Complete Milky Way Photography Workflow

Milky Way photography, and night sky photography in general, is really very simple – and very addictive!

Despite what thousands advise on the internet, high quality night sky and milky way photography can not be done by keeping the camera shutter open for hours. 

Nor can it be done with a 30 second shutter speed – not if you want the stars in the sky to be distinct.

The so-called 400, 500 and 600 rules do NOT work – SERIOUSLY – especially on modern high mega pixels cameras.

The essence of high quality astro photography in general, and milky way photography in particular, is to capture tack-sharp stars that are distinct points points of light – not elongated trails.  We also want to retain all the subtle colours in the fainter stars, and yet end up with a noise-free image.

In this video training title I show you everything you need to know to shoot the night sky better than some of the pro’s do!

This Complete Milky Way Photography training title comes in two sections:

Basic – this is designed to get you up and running shooting and processing great looking full-resolution images that look good in print and that SELL.

CaptureAlign & ProcessAdd Orton Effect

The image above features in these lessons – I supply you with the original raw files so that you can follow every step of the process. I cover all the techniques required in Photoshop to reduce the appearance of noise as well as creating star masks and adding enhancements such as a variable Orton Effect.


Advanced – these lessons are split into two groups.  The first group deals with the shooting and processing of shots that have to be composited with a separate foreground image. 

Shooting the foreground separately (for better exposure, greater sharpness and lower noise) invariably leads to compositing problems with the size differential caused by lens focus breathing.  In the first group of lessons we examine how easily correct this problem inside Photoshop, together with masking and retouching techniques to make a great looking image.  This section too comes with an accompanying set of raw files so that you can easily follow every step of the process.

In the second group of advanced lessons I show you how to understand the two main types of noise that we suffer from in might sky photography – SHOT NOISE and FIXED NOISE.  Once you have seen and understood the effects and causes of these two types of noise you will then appreciate to main ‘thrust’ of this second group of lessons – the creation and deployment of CALIBRATION FRAMES

Milky Way Photography

The calibration frames will revolutionize your attitude to taking your camera out in the dark!

A calibration frame workflow means that you have to work with a lot more files to create your final image – and that can look both very confusing and daunting to someone who is just ‘starting out’ on this great journey – hence the training lessons lead up to this instead of dropping you in at ‘the deep end’ so to speak.

Milky Way over Rhoscolyn NCI Station, Anglesy

Milky Way over Porth Y Post, Anglesey

The Milky Way over South Stack Light on Anglesey in North Wales.

Capturing stars as perfect and distinct ‘pin-points’ of light instead of blurred streaks is what makes an image of this most enigmatic phenomenon turn from an ‘ok-looking’ jpeg on the web into a highly desirable and saleable print or stock image.

To that end I have included 3 videos which cover exactly how to shoot perfectly focused stars without any streaking or trailing.

Topics covered throughout the video training lessons include:

  • Focusing at Night
  • Camera settings
  • Correct shutter speed for your focal length, sensor size and latitude
  • How many frames to shoot
  • When and when NOT to use long exposure noise reduction in your camera
  • Correct neutral white balance in Lightroom
  • Lightroom sharpening & Noise Reduction settings
  • Shot Noise & Fixed Noise
  • Stacking & aligning stars to reduce SHOT noise in Starry Landscape Stacker and Photoshop
  • Manual star alignment in Photoshop – the way that actually works!
  • Masking using the Image Calculations Panel inside Photoshop
  • Normal brush masking in Starry Landscape Stacker
  • Using precise masks made in Photoshop inside Starry Landscape Stacker
  • Photoshop layer masks, layer blend modes, layer groups & group masks
  • Retouching image layers & masks in Photoshop
  • Photoshop Smart Objects & the Camera Raw smart filter

and more.

Over 7.5 HOURS (465mins approx:) of video training spread over 43 lessons that I GUARANTEE will make you an excellent photographer of this most enigmatic natural wonder.

You can view a sample lesson here on my YouTube channel

Included with your purchase are the RAW files used in the processing videos, so you can follow along
with my workflow in Lightroom & Photoshop. (Please respect copyright ownership with these files).
This training title will help you produce better images of the Milky way and the night sky, in terms of both
shooting and processing.