How To Edit Stars In Lightroom

By | 16/10/2022

Learning how to edit night sky photos in Photoshop or Lightroom is an essential stride in creating crawly astrophotography. The main chore here is to enhance details while preserving the natural shades, equally well as remove distortions and dissonance which isn’t always easy.

Produce breathtaking photos of the night heaven by post-obit these piece of cake tutorials for Photoshop, and Lightroom.

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fixthephoto post production services before after

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Method #1. Editing Night Sky Photos in Photoshop

1. Stack the Images

how to edit night sky photos in photoshop image stacking

Image stacking involves merging all the calorie-free and scale frames in ane picture show. This is one of the indispensable steps of the astrophotography editing routine.

Stacking boosts the signal-to-noise ratio, contributing to a crisp and detailed shot. The stacked shots even out the values in the entire moving-picture show, decreasing the racket. The signal isn’t being lowered, which results in a clearer shot.

Select the layers, and so choose
Car-Alloy Layers
in the
menu at the top of the screen. By the way, you tin can also stack images in Lightroom, if you want to.

2. Reduce the Stars Quantity

how to edit night sky photos in photoshop reduced stars amount

The key to editing night sky photos in Photoshop successfully is to lower the number of “peripheral” stars in the shot, emphasizing the sky. By eliminating some stars, y’all will achieve a cleaner night sky shot where the stars will be more distinguishable.

To lower the number of stars in Photoshop, apply
the Eyedropper Tool
and choice the colour palette of stars that you wish to be less visible.

Tweak the
level to ensure that you change the required region. Play around with the
option, picking 1 or 2 pixels for the radius. Using the
options, check whether the roundness isn’t affected.

3. Bring Out the Stars

how to edit night sky photos in photoshop bring out the stars

Sometimes it helps to bring out stars in Photoshop to add visual appeal to dark sky shots. The process isn’t that hard. Navigate to
Select > Color Range > Select stars
using the Sample tool. Copy the selection to a different layer. So set the Layer
Blending Mode
to Screen.

To make the stars even more than prominent, select the newly created Layers and group them using Photoshop keyboard shortcuts:
Ctrl+Thou (Win)/Cmd+Thou (Mac). After that, add a mask from the layers console to the group if yous demand to lower the intensity of the consequence in certain parts of the shot. Last only non least, brush the parts with black.

Method #ii. Editing Nighttime Sky Photos in Lightroom

For lighter manipulations and piece of work with the colors, I recommend using Lightroom. It allows yous to work with each colour individually, and right common drawbacks like distortions, or noise.

1. Fine-Tune White Balance

how to edit night sky photos in lightroom white balance

While shooting at night, it may be really hard to tweak the white residuum accordingly, since the color of the night sky is affected by unlike natural phenomena, like twilight, low-cal pollution, airglow, moonlight and so on.

Suppose you don’t ain special cameras for astrophotography yet. In that case, you need to try your all-time to suit the proper white balance that emphasizes the rich color palette and right vibrancy. In Lightroom, there is the
WB: Temp slider
at the top of the
Basic panel.

In near cases, Milky Manner shots take likewise much warmth, and an affluence of brown or red shades. To set that, move the Temp slider to the left to make the temperature in the movie colder. Consequently, if the overall tones of the shot are too cold, globe-trotting toward blue ones, motility that same slider to the right to get rid of the blueish tint.

2. Adjust Contrast and Exposure

how to edit night sky photos in lightroom exposure and contrast

When figuring out how to edit night sky photos in Photoshop, and Lightroom, don’t forget most dissimilarity. If y’all gear up the
Blacks option
to a negative value, you will make the colors and starlight more prominent. The black areas in the shot will exist darkened.

For a similar effect of brighter stars and darker skies, play around with the
Whites value
until yous attain an advisable contrast of nighttime and lite regions. To additionally raise the contrast, tweak the
dissimilarity value bar
as soon as you are done adjusting the Blacks and Whites sliders.

Although the picture with raised dissimilarity appears bright and bold, it may seem also obscure for some. If that is the instance, raise the value of the
pick to make the shot lighter. Mind non to go overboard, otherwise, the result volition exist completely done out.

3. Utilise Lens Corrections

how to edit night sky photos in lightroom lens correction

Unless you are shooting with a professional lens for astrophotography, the final pictures may appear a bit distorted. You may spot a vignette, occasionally stretched foreground, or a ruined curve of the Milky Way that looks nix similar it is in real life.

The master reason for these distortions is the photographic camera lens. Thankfully, in that location is a mode to deal with that – by using the
Lens Correction
option in Lightroom. While editing star photos, check the box next to the “Enable Profile Correction” choice.

Some other box for yous to check is “Remove Chromatic Abnormality”. By doing this, you will eliminate all the unattractive blue, regal or greenish haloes that may surround dazzling stars.

four. Dehaze the Photo to Remove Light Pollution

how to edit night sky photos in lightroom dehaze tool img

Fifty-fifty though the chief goal of the Lightroom Dehaze Tool is to restore the details in shots influenced by outdoor fog or brume, this tool volition efficiently cope with light pollution, raising the dissimilarity and vibrancy of the Milky Way in the nighttime sky shots.

To find the tool, go to the
Effects menu
of the
Develop Module. Remember to employ it in moderation in order non to introduce unnecessary noise in the picture.

v. Adjust Hue/Saturation/Luminance

how to edit night sky photos in lightroom hsl tools

Apart from the standard sliders in the Basic panel, attempt experimenting with the sliders in the
HSL panel. They are meant to tweak separate colors in the picture show. The panel unites eight colour sliders divided into three categories:
Hue, Saturation,
Luminance. For a natural expect of the sky, be extra careful while adjusting colors.

You lot should definitely play effectually with the bluish slider. In example you are editing shots of the northern lights, I suggest that you lot decrease saturation for greenish shades since digital cameras tend to oversaturate them. If you don’t have time to accommodate the colors, apply free Lightroom presets for quick results correct on the spot, or arroyo a pro color correction service.

6. Fix Highlights and Shadows

how to edit night sky photos in lightroom highlights and shadows

Learning how to edit dark sky photos in Photoshop, and Lightroom, call back that the increased values of exposure and contrast make the particular parts of the shot extremely bright. If you notice that y’all have already taken information technology too far, simply tweak the

For milder dissimilarity, I recommend decreasing the
value. Speaking of the
value, it may be every bit low or as loftier – this depends on the initial moving-picture show and your preferences. For instance, in instance adjusting the Shadows slider leads to distorted contrast, which y’all have previously fixed, revert the changes and keep tweaking until you are satisfied.

7. Apply Local Adjustments

how to edit night sky photos in lightroom graduaed filter

While editing dark sky photos, you lot may be inclined to heave details in particular regions of the shot. To do that, use local adjustments in Lightroom. Try
the Gradient tool
to enhance the brightness of the foreground or bring the unabridged sky to the spotlight in the shot.

One more effective tool that belongs to the list of local adjustments is the
Aligning Brush tool. It has all the power of the Basic panel but lets you utilize the tweaks to a item surface area, not to the whole shot.

Play around with such parameters as
Clarity, Exposure, Contrast, Shadows, Saturation, Castor Size, Menstruation, Density,
for greater command over the size and strength of the brush strokes.

8. Reduce Noise and Sharpen the Photograph

how to edit night sky photos in lightroom noise reduction

Mostly, yous have to configure high ISO values during night. It leads to undesired dissonance, which needs to be corrected at the flick post-production phase. You lot may do that using specific tools in
the Detail panel. Just note to keep the noise reduction to the minimum for better results.

Equally for color racket reduction, don’t push the values also loftier since it may leave some stars colorless. The recommended value is below 60. One more slider you shouldn’t miss is the Masking 1. With its help, it is possible to hibernate sharpening in item regions of the picture, for instance, wherever the noise is.

By holding the
Alt/Opt key
and moving the
Masking slider, you volition be able to distinguish the areas that are being sharpened. If you use Lightroom as a star photo editor, the suggested values of
the Masking slider
are around 90.

Tips & Tricks

1. Go Proper Gear

gear for night sky photography

There are several things your night shots are impossible without.

First and foremost is a tripod. When optical exposure is long, it is impossible to accept a adept photo of the heaven without a tripod, like Manfrotto BeFree.

A camera should exist with manual settings, like Catechism 6D Mark II and it is desirable to shoot in RAW considering this format gives great possibilities for processing images. Simply every bit well that the ISO can be put on 800-1600 without much damage to the paradigm.

Big-aperture and wide bending lenses for shooting static stars and large coverage areas of the sky.

Camera remote for displaying long excerpts. A spare battery because it dies fast enough.

ii. Apply the 600 Rule

night photography 600 rule

As you have already understood, because the stars move, they remain equally stock-still points merely to a certain shutter speed. And if it would be of greater value, they turn into strips. And in order to calculate the disquisitional importance of exposure fourth dimension, there is a “600” rule.

You need to carve up 600 in the focal length of your lens and we get maximum exposure, in which the stars are even so points. You’ll find the calculation for ingather and full frame camera in the picture higher up.

3. Mind the Camera Settings

At night you tin can forget virtually the automatic focus, then you’ll demand to utilise merely the
transmission focus. Usually, information technology is brash to put it in an extreme position to infinity, because nosotros are shooting stars.

The diaphragm
should exist opened as widely as possible. one.2-i.8 – if your photographic camera allows.

The exposure time
for shooting static stars should be 10-40 sec.

The exposure time
for meteor trails from 10 minutes to several hours.

4. Create a Timelapse

Timelapse presupposes making lots of photos of static stars, and then turning them into a video with free time lapse software, like Adobe Premiere, or LRTimelapse. Yous can produce very beautiful videos like moving stars beyond the sky. Timelapse with stars is quite a long process. Hither is a adding of how many photos you will demand to brand a one-minute video with the rotation of the sky.

The video contains 25 fps in i second, then it will be already 25 * threescore = 1500 FPS. Nosotros shoot each flick, for example, with 30 seconds shutter and the 1-sec interval between frames. This means, that for capturing 1500 FPS nosotros take to spend 31 * 1500 = 46500 seconds, or 775 minutes ~ 13 hours.


photoshop overlays for night sky photos by fixthephoto

If you are unwilling to fiddle with settings in Photoshop, use overlays in Photoshop for quick and qualitative editing of nighttime sky pictures. This pack comes in handy for color correction purposes, as well equally for adding gorgeous overlays with moon and brilliant stars. Yous’ll find suitable tools for both – a night sky and a day heaven.