Redditor shares his process for making stunning starscapes

by Liam McCabe

posted Monday, April 14, 2014 at 11:50 AM EDT

Photo: Andrew Tallon

While we’re on the topic of space today, have you ever wondered what it takes to make one of those surreal star-scape photos? You know, the kind of thing that shows up on the front page of Reddit every now and then?

Well, here’s a quick lesson from somebody with first-hand experience. Last week, Brisbane-based Redditor and photographer Andrew Tallon posted a beautiful shot of a starry sky over a still lake, and followed it up this week with an overview of how he shot, stitched, and processed the panorama.

The final image is a composite of seven photos, taken with a Canon 5D Mark III and a 16-35mm f/2.8 lens, all taken wide-open at ISO 8000, with 25-second exposures—anything longer, and the stars began to blur from movement. The photos were stitched together in Photoshop CS6, and the panorama processed for contrast, color, and noise in Lightroom 5. Tallon shares screenshots of his process, as well as a diagram of how he leveled his camera during the shoot.

This is just one of several stunning star-scapes that Tallon has up on his Flickr page, so check them out—and be sure to give the man some karma if you find him on Reddit.

(Via Reddit, Andrew Tallon)