winter solstice 2014 sky warragul latrobe valley by william pj kulich willpjk.com

I shot this photo from a hill south east of Warragul in June 2014. It’s not quite as sharp as I would like it to be, but this was the first time I got my white balance right for a night sky photograph. You win some, you lose some.

The plumes in the background are from the coal fired power stations in the Latrobe Valley, about 40-50 minutes east of Warragul by road.

Taking the shot:

For anything like this you really need a tripod. You may also want to experiment with white balance settings in-camera to get a blue sky, rather than the brown usually produced under auto. I used a stock Nikon 18-120mm lens, which is not great for night photography because of its relatively narrow aperture but does work. 30 second exposure with an ISO of 1000 using a D5200, aperture as wide as possible (4). I have subjected this photo to minimal colour correction and sharpening in the GIMP, increasing blue saturation and decreasing green.

The unprocessed photo:

winter solstice 2014 sky warragul latrobe valley by william pj kulich willpjk.com RAW

I quite like the colours in the original too, but am struggling to keep the depth in post processing.

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