon's glare

 

 

Final adjustments

To fine tune the image:

  1. Apply a layer curve to increase the luminosity of the light point until it reaches 245 – 250 in one of the RGB channels;
  2. Apply a layer to point out the small stars with the same technique described in this article:

http://www.dariogiannobile.com/blog/2014/3/Moon-and-venus-rising-together

The final result can be seen in fig.10.

 

Golden Ribbon Before - final adjustment to reflection's luminosityGolden Ribbon final adjustment fig.10Golden Ribbon Before - final adjustment to reflection's luminosity

 

 

From the photographic point of view, this final image is more interesting if compared with the original one as can be seen in fig.11 but it presents some limits: the cliffs are lacking of details, some strands of grass disturb the subject and there is lot of noise in the background due to the low signal to noise ratio of the original file. Nevertheless, we have defined a workflow to increase the contrast between the cold and warm shades that the nature offers during the twilight and the dawn and that can be applied to more interesting shots….and this, let me say, is an interesting result.

 

Golden Ribbon Before - After comparison between the original file and the final imageGolden Ribbon Before - After 2 fig.11Golden Ribbon Before - After color correction a la Dan Margulis. Starting point: a cold white balance; final Point a mix of cold and warm colors

 

 

Do not forget that even the best shot you can do will not compete with the nature show itself!!

If you think that this Tutorial could be useful to other astronomy and astrophotography amateurs, please feel free to share it!!

Paint the Sky, Share your Knowledge!!

Ciao

Dario

 

www.dariogiannobile.com

www.dariogiannobile.com/blog

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Astrophotography-Behind-the-Scenes/501454273309416

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(Dario Giannobile, Astrophotography...Dreamscapes of Sicily!) PPW astrophotography blog astrophotography tutorial color correction moon photo moon shot pillirina plemmirio punta mola https://www.dariogiannobile.com/blog/2014/3/golden-ribbon Thu, 27 Mar 2014 11:51:59 GMT
Red Moon https://www.dariogiannobile.com/blog/2014/3/red-moon  

 

We do not need to wait for a lunar eclipse to shoot at a Red Moon!

 

 

With the words Red Moon we usually refers to a very particular event: The Lunar Eclipse.

During this phenomena, the Moon does not disappear but it is enlighten by the solar rays that pass through the earth’s atmosphere east and west during the sunset and the sunrise.

The same phenomena of light scattering that make us sense the orange hues of twilight and dawn, casts the moon with the same colors.

Unfortunately the lunar eclipse is an event that cannot be observed on daily bases but, at every lunar dawn, the Moon passes through lower atmospheric layers and colors itself with the same reddish shades of the sunset.

 

Shooting conditions

That is the light I tried to catch using samyang 500 mm f6.3 lens mounted on my canon 7d.

Even if the shot seems that can be easily handled, it cannot for different reasons:

 

Finding the maximum exposure time: with a 500 mm lens it is important to consider carefully the maximum exposure time such as to avoid a blurred image due to the earth rotation that can be easily seen at this focal length.

Fortunately we can use a well know formula to calculate this time:

tmax = 550/(F*c*cos(d)) with:

tmax = maximum exposure time (sec);

F = focal length in mm;

c = constant (1 per Full Frame - 1,5 per APS);

d = declination of the sky portion we are shooting at;

In my case d = -5°, F = 500 mm, c = 1.5 and tmax = 0.74 sec. I decided to use 0.5 sec.

 

Finding the Moon position: even finding the right spot where the Moon will rise is very difficult due to the high magnification of the lens. Furthermore the haze on the horizon does not allow to easily catch the glare coming from the Moon before it rises (normally even 5 min. before). In this case the best thing to do is to use a smartphone app called Sun Surveyor that point out the spot by means of augmented reality.

Focus: to have the right focus I picked a star and manually adjusted the gear using live view and high magnification.

Iso management: This is the only variable that can be manipulated. I supposed to use iso 400 but after the first shot I quickly changed it up to 800.

Double exposure: I had to shoot also for 30 sec to catch the light reflection adjusting the scene until the Moon was not framed any more (more or less 1 min after; @ 500 mm the moon’s movement is very quick).

In the end, the shooting condition are:

Canon 7d, 500mm, f6.3, 0.5 sec for the Moon - iso 800, 30 sec for the sea - iso 400.

In camera raw every parameters @ 0; white balance equal for the two shots (same as the Moon shot): T = 5250 °C e Hue +8.

 

Luminosity and Contrast

The shot that will be used as background (fig.1) has got the following problems:

Presence of noise, high luminosity compared with the Moon, a lighter halo in the upper part (right hand side) and, above all, a dark round halo in the center (due to the secondary mirror of the lens).

 

Red Moon backgroundRed Moon backgroundRed Moon background fig.1

 

 

To start addressing these issues is it necessary to have a look at the three channels in RGB hoping to find one that can be used to reduce these defects; let’s see:

The red channel is too light, has got noise and the central halo is clearly visible (fig.2).

Red Moon background RRed Moon background RRed Moon background R fig.2

 

 

The green channel is slightly darker, has less noise (as can be normally expected from this channel) and the central halo is almost invisible (fig.3).

 

Red Moon background GRed Moon background GRed Moon background G fig.3

 

 

The Blue channel is too dark; For this reason I decide to :

 

  1. Duplicate the layer background;
  2. Apply the green channel on it;
  3. Change the blend option choosing “luminosity".

 

With these few steps I have: reduced the luminosity, the noise and the halo (fig.4).

 

Red Moon background luminosityRed Moon background luminosityRed Moon background luminosity

 

 

To further reduce the luminosity and increase saturation we can apply an adjustment layer curve with the following steps:

  1. Merge down the layers;
  2. Duplicate the layer background;
  3. Apply a layer curve with blending option set to multiply;
  4. Apply to the white mask the inverted RGB from the background;
  5. Apply a curve to the mask until the lights are completely open;
  6. Eventually we can use even the brush to finish off the work;
  7. Apply a gaussian blur amount 20 pixels (fig.5).

 

Red Moon background Mask1Red Moon background Mask1Red Moon background Mask1 fig.5

 

 

Now the sky and the sea are darker. Even the Moon reflection is darker but not as much as the rest of the shot thanks to the mask. We can fine tune the luminosity changing the opacity of the layer curve until we can distinguish a difference between the sea and the sky. We can also fine tune the reflection luminosity adjusting the mask opacity (fig.6).

 

Red Moon background MultiplyRed Moon background MultiplyRed Moon background Multiply fig.6

 

Next step is to reduce the halo in the photo’s upper part:

  1. Apply a layer curve in luminosity blending mode;
  2. Apply the RGB to the mask;
  3. Apply a curve to the mask until the shot gets dark and remains only the halo;
  4. Apply a gaussian blur amount 30 pixels (fig.7).
  5. Reduce the luminosity by means of the layer curve (fig.8).

 

Red Moon background Mask 2Red Moon background Mask 2Red Moon background Mask 2 fig.7

Red Moon background Top HaloRed Moon background Top HaloRed Moon background Top Halo fig.8

 

 

Merging the shots

To achieve the final result it is necessary to overlay the two exposures applying the Moon shot in lighten mode (fig.9).

 

Red Moon finalRed Moon finalRed Moon final fig.9

 

 

Fine tuning needs to be applied changing the layer multiply opacity  @ 80% and the mask1 density @ 90% such as to balance the Moon’s and background’s luminosity especially the light reflection.

 

We do not need to apply an Unsharpening mask (USM) for the following reasons:

  • The Moon's details have been twisted by the atmospheric haze that created also a mirage on the bottom part of the Moon;
  • The light reflection upon the sea is the result of a long exposition that created a kind of “silk” effect with few details to put in evidence;
  • In this case I preferred to avoid USM to preserve the image from an increase in the noise level.

 

In the end We can state that shooting at the Moon when it rises from the sea colored of red shades is difficult but not impossible especially if we first plan the shot at home. From the "post production" point of view, we can say that we do not need to apply any techniques that increase saturation and colors variation (CB e MMM): this kind of shot is a duo-tone image! We do not even need the USM since the original details are not noticeable.

It is important instead to spend time for a better luminosity allocation. Here is the image Before - After (fig.10).

 

Red Moon Before - AfterRed Moon Before - AfterRed Moon Before - After fig.10

 

 

Do not forget that even the best shot you can do will not compete with the nature show itself!!

 

If you think that this Tutorial could be useful to other astronomy and astrophotography amateurs, please feel free to share it!!

Paint the Sky, Share your Knowledge!!

Ciao

Dario

 

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(Dario Giannobile, Astrophotography...Dreamscapes of Sicily!) Dario Giannobile Moon Photo Moon Shot Red Moon astrophotography astrophotography tutorial https://www.dariogiannobile.com/blog/2014/3/red-moon Thu, 20 Mar 2014 14:06:09 GMT
Moon and Venus Alignment https://www.dariogiannobile.com/blog/2014/3/moon-and-venus-alignment  

Even if the clouds ruined the details on the Moon, the colors variation introduced by their halos can transform a modest shot in an appealing image

 

 

This paper can be considered as another paragraph of the recent tutorial dedicated at the Moon rising along with Venus that you can read at this link:

http://www.dariogiannobile.com/blog/2014/3/Moon-and-Venus-rising-together

At the end of the night I decided to try some new shots using a Samyang lens (F 500 mm, f 6.3). The idea was to catch the earthshine on the Moon and Venus at the same time.

In spite of the clouds that made the image quite soft (the Moon details above all) I was determined to try in any case. I hoped to take advantage of them to increase and put in evidence the colored halos cast by the two celestial objects.

So let’s see the shooting conditions whose result can be seen in fig1:

  • Canon 7D + Samyang 500 mm f6.3, iso 800, 1,6 sec

 

To decrease the noise induced by high iso, I stacked 10 shots in PS and the result can be seen in fig.2.

 

Moon and Venus averageMoon and Venus averageMoon and Venus average fig.1

 

Moon and Venus cloudsMoon and Venus cloudsMoon and Venus clouds fig.2

 

 

Both the shots have strength and weakness.

  • The averaged shot (fig.2) has got low noise on the Moon, a pleasant light blue halo around Venus ma has not clouds texture. Further-more the Moon has got a cyanish halo mainly in the high-light that risks “to blow up” during the color saturation;
  • The single shot (fig.1) presents an interesting clouds texture along with a red halo but has got high noise and an unpleasant lens flare that needs to be reduced before increasing color saturation.

 

For these reasons, the final image needs to be a merge of the two such as to put in evidence their best peculiarities.

 

 

Moon Sharpening

Let’s start from the Moon averaged image in the attempt to pick the details on its surface:

 

  1. Duplicate the background layer;
  2. Apply on it the UnSharpening Mask filter (USM) with the following values for amount, radius and threshold: 500, 5, 2 (fig.3A);
  3. Apply on it a white mask and by means of a small black brush let’s mask  the white halos on the edge of Moon and Venus;
  4. Duplicate the background layer and put it on top;
  5. On this new layer, apply the USM with the following values for amount, radius and threshold: 200, 30, 0 and change opacity @ 50% (fig.3B);
  6. Use a mask if need to stop the unwanted halos;
  7. Merge down the layers and duplicate the resulting image;
  8. Apply the USM with the following values for amount, radius and threshold: 300, 30, 2;
  9. Modify opacity @ 50% in blending mode lighten.

 

Remember to mask Venus and not desired halos around the Moon’s edge. The final resulti is fig.3C and can be compared with the starting point fig.3D.

 

Moon and Venus USM1Moon and Venus USM1Moon and Venus USM1 fig.3

 

 

Color Correction

Once that the image for the Moon is ready, it is the moment to blend it with the ones that brings the clouds texture. The latter need the application of  the noise reduction filter (this is a single shot not an average) with amount 10 and color noise reduction 100%.

The final result can be obtained merging three layers: one for Moon’s details, one for Venus’s halo (in color blending mode) and one for clouds’ texture. Simple masks created by means of the brush tool can be used.

Now we need to color correct the lens’s flare and the cyanish halo around the Moon:

  1. Apply a layer curve to correct the cyanish halo with a white mask;
  2. Apply the b inverted channel of Lab to the mask;
  3. Fill with grey @50% and then auto-tone;
  4. Apply a curve to the mask until you close the shadows and eventually mask even Venus;
  5. Blur with a radius of 20 - 30 pixel (fig.4A);
  6. At this point we can use the layer curve to reduce the cyan;
  7. Repeat the steps from point 1 but use the a channel of Lab instead of “b inverted” until you get the mask in fig.4B;
  8. Use the layer curve to reduce the magenta and the luminosity.

 

Moon and Venus mask1Moon and Venus mask1Moon and Venus mask1 fig.4

 

 

The color corrected image is shown in fig.5

 

Moon and Venus Color correctionMoon and Venus Color correctionMoon and Venus Color correction fig.5

 

 

Boosting Color and Creating Color Variations

To boost the colors and create color variations I used two well-known technics from Dan Margulis:  the Modern Man from Mars and the Color Boost both launched by the Dan Margulis’s PPW panel (free download from internet).

I made the following adjustments:

  • MMM color opacity from 30% to 50%   
  • Group opacity from 100% to 45% (Fig.6).

 

Moon and Venus CB and MMMMoon and Venus CB and MMMMoon and Venus CB and MMM fig.6

 

 

Final Retouch

The clouds’ texture can be improved by an HiRaLoAm (high radius – low amount) USM.

To do that just apply the Davide Barranca’s little hammer action with  amount 300, radius 30 and threshold 3 and reduce the opacity to 33% then merge down.

Eventually, if some noise appears after the USM, apply the noise reduction filter only to the clouds (fig7).

 

Moon and Venus adjusting cloudsMoon and Venus adjusting cloudsMoon and Venus adjusting clouds fig.7

 

 

The very last retouch were aimed to increase the color and luminosity contrast by means of a “S” curve to the L channel of Lab and an increase in the blue saturation in the sky (fig.8).

 

Moon and Venus final contrast and colorMoon and Venus final contrast and colorMoon and Venus final contrast and color fig.8

 

 

I even used the dodge tool on the little stars on the left hand side of the picture to give it depth (fig.9).

 

Moon and Venus conjunctionMoon and Venus conjunctionMoon and Venus conjunction fig.9

 

 

This is the comparison between the final image and the original shot (fig.10).

 

Moon and Venus before - afterMoon and Venus before - afterMoon and Venus before - after fig.10

 

 

I think that, even if the clouds ruined the details on the Moon, the colors variation introduced by their halos can transform a modest shot in an appealing image. Even in this case the use of the action MMM and CB along with the power of Lab color space can be considered the crucial step in the workflow.

Do not forget that even the best shot you can do will not compete with the nature show itself!!

 

If you think that this Tutorial could be useful to other astronomy and astrophotography amateurs, please feel free to share it!!

Paint the Sky, Share your Knowledge!!

Ciao

Dario

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(Dario Giannobile, Astrophotography...Dreamscapes of Sicily!) Moon Halos PPW astrophotography blog astrophotography tutorial dario giannobile moon photo moon shot planet Venus https://www.dariogiannobile.com/blog/2014/3/moon-and-venus-alignment Wed, 12 Mar 2014 11:39:33 GMT
Moon and Venus Rising Together https://www.dariogiannobile.com/blog/2014/3/moon-and-venus-rising-together How to capture the Moon rising

 

 

Knowing that on 26 - Feb morning the Moon and Venus would have been in close conjunction, I decided to capture their path from the sea to the sky.

For this reason I walked to the sea coast of marine nature reserve of Plemmirio until I arrived to Punta Mola. By means of my Iphone and the app. TPE I found the right direction where the Moon would have risen from the sea. I placed my tripod and started to check the light condition of the sky.

 

These are shooting conditions for the Moon:

  1. 1.6 sec, iso 800, f3.5 @ 50mm;
  2. Time intervall 3 min;
  3. Bracketing +1 stop, -1stop to find the right exposition.

For the landscape (fig.1) I made 3 shots with the following parameters:

  1. 180 sec, iso 400, 3.5 @ 50;
  2. Blending in PS in lighten mode to point out the star trails.

In Camera raw:

  1. all parameters were at 0;
  2. color temperature was 3900 and Hue 1 for the landscape;
  3. color temperature was 5285 and Hue 8 for the "Moons".

 

The Landscape

Moon and Venus rising together landscapeMoon and Venus rising together LandscapeMoon and Venus rising together Landscape fig.1

 

The image has the following problems:

  1. Noise (not so much but there it is);
  2. The color of the sea in Lab is: 15, 3, 5 meaning that it is orange;
  3. A little gap in the star trails that i fixed by means of the clone tool (forgive this little sin).

 

To remove the noise I had to apply a strong noise reduction filter with a mask (MASK1) to protect the sea shore on the right hand side that can be created in the following way:

  1. Convert in Lab;
  2. Duplicate the background layer;
  3. Apply a white mask;
  4. Apply the b inverted channel to the mask;
  5. Fill with 50% grey in lighten mode;
  6. Auto tone;
  7. Invert the image and apply a strong contrast curve;

The result can be seen in fig.2 and will be useful during all the workflow.

 

Moon and Venus rising together Mask1Moon and Venus rising together Mask1Moon and Venus rising together Mask1 fig.2

 

On the top layer with Mask1 we have to:

  1. Apply a strong noise reduction amount 10 and color noise reduction 100% (all the rest @ 0);
  2. Change the mask density @ 90% to reduce a little bit the noise even in the rocks.
  3. Save;
  4. Flatten image;
  5. Convert in RGB.

 

Color Correction

To correct the color of the sea, until it reaches the b negative values, we need to apply a curve but at the same time we need also to protect the rest of the photo. That can be achieved by doing the following steps:

  1. Find the best channel in RGB with the highest contrast between sea and sky; in this case the R channel;
  2. Apply a layer curve 
  3. Apply the R channel to the white mask;
  4. Apply a curve on it to add contrast and split the sky from the sea;
  5. Apply the Mask1 to the new mask with the blending option darken (fig3).

 

Moon and Venus rising together mask2Moon and Venus rising together mask2Moon and Venus rising together mask2 fig.3

 

To color correct the sea increase the blue and blend the result in color mode.

The new readings in Lab changed from  16, 3, 5   to  16, 3, -1. Furthermore I applied a contrast curve only to the coast by means of the inverted MASK1.

 

To point out the star trails:

  1. Flatten the image and duplicate twice the background;
  2. On top layer apply the find edge filter;
  3. Apply a layer curve to the inverted image and close the shadow leaving the star trails that PS thinks is a border;
  4. Convert in Lab without merging the layers;
  5. Apply a mask to the second layer;
  6. Apply the luminosity channel of top layer into the mask;
  7. Blur 2 pixel;
  8. Deselect the top layer;
  9. Apply the unsharpening filter to the second layer (all channel selected) with the following values 300, 30, 2;
  10. Luminosity and saturation of the stars will increase.

 

It is important to apply these steps in Lab because in Lab it is mathematically possible to define colors with the highest luminosity but that at the same time with a very high saturation. These kind of colors are called imaginary colors or impossible colors because our eyes are not able to sense colors as bright as the white but at the same time very saturated as could be the red of a rose.

To visualize these colors, PS reduces the luminosity as far as the color information returns to be visible.

Working in Lab with these technique allows us not to clip the star trails with an high luminosity and to maintain the color of the stars itself at the same time.

Layers need to be blended in RGB in lighten mode @ 60% opacity. Remember to delete the top layer that we do not need anymore.

 

Moon and Venus rising together noise reduction and color correctionMoon and Venus rising together noise reduction and color correctionMoon and Venus rising together noise reduction and color correction fig.4

 

Color Saturation and Variation

  1. Apply the MMM and Color Boost action from the PPW panel of Dan Margulis;
  2. Apply Mask1 in darken mode to MMM color layer's mask;
  3. Change the mask density to 75%;
  4. Change the opacity of MMM and Color Boost group to 50%  such as to increase the color variation and saturation mainly in the sky (fig.5).

 

Moon and Venus rising together MMM and Color BoostMoon and Venus rising together MMM and Color BoostMoon and Venus rising together MMM and Color Boost fig.5

 

 

Unsharpening

To improve the details:

  1. Flatten the image and duplicate the background;
  2. Apply on top layer the Davide Barranca's "little hammer" with the following values of the unsharpening filter: 500, 2, 5;
  3. Duplicate again the background and apply the Davide Barranca's "little hammer" with the following values of the unsharpening filter: 200, 30, 2;
  4. Move the result on top layer and change the opacity @ 15%;
  5. Apply on both layers the inverted Mask1 such as to improve only the coast;
  6. Duplicate again the background and move it on top;
  7. Apply the unsharpening filter to the half-tones (following the Bruce Fraser technique) with radius 15 and 50% opacity;
  8. On this layer apply the inverted Mask1 and on it use a white brush to point out the clouds structures.

With these steps we have increased the faint details and the micro-contrast of the shore and the structure of the clouds (fig.6).

 

Moon and Venus rising together unsharpeningMoon and Venus rising together unsharpeningMoon and Venus rising together unsharpening fig.6

 

The shot is now ready for us to apply the moon sequence. Each moon layer needs to be blended in lighten mode until every moon is in place (fig.7).

 

Moon and Venus rising together finalMoon and Venus rising together finalMoon and Venus rising final fig.7

 

Here you can have a look to the image before - after post production.

Moon and Venus rising together before-afterMoon and Venus rising together before-afterMoon and Venus rising together before-after fig.8

 

Do not forget that even the best shot you can do will not compete with the nature show itself!!

 

If you think that this Tutorial could be useful to other astronomy and astrophotography amateurs, please feel free to share it!!

Paint the Sky, Share your Knowledge!!

Ciao

Dario 

]]>
(Dario Giannobile, Astrophotography...Dreamscapes of Sicily!) PPW astrophotography blog astrophotography tutorial dario giannobile moon and venus alignmet moon photo moon shot pillirina planet Venus plemmirio punta mola https://www.dariogiannobile.com/blog/2014/3/moon-and-venus-rising-together Sat, 01 Mar 2014 07:45:00 GMT
A Colored Moon 2 https://www.dariogiannobile.com/blog/2014/2/a-colored-moon-2 A small side-step from the main path

 

The tutorial "A colored Moon" described how to improve colors and luminosity when shooting at the full Moon.  If you follow every single step it would be easy to achieve more or less the same result I illustrated.

In that case, the Moon lived in the quarter of tone and was easy enough to apply a luminosity curve adding contrast only to the Moon but not to the background (fig.1)

contrast curve fig6contrast curve fig6

 

Infact, the background lives on the left side of the histogram and the Moon on the right side; nothing stays in the middle where the curve starts its effect (fig.1)

When you shoot at the a "not Full Moon", things get more difficult since the areas close to the terminator tends to get darker and darker until they fade into the background.

This means that it is not possible to isolate the sky from the Moon any more. As can be seen inside the red circle of fig.2, there is no gap between the dark pixels of the sky and the ones of the Moon.

luminosity curve without maskluminosity curve without mask fig.2Luminosity curve applied to the moon without luminosity mask fig.2

 

 

In this case, if we apply a "S" curve to reduce luminosity and to add contrast, as we have done in fig.1, there could be the risk to close the shadow and reduce the contrast losing a lot of important details (see fig.2 getting darker on the left side). Not to close the shadows means, in such a situation, not to move the shadow point. This will result also in a less deep curve in the 3/4 of tone (look at the curve inside the red circle of fig.2). We remember that: "the deepest the curve, the more the contrast!"...and vice versa.

Then, to achieve our goal, that is to increase the overall contrast without losing important details, we need to protect the darkest area with a mask.

It should be dark in the darkest area and light in the lightest area. Despite the fact that it could appear as a joke, this is the reason why we need a mask right from the luminosity channel whose result, along with the luminosity curve effect, can be seen in fig.3!!!!

Luminosity curve applied to the moon with luminosity mask fig.3Luminosity curve applied to the moon with luminosity mask fig.3

 

 

Now the overall contrast is improved but we have not lost details close to the terminator. Even the histogram (inside the green circle) show us that the curve will not modify the darkest areas.

At this point, we are ready for the Color Boost and MMM action of Dan Margulis's PPW and the result is shown here after removing the mask in the MMM color Layer and increasing the opacity up to 50% (fig.4).

Moon MMM and CDMoon MMM and CD fig.4Modern Man from Mars applied to the moon from dan Marguilis's PPW

 

 

Now we need a saturation mask to protect the "Moon" from this explosion of colors:

  1. Create a white mask in the MMM color layer
  2. Apply the a channel from the merged layer
  3. Apply the b channel from the merged layer in lighten mode
  4. Apply the inverted a channel from the merged layer in lighten mode
  5. Apply the inverted b channel from the merged layer in lighten mode
  6. Auto tone
  7. Invert the result and apply a curve to modify the contrast
  8. Blur the result

this is the final saturation mask (fig.5) which is dark where the saturation is higher:

saturation masksaturation mask fig.5saturation mask

 

 

At this point, by moving the mask density, you can decide how much color and color variation should be applied in your workflow (fig.6).

mask densitymask density fig.6mask density

 

 

The Moon needs final adjustments such as: removing the cyanish halo, adjust the detail with unsharpening process and so on. This is already described in the first tutorial.

 

Do not forget that even the best shot you can do will not compete with the nature show itself!!

 

If you think that this Tutorial could be useful to other astronomy and astrophotography amateurs, please feel free to share it!!

Paint the Sky, Share your Knowledge!!

Ciao

Dario 

 

 

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(Dario Giannobile, Astrophotography...Dreamscapes of Sicily!) PPW astrophotography blog astrophotography tutorial color correction dan margulis dario giannobile modern man from mars moon photo moon shot saturation mask https://www.dariogiannobile.com/blog/2014/2/a-colored-moon-2 Sun, 02 Feb 2014 13:54:00 GMT
A Colored Moon https://www.dariogiannobile.com/blog/2014/2/a-colored-moon  

Even with small color and luminosity variations you can get great results!

 

 

Shooting conditions

To realize this photo I took 42 shots using a C8 telescope, a focal reducer (f6.3) and my canon 7d.

These are the shooting condition:

Iso 100, 1/400 sec, raw @ 16bit with every parameters at 0, color profile Adobe RGB.

I deliberately over exposed, without clipping the white, for 2 reasons:  to increase the signal to noise ratio (SNR) and to communicate the feeling of high luminosity typical of a full Moon.

In order to further reduce the noise, I made an average of 36 shots with Registax. The noise reduction is equal to the square root of the shots’ number. Thus 36 shots lead to a noise reduction of 6 times (fig1). 

 

Moon avarage fig1Moon average fig1Moon average

 

Color correction

  1. I locate the light point close to Tycho crater placing a 3x3 color sample (point 1)
  2. then the shadow point in the sky (point 2).

These two points are reasonably neutral but it is difficult to find a grey point on Earth’s satellite. I looked on internet for more images of colored Moon in order to find a place where the saturation normally is very low. So I placed a color sample close to Kepler crater (point 3).

 

These are the RGB reading:

Point 1 (highlight): 242, 241, 239

Point 2 (dark shadow): 21, 20, 19

Point 3 (grey): 200, 197, 191

 

These values tell us that the shot is affected from a reddish hue likely coming from the light pollution of the city mainly in the quarter tone. After modifying every single channel by means of a layer curve, I got the following result:

 

Point 1 (highlight): 241, 241, 241

Point 2 (dark shadow): 20, 20, 20

Point 3 (grey): 197, 197, 197

 

About this choice we can say different things: are the identified terrains really neutral? Is the sky neutral or do I need to leave a bluish hue? I believe that no one knows the right answer, but what is really important is that the final result is pleasing and believable. After the color correction we obtain fig2.

 

Moon color correction fig2Moon after color correction fig2Moon after color correction

 

Luminosity and contrast

First I applied two unsharp masks (UM) in order to keep a better control on highlights since I am going to use a curve to improve luminosity and contrast. This is the workflow:

 

  1. Duplicate the layer background;
  2. On the new layer,  apply an Unsharp Mask (UM): amount  500, radius 2, threshold 0;
  3. Rename the layer UM;
  4. Apply a layer mask to it
  5. and a new layer threshold: amount 240 in order to put in evidence the pixels with a luminosity higher than 240  (Fig. 3).

 

USM mask fig.3USM mask fig.3USM mask

 

  1. Apply the inverted merged result to the mask in the layer UM using the command “apply image”
  2. With a further Gaussian blur with a 1 or 2 pixel radius;
  3. At the end de-select the threshold level (Fig. 4).

USM inverted mask fig.4USM inverted mask fig.4USM inverted mask

 

This mask will block the pixels with a luminosity higher than 240 coming as a result of the UM.

  1. Stamp visible;
  2. Repeat the process with a new UM: amount 500, radius 1, threshold 1 (fig.5).

 

Presharpening fig.5Presharpening fig.5Presharpening

 

At this point we are ready to improve luminosity and contrast as follow:

 

  1. Apply a layer curve in luminosity mode to move the shadow point to 10,10,10 using only the green channel;
  2. Apply a second layer curve in luminosity mode to increase the contrast and reduce the overall luminosity (remember that I overexposed the shots) using a classical S curve on the composite RGB (Fig. 6);
  3. The shadow point now measure 0,0,0.

 

Luminosity curve fig.6Luminosity curve fig.6Luminosity curve

 

Boosting colors and creating color variations

To boost the colors and to create color variations I used two well-known technics from Dan Margulis:

The Modern Man from Mars and the Color Boost both launched by the Dan Margulis’s PPW panel (free download from internet).

 

Boosting colors fig.7Boosting colors fig.7Boosting colors

 

I changed the followings settings in the layer structure that can be seen in fig.7 as result of CB e MMM action:

  1. MMM color – mask: density to 30% to increase colors variation;
  2. MMM color – mask: with black brush I blocked a blue/magenta halo  in the border generated from the chromatic aberration of the telescope;
  3. Color boost: opacity to 50% to increase color saturation;
  4. Color boost – Mask: created from the b negative channel of Lab to selectively reduce color saturation in the blues.
  5. End point adjustment:  increasing warm colors by slightly moving the curve in the a and b positive channels.

The idea behind these steps was to create a general harmony in cold and warm hues leaving a natural aspect: a Moon living between a greyscale and a colored image.

 

Last retouch

To emphasize the lunar seas:

  1. Stamp visible;
  2. Apply an inverted UM or HIRALOAM on the upper layer with: 50 amount, 30 radious, 0 threshold ;
  3. Apply a mask created from the inverted Luminosity channel;
  4. Blur the mask with a radius of 20-30 pixel;
  5. Apply a noise reduction: amount 5 in luminosity and 100% in color;
  6. Apply again a mask created from the inverted Luminosity channel;
  7. Blur the mask with a radius of 20-30 pixel;

 

At this point I slightly applied the cutter tool to the lower border and removed an artifact of the UM.

To leave a feeling of neutrality even being a colored image:

  1. Stamp visible;
  2. Apply a layer saturation: amount -40;
  3. Apply a mask from the inverted luminosity channel (or RGB) in order to de-saturate the lighter areas (fig.8)

 

USM fig.8USM fig.8USM

 

Further adjustment can be achieved:

  1.  Increasing saturation to the merged layer only into the warm colors.
  2. Applying an UM: 250 amount, 1 radius, 10 threshold with a mask (same workflow described in the beginning).

 

Here is the final result  compared to the original file.

A colored moon before-after fig.9A colored moon before-after fig.9A colored moon before-afte

 

Final thanks go to my friend Salvo Lauricella and to his telescope!!!!!  And to the Color Correction Campus group on Facebook.

 

Do not forget that even the best shot you can do will not compete with the nature show itself!!

 

If you think that this Tutorial could be useful to other astronomy and astrophotography amateurs, please feel free to share it!!

Paint the Sky, Share your Knowledge!!

Ciao

Dario 

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(Dario Giannobile, Astrophotography...Dreamscapes of Sicily!) PPW astrophotography blog astrophotography tutorial color correction dan margulis dario giannobile full moon modern man from mars moon photo moon shot saturation mask https://www.dariogiannobile.com/blog/2014/2/a-colored-moon Sat, 01 Feb 2014 14:17:00 GMT