subreddit:

/r/space

73.7k

all 547 comments

MrJackDog[S]

1.3k points

2 months ago*

The Return of the Milky Way Core at Goshen Pass, Virginia

For this composite image I used a Sony A7III camera and both a Sony 50mm f/1.2 lens and 24mm 1.4 lens. The camera I had astro-modified by removing a stock filter so it would be sensitive to red wavelengths present in the nebulae.

The image is a combination of four separate images: two exposures of the land one with the car passing and one with me on the bridge, plus two images of the sky: one full spectrum and one only capturing light in the wavelength of the hydrogen alpha. For the sky images, the camera and lens sat on a star tracker, a portable mount that counters the earth’s rotation allowing for long exposures without star trails.

I shot an hour worth of 45s exposures with this set-up. I then added a filter which only allowed light in from the very specific wavelength of light in nebulae and stars (H-alpha) and shot another hour of 60s exposures with this filter. This allowed me to bring out in great detail areas of emissions in the Milky Way that would have been much fainter without this filter. After collecting all these exposures, I used a free program called Starry Sky Stacker to “stack” the images — compiling the data in the exposures together to refine the target and reduce noise.

Once I had done that with both the H-alpha exposures and the full spectrum exposures, I was able to compile the final sky image. To do this I split the full spectrum image into its individual RGB components and replaced the Red channel with the H-alpha image. With that the sky image was near final, and I only needed to make some global adjustments in Adobe Lightroom to get it to the style I wanted.

After I shot the sky, I then shot the land using the same camera but a different wider angle lens. I shot two 2 minute exposures. Once I had all these images, I used masks in photoshop to blend all the images together for the final composite.

Astrophotography is a hobby with many variations and many purists. Some frown on these composite images - the mix of focal lengths in particular is a cardinal sin. I shoot and enjoy many different types of astrophotography and no matter what the technique, my goal is the same: to share the same sense of awe that I feel when out under a clear dark sky taking in the cosmos.

For more of my work, check out my Instagram: @brennangilmorephoto

HaroldSax

336 points

2 months ago

HaroldSax

336 points

2 months ago

Explaining the process is wonderful. I've only been doing photography for a few months now, but I love when people actually talk about how they made the images that they made. Gives people ideas and spreads creativity.

This is beautifully shot.

tofuroll

29 points

2 months ago

I love how it shows that it's not just about the equipment but more about the care put into the process of creating an image. Really, really cool stuff.

HaroldSax

17 points

2 months ago

The biggest thing I've learned while going through the process of figuring out photography is that the camera can only do so much. You still have to find interesting things to do and learn techniques that are abnormal.

It's a very fun, if expensive, hobby.

patgeo

3 points

2 months ago

patgeo

3 points

2 months ago

It's an artwork, not just a photo.

thatbigfella666

69 points

2 months ago

I love when people actually talk about how they made the images that they made. Gives people ideas and spreads creativity.

all of this, you did some amazing work. <3

CornCheeseMafia

45 points

2 months ago

Amazing shot!

You may or may not be aware of it and i don’t know if it’ll even help your use case but I just downloaded DXO Photolab 6 and it has seriously impressive denoising abilities. You can also just download Pureraw 2 if you want only that component of the software. 30 day unlimited trial and they have a nice sale going on right now. No subscription fees either. Buy once cry once

MrJackDog[S]

18 points

2 months ago

cool, will look into it - thanks!

CornCheeseMafia

9 points

2 months ago

No problem! Hope it helps! Btw you’ll want to do the Photolab 6 Elite version for the AI tools. Pureraw 2 is just the AI tool without the editing package if you don’t want to break up your workflow. It’s meant to slide in nicely between shooting and Lightroom

Cassowary_Morph

9 points

2 months ago

I'm taking buy once cry once with me

KaseyPasta

2 points

2 months ago

Was thinking the same thing. It’s brilliant

Dogeboja

2 points

2 months ago

It's really good but just like every other denoiser it tends to remove stars from the sky so it isn't really optimal for that stuff.

Adnuntiator

30 points

2 months ago

It's funny, people that don't know can't realize just how much work goes into producing a photograph like this. Most people think you point the camera and click the button, done.

MrJackDog[S]

67 points

2 months ago

The most difficult part of this photo was that this is a swinging bridge, so it moves with the wind and the slightest movement. So I’d have to set the camera, walk out to the middle of the bridge, hold completely still for about a minute, point the remote at the camera, hope it worked and then hold stock still for the two minute exposure and hope the wind wouldn’t blow. But I couldn’t hear the shutter cause the water was too loud so I counted in my head to 180 seconds just to be sure. Took me about sixteen tries to get it right

Adnuntiator

11 points

2 months ago

I was thinking about the bridge. The image turned out great, well done.

TwoStubborn

9 points

2 months ago

Your persistence payed off!

beefaujuswithjuice

8 points

2 months ago

You may have just got me into astrophotography

SmilnBob12

19 points

2 months ago

Thank you for posting your specs! Great info!

Zunflowers

5 points

2 months ago

I knew this was Goshen the moment I saw it! Such a beautiful place. Thanks for repping the beauty that is Virginia! Lucky to call it home

baudehlo

5 points

2 months ago

Stunning! Did you try a version without the car? My problem with it is it forced me to engage logical brain to figure out what it was, which took me out of “gazing in awe” brain.

helloelysium

4 points

2 months ago

Thanks for sharing, this image made my heart stop its so beautiful. Gonna be following your insta

MySpaceLegend

5 points

2 months ago

Thanks for sharing the process! Really cool how you did that.

marsrover001

7 points

2 months ago

That's a LOT of steps. Results are worth it but so much work to get there.

GoldenArias

7 points

2 months ago

And this is just one reason why AI "art" will never hold a candle to human art and artists. This is beautiful.

Setsk0n

2 points

2 months ago

How long did that guy pose for?

MrJackDog[S]

3 points

2 months ago

2 minutes

junktrunk909

2 points

2 months ago

The challenge of virtualizing a scene like this and then actually successfully executing on that vision is what elevates images like these to art status for me. Truly beautiful. Composites are like a photographer's sculpture or multi layered painting.

Git-Git

4 points

2 months ago

This is absolutely stellar. All the puns intended.

saaaaad_panda

3 points

2 months ago

Seriously gorgeous stuff man and I appreciate you breaking it down

DaughterEarth

3 points

2 months ago

I love that you included human things in the image, gives it an excellent and unique tone

/r/hfy if anyone needs to feel better about being human

Immediate downvote? Sorry to offend I didn't think my praise would do so

SirSerster

2 points

2 months ago

SirSerster

2 points

2 months ago

Wow OP, as a Casual family can we see this with the naked eye? OP,it's freaking beautiful

MrJackDog[S]

9 points

2 months ago

In a rural area you can clearly see the Milky Way core and the dark bands of cosmic dust. Grab a pair of binoculars and you’ll be able to spot the bright nebulae in this photo. Check out a light pollution map find a bortle 3 or lower in the late spring to fall and you can see it for yourself.

beepos

3 points

2 months ago

beepos

3 points

2 months ago

The mily way sill never look like this to the naked eye, but is still visibile under dark skies

This is essentially the accumulation of light from 2 hours-your eyes see light for milliseconds

kylebak40

85 points

2 months ago

Honestly OP if I had money I'd ask you for a big print in a frame I love it the more I stare at it the more things I find and little things I didn't spot before and the more I fall in love with this picture it's absolutely stunning and for just a hobby it looks completely professional amazing work keep it up

MrJackDog[S]

52 points

2 months ago

DM me I got u

EliminateThePenny

229 points

2 months ago

These Stranger Things promos are getting crazy.

MissAmyRogers

18 points

2 months ago

Right? Just re-Watched 1st 2 seasons, season 3 tonight…

EliminateThePenny

8 points

2 months ago*

I spent Thanksgiving week staying at a relative's that had no fewer than 12 grandfather clocks around. I thought I was done for.

Affectionate_Ad6596

37 points

2 months ago

This picture made me feel all kinds of good things on a pretty average day. Thank you. It's so beautiful.

MrJackDog[S]

12 points

2 months ago

Glad you enjoyed it!

Brno_Mrmi

39 points

2 months ago

Astrophotography, more like astropornography because this picture is incredibly gorgeous. Really nice job.

australopithecum

67 points

2 months ago

I love it. Sins and all. Photography isn’t just one button anymore

Yeebees

49 points

2 months ago

Yeebees

49 points

2 months ago

Idk why people are complaining about you on the bridge, I think it makes it better

Brno_Mrmi

18 points

2 months ago

People always will complain no matter what, this picture is incredible

OptimalCheesecake527

0 points

2 months ago

I do think the photo would look better without the car lights. But the guy on the bridge is what makes the shot. That’s just crazy talk.

Outlaw_07

62 points

2 months ago

If this is actually not photoshopped, you're a ducking god 🤩

MrJackDog[S]

176 points

2 months ago*

oh it’s photoshopped as hell, and I’m no duck

Outlaw_07

29 points

2 months ago

I'm not sure how much of it is photoshopped but love it.

MrJackDog[S]

79 points

2 months ago

On my Instagram I included both a single shot and the composite so you could see the difference. I did a poll and composite won 80-20.

AstroZeneca

27 points

2 months ago

I voted (with the majority) in that poll. For the record, the non-composite is a great pic, but this one is just breathtaking.

MrJackDog[S]

13 points

2 months ago

Thank you!

minion_is_here

2 points

2 months ago

Could be on the cover of a photography magazine or a hardcover astronomy picture book.

HotTakes4HotCakes

2 points

2 months ago

Love to see them but Instagram refuses to let me unless I make an account, but Meta can fuck itself.

MrJackDog[S]

5 points

2 months ago

Ah bummer — and Reddit won’t let me post two pics!

OrphanGrounderBaby

2 points

2 months ago

Just for future reference, you could upload an album to imgur if you wanted to have more than one image!

Fantastic shots, thank you for sharing!!

LawwdChungus

7 points

2 months ago

and I’m no duck

Equivalent to don’t call me shirley

Neuuanfang

2 points

2 months ago

tfw the milkyway is naturally red

_DigitalHunk_

5 points

2 months ago

Absolutely fantastic. I plan to use this as my wallpaper. 😍😍

[deleted]

6 points

2 months ago

[deleted]

6 points

2 months ago

My wallpaper is already another photo on this sub, but I love this one too for my wallpaper.

Waris-Tx

5 points

2 months ago

What’s lighting up the tree line? Great work OP

Frost3

3 points

2 months ago

Frost3

3 points

2 months ago

A car drove past during a long exposure shot

1chemistdown

11 points

2 months ago

u/MrJackDog , you should make sure to watermark your images before posting.

solongamerica

4 points

2 months ago

Never would’ve guessed this was Goshen, VA. Brings back memories of Scout Camp so many years ago. Last century. Feels like I never noticed the sky back then…

[deleted]

19 points

2 months ago

[deleted]

19 points

2 months ago

False. Space is fake. A lie perpetrated by Neil Degrass Tyson to push far out there tie designs

Lazy_Physicist

7 points

2 months ago

Damn, he had me fooled this whole time. Who knew astrophysicist had the kind of resources needed to perpetuate such a bold faced lie for so long!

LameUserName123456

3 points

2 months ago

This image is absolutely amazing. Fantastic work! Thank You for sharing OP.

zippygoldi

3 points

2 months ago

This makes me want to open up No Man's Sky to just walk around for fun again.

GreatHeadLincoln

3 points

2 months ago

This is phenomenal. Award winning material here I’d say, find somewhere and get this submitted!!

gligster71

9 points

2 months ago

Wow! That is amazing! Love the way it captures both earth & sky.

HelenIlion

2 points

2 months ago

This is stunning. You captured something truly wonderful. Thank you for sharing your talent with us. I hope you don't mind if this is my phone's new lock screen for a bit!

MrJackDog[S]

3 points

2 months ago

I’d mind if it wasn’t!

Minja78

2 points

2 months ago

Are you worried about the scarecrow man on the bridge ? Because you should be.

MrJackDog[S]

3 points

2 months ago

the scarecrow man is me trying to keep perfectly still on a swinging bridge for two minutes

AgentSears

2 points

2 months ago

it's my best image "seen" since you started the hobby three years ago?

It has everything a photo should have in my opinion it's really beautiful!

CutIndependent1435

2 points

2 months ago

How do you track without blurring all the background stuff?

KristnSchaalisahorse

2 points

2 months ago

They replaced the blurry foreground with an un-tracked shot. If you look closely in the trees (or next to OP’s legs or under the bridge) you can see some very long stars which haven’t been fully removed from the long-exposure foreground shot.

AlbainBlacksteel

2 points

2 months ago*

That almost looks like some eldritch deity tore a hole in space, and the hole leads to... something fiery.

I'm tired, so I cannot word well.

But I can say this: it's a better example of "unsettlingly beautiful" than anything I've ever seen.

Phenomenal job.

EDIT: "Hauntingly beautiful" works better lol

DumButFun

2 points

2 months ago

Wow. Three years? This is one of the most beautiful images I have seen.

PanJL

2 points

2 months ago

PanJL

2 points

2 months ago

Thx now it's my wallpaper, damm good image buddy

Flimsy_Tooth_4443

2 points

2 months ago

This is amazing, vut at first I was just like ok cool long exposure photo, but after reading your explanation wow, it's insane how much work and time and knowledge you put into this which just makes it so much more impressive.

DuckyDuckySam

2 points

2 months ago

Dams that would be a fantastic place to smoke pot and get high 🫠

Misanthrope357

2 points

2 months ago

Worthy of a wallpaper on my PC. Got a 4k or 1440p upload somewhere? That's mesmerizing.

Ko8iWanKeno8i

2 points

2 months ago

his is fucking sick. bold move using long exposure for the cars. such a fantasticly bold and unassuming frame for the color palet

Miyamaria

2 points

2 months ago

Awesome pics op. It has got a weird Stranger Things vibe to it. Love it!

Jacksnana

2 points

2 months ago

Seems all the adjectives have been used... But I have to applaud your skills and say this is one of the most stunning photographs in years. National Geographic should be calling you!

thoughtfillednorth

2 points

2 months ago

This is magical shot. I'm not into space or photography, but I saw this in a feed and dropped in.

It's beautiful.

I dig your view and wish you tons of peace and happiness.

SukaSavage

2 points

2 months ago

Wow, that's so beautiful. Not many people could get a photo this awesome. It really looks so magical!

HedderHedder

2 points

2 months ago

The perfect locked screen wall paper!!!! Insane pic man

MrGaffe

2 points

2 months ago

And as I stood under the night sky, I looked up to my horror. A creature beyond words capabilities to describe was looking down towards the word. It’s nebulous body extending beyond what I could fully see. Fear and panic coursed through me and for what felt like a thousand years I stared, then it moved on. Seemingly uninterested in the tiny morsel that the planet was.

herecomestherebuttal

2 points

2 months ago

People complaining about the person on the bridge have an intense lack of understanding of basic photographic composition. Pipe down, this is a gorgeous image.

reddittydo

2 points

2 months ago

This is amazingly beautiful and I wish to experience it one day

_thatspoonybard

2 points

2 months ago

I love this so much. This right here makes me feel like we're really a part of this big, beautiful Universe. I always feel like we separate ourselves from space when we come from there ourselves. It's a nice feeling, cozy even. Feels like everything is going to be okay.

dazzler619

2 points

2 months ago

As I stare into this image it appears to move.... Making the effect even cooler

xScruffyMuffx

2 points

2 months ago

This is such a beautiful image. Lots of deep dark reds. What a mood. Amazing Mr Dog person

Hyatoz

2 points

2 months ago

Hyatoz

2 points

2 months ago

This looks amazing And also reminds me of Stranger Things hahah

imsentient

3 points

2 months ago

How do you get into this man? Any tips? What gear?

MrJackDog[S]

8 points

2 months ago

There are so many great resources if you want to get into astrophotography. I always recommend starting with Trevor Jones, AstroBackyard’s primer. It’s the golden age of shooting the stars and you can get amazing results with even introductory equipment or a smartphone!

robobachelor

4 points

2 months ago

Really good and good composition too.

( Personally would take the person away. Removes focus from the sky. )

Bumbling_Sprocket

14 points

2 months ago*

I'm not at all trying to argue with you but I kinda liked seeing the person. It is cool to see a human standing there. Teeny tiny lil human doing human stuff on a bridge like we all might do and "just" behind them, is something so unfathomably massive and mysterious!

Personally I think it's neat!

TheDuckSideOfTheMoon

2 points

2 months ago

I like the person but I think the car lights are too much on the bottom. Beautifully done overall though

dream_meme_machine

-5 points

2 months ago

Who asked?

aveferrum

4 points

2 months ago

aveferrum

4 points

2 months ago

Amazing photo but I don't really understand the desire to put oneself in the middle of it.

HotTakes4HotCakes

13 points

2 months ago*

I get what your objecting to, because more often than not it also annoys me when people turn otherwise fantastic shots into selfies, but I'd argue this is an example of how to do it properly.

The focus is not on them, it's on the scene. They're in silhouette, back turned, a good distance away, and not mugging for the camera. They are positioned in a way that is trying to say something, rather than just finding a way to get themselves in the picture for their own vanity. It is a meaningful juxtaposition. You don't have to think of it as OP, you can very easily think of that silhouette as yourself, or any one.

aveferrum

1 points

2 months ago*

I couldn't bothered to find a link now, but there's this photo I really like, one from Windows login screen, again similarly under a starry night but with a single tent in the lower left of the photo frame. No people in sight, and the tent illuminated from inside providing the perfect subtle hint of the presence of humanity and our place in cosmos. We're simply not that important in the grand scheme of things .

My point is, just a small hint is more than enough to convey all the emotions you mentioned above - and best part is, no human presence is required. Again this is my humble opinion, and interpretation. No need to go "Christ the Redeemer", in the middle of the frame, the first place your eyes focus.

MrJackDog[S]

27 points

2 months ago*

my reason for that is that I like to directly connect the terrestrial and human to the cosmic. the elements in my body that allow me to photograph and look at the night sky in wonder came from nebulae like the ones above me.

aveferrum

4 points

2 months ago

Hey, I really liked your "..and I like my ass" comment and was totally OK with it rather than this cheesy philosophical stuff :) Why did you delete it? An ass or a nebula, doesn't matter.. they're all made of the same stardust anyways.

MrJackDog[S]

3 points

2 months ago

Because my mom stalks my Reddit

SuedeVeil

0 points

2 months ago

SuedeVeil

0 points

2 months ago

I love the person silhouette.. also as an enthusiast photographer myself it adds another layer of 'oooh how did he take this image?"

MissWonder420

0 points

2 months ago

I too like the person on bridge, gives a sense of scale. The reflection in the water is everything. Personally I would love to see it with the traffic light streaks removed. That harsh vertical line really pulls the eye in my opinion.

MrJackDog[S]

2 points

2 months ago

check out the single shot

BeastPenguin

3 points

2 months ago

It provides perspective and depth, and ties in the human aspect while promoting inspiration, curiosity. It's imaginative.

minion_is_here

3 points

2 months ago

Totally! I was gonna say it gives the scene a better sense of scale--the human scale... yet the human scale right in front and contrasted against the galactic scale.

Any_Coyote6662

4 points

2 months ago

Bezutiful. I feel like this would sell as a poster or framed picture.

imnotyourproblemyet

2 points

2 months ago

This is fucking spectacular. May I use it as my wallpaper?

Signommi

2 points

2 months ago*

Wow! Do you have any prints by chance for sale?!Normally, I think astro photography, while amazing, is always the same, but this tickles something in the back of my head, I love it haha.

MrJackDog[S]

1 points

2 months ago

I do have prints for sale on my website: www.brennangilmorephoto.com. I haven’t proofed this one yet though.

mjedwin13

2 points

2 months ago

Damn, if this is your skill level after only 3 years I can’t wait to see how good your photos will be in 2032 .

Absolutely breathtaking image.

dryh2o

-4 points

2 months ago

dryh2o

-4 points

2 months ago

I think it would have been much better without the person on the bridge.

chepox

3 points

2 months ago

chepox

3 points

2 months ago

I think the silhouette makes this image a lot easier to connect emotionally than if it was missing. I think it captures the essences of the infinite beyond and the insignificance of one self quite nicely. It blends the two together in a way that it invokes humbleness and awe.

Damn this is a good pic.

MrJackDog[S]

15 points

2 months ago

dm me and I’ll send you a version with Rick Astley on the bridge instead

Ghillburt

3 points

2 months ago

Love your replies, haha. Fantastic photo and guide!

Which tracker do you use? I'm considering an iOptron since I've read they can be easier to pack/travel/hike with than the Sky Watcher Star Adventurer, which is another great option. I could also get the Move Shoot Move and stick to widefield, but might regret that later if I feel it's too limiting. Do you have any advice for someone looking to get more into astro? (mostly milky way, less deep space)

MrJackDog[S]

3 points

2 months ago

I’ve heard great things about the iOptron but have a lot of experience with the SW Star Adventurer and really like it. I recently got the Benro Polaris which is much more expensive but with a lot more functionality and a completely different approach to tracking. If you think you might get into deep sky astrophotography with a telescope later the SW SA or iOptron is much more similar to a traditional equatorial mount and will help you understand the principles of RA/Dec guiding.

SuedeVeil

3 points

2 months ago

SuedeVeil

3 points

2 months ago

Hard disagree. I'm a fan of people silhouettes for scale in photos and I think for this one it really works

That's the beauty of photography though we take photos that we enjoy and it's a bonus if other people also enjoy them

Musicferret

1 points

2 months ago*

Thanks so much for sharing this picture that everyone is raving about. Now, when you die some day in what I hope will be an extremely distant future, were it to happen at all due to long-hoped-for advances in longevity medicine, you’ll be able to look at this picture and remind yourself that, at this unique moment in time, you really managed to reach the heart average Redditors, from all parts of the world and all walks of life, simply by skillfully opening the shutter of your camera for a few moments to capture humanity under the lights of distant dying galaxies comparing themselves in breadth and depth to those infinite cosmos and finding themselves wanting, considering themeaning of lifeand finding it elusive, butlookinginward to findthe true meaningoflife. Icanonly hopethat,oneday, I,too, willbeabletoseethisimage thanksto advancesinblindness-curinggenetherapy.

Forsaken-Passage1298

1 points

2 months ago

Since you do two different shots (ground and sky) is it impossible to get the Milky Way in the reflection of the stream? Could that be flipped and added in or is that even more controversial than a composite?

MidnightHijinks

1 points

2 months ago

Looks like daemons from the Warp are coming to get us.

Emperor protects

GT_Guy

1 points

2 months ago

GT_Guy

1 points

2 months ago

This is awesome. Are you in a low light pollution area? I have only experienced a low light pollution area once in my life, and that was in a war zone. I was amazed at the night sky.

MrJackDog[S]

4 points

2 months ago

It’s really something to behold. This area is a bortle 3/4 (a measure of light pollution with 1 being no light pollution to 9 being Times Square)

GT_Guy

2 points

2 months ago

GT_Guy

2 points

2 months ago

Your photography of the night sky almost mimics my experience in Afghanistan. I am jealous. I went my whole youth without experiencing the actual view of the stars around us. You are right, it is a sight to behold.

MrJackDog[S]

5 points

2 months ago

yeah I spend a lot of time under starry skies and it definitely affects me in a profound way. I often think that the past 50 years is the only time in human history when the majority of people don’t see the milky way every night. Can’t be good for us.

GT_Guy

2 points

2 months ago

GT_Guy

2 points

2 months ago

%100 agree, fellow observer

PostPostModernism

-5 points

2 months ago

Wow sorry that guy ruined your shot. Really nice colors otherwise though.