Ramblings of an Amateur Photographer

Stars in the Smoky Mountains

Clingmans Dome - Fuji X-T1 - Rokinon 12mm - Photoshop Edit

Clingmans Dome - Fuji X-T1 - Rokinon 12mm - Lightroom Edit

One of the classes I am going to teach at the Great Smoky Mountain Photographers Summit is going to be editing night time landscapes & stars photos. I am constantly refining my process on editing my images. I found a process using Photoshop that works well for me. However, I like to edit my stuff quickly, which is why I use Lightroom for most of my editing. With photos of the Milky Way, I have found that it doesn't quite yield the results I would like. Above, you'll see two images. I edited the first with my Photoshop process and the second with my Lightroom process. Lightroom doesn't quite give me the fine tuning I need to get a nice look in the dust lanes of our galaxy. I will most likely teach both (time permitting) at the summit. 

I enjoyed scouting out possible locations with my buddy Jim Begley at Clingmans Dome, joined by Jerry Esh in Cades Cove. If mother nature allows, I think we're going to have a great shooting location for some night time stuff at the summit.

I set up two cameras, a Fuji X-E1 with a Rokinon 8mm and a Fuji X-T1 with the Rokinon 12mm lens on it. These were taken during the Perseid meteor shower, so we set up an intervelometer and let it go. If you ever do this, remember that the dust cloud of the Milky Way (I know we are traveling in the Milky Way, but let's not split hairs) is moving, so you need to constantly check to make sure you are still framed correctly.  The last shot was taken with the Fuji 10-24mm lens. I find this a nice lens for daylight hour landscape photography, but for night time stuff, it's not up to the task. You can see it's a little hazy and not crisp. Not my best shot, but I added it as an example.

Clingmans Dome - Fuji X-T1 - Rokinon 12mm - Lightroom

Clingmans Dome - Fuji X-T1 - Rokinon 12mm - Photoshop

Newfound Gap - Fuji X-T1 - Rokinon 12mm - Photoshop

Clingmans Dome - Fuji X-T1 - Rokinon 12mm - Lightroom

Cades Cove - Fuji X-T1 - Fuji 10-24mm - Lightroom

by John