A guide to Milky Way

We are here with another existing topic under photography – Milky way Photography. This is a perfect guide to capture some stunning night trails and milky ways.


1. Equipment needed? (Any Light Source) :

Any DSLR would do… even digital point and shoot or bridge cam with ISO 3200 will be ok. Result depend on low light performance of the camera. Only thing is that you will get more noise in entry level SLR. Other than that wide angle lens about 18mm will be fine. Tripod is must. No other light source is required for milky way. But u need light source for your foreground illumination. If foreground  is landscape you can take 4-5 min that would look more natural.

2. Best place to shoot? (Seashore/Hill station) :

Only thing u have to do is find remote place where there is no light pollution..

3. Best time to shoot?

(Direction – North, East, South, West, Time-evening, midnight, early morning, With/Without Moonlight) :

You need dark sky so no moon day is best time or you have to capture before moon rise or after moon set and time also depend on when milky way rise and set…

Finding milky way have become easy task with android or iPhone. If you have any of this download sky map, in that search for Scorpius or Sagittarius. If not then you need to find it looking at sky , Check out on google how Scorpius look. On very dark night you will see milky way with your naked eyes.

4. How to shoot? Camera settings? (Aperture, ISO, Metering, Focus, RAW/JPEG, White Balance) :

Picture should be captured with wide open aperture , and shutter (in sec) <= (600/FX equivalent focal length you are using) , ISO you can vary between 1600 – 6400 (depend on light you need). Metering will not work so keep anything doesn’t matter. Focus need to be set to infinity. RAW or jpeg depends on you (RAW will better). White Balance depending on color you want. In RAW you can change it later in Post processing, but better set it on field so you get idea how it would look and can capture accordingly, I prefer Daylight.


5. Which tool to use for post processing?

What should be taken care while processing (Photoshop, Lightroom) : I use PS CS6. Most of the stuff i do in Camera RAW 7.2. Milky ways are captured with high ISO so there is lots of noise. When you extra do something, more and more noise will be added. More contrast or saturation will spoil your picture, so keep control on that. You require lots of dogging burning so milky way can be clearly seen. You have to do highlight dogging on milky way and shadow burning on other area.

Article by : Dhanraj Wadiwala


Common Composition Mistakes

This is one of the most common composition mistakes I have seen from many photographers. During the jungle safari when you see a subject you immediately ask the driver to stop and start shooting. Don’t do that.

In the top image, that is what happened and you see the trees in the background which is just behind the deer and the viewing impact is lost. This issue happens as most of the photographers are viewing only the subject through the view finder and not the background.

common composition mistakes

While driving in the vehicle, when you see a subject you need to visualise the composition which has the best visual impact and check the background/foreground to see if there are any distractions which may spoil the image. In the below image, all we did was ask the driver to move a bit forward so that we get a clear background. The Spotted Deer was at the same place but we moved a bit forward and got a pleasing background as our shooting angle was now different.

Keep in mind – Your shooting angle is very important when you make your composition. The background makes or breaks your image.

Since the camera cannot handle the dynamic range in the image (spotted deer in bright sunlight and the background is in shadows) I exposed for the spotted deer and hence the background has gone dark. It is not photoshopped.

Canon 1DX + Canon EF 400mm f2.8 L IS II, ISO 400, f2.8 @ 1/6400, Evaluative Metering -1 1/3, Aperture Priority, WB at 4500K.

Article by : Sudhir Shivram


Photoshop Shortcut Keys

Having some awesome tools and effects control on your finger tip can make your workflow a way easier. Here are some of the cool hack tracks to make your workflow more efficient. Every single click function is available with Photoshop shortcut keys to produce images in less time.

Do share with us if you have some mind blowing tricks !!

Photoshop Shortcut keys

New : Ctrl+N
Open : Ctrl+O
Browse : Alt+Ctrl+O
Open As : Alt+Shift+Ctrl+O
Edit in ImageReady : Shift+Ctrl+M
Close : Ctrl+W
Close All : Alt+Ctrl+W
Close and Go To Bridge : Shift+Ctrl+W
Save : Ctrl+S
Save As : Shift+Ctrl+S
Save a Version : Alt+Ctrl+S
Save for Web : Alt+Shift+Ctrl+S
Revert : F12
File Info : Alt+Shift+Ctrl+I
Page Setup : Shift+Ctrl+P
Print with Preview : Alt+Ctrl+P
Print : Ctrl+P
Print One Copy : Alt+Shift+Ctrl+PPrint Online…
Exit : Ctrl+Q
Undo/Redo Ctrl+Z
Step Forward Shift+Ctrl+Z
Step Backward Alt+Ctrl+Z
Fade… Shift+Ctrl+F
Cut : Ctrl+X
Copy Ctrl+C
Copy Merged Shift+Ctrl+CLock Guides Alt+Ctrl+;
Actions Alt+F9
Brushes F5
Color F6
Info F8
Layers F7
Photoshop Help F1
Color Settings… Shift+Ctrl+KKeyboard Shortcuts… Alt+Shift+Ctrl+K
Menus… Alt+Shift+Ctrl+M
Preferences >
General… Ctrl+KImage
Adjustments >
Levels… Ctrl+L
Auto Levels Shift+Ctrl+L
Auto Contrast Alt+Shift+Ctrl+L
Auto Color Shift+Ctrl+B
Curves… Ctrl+M
Color Balance… Ctrl+B
Hue/Saturation… Ctrl+U
Desaturate Shift+Ctrl+UImage
Canvas Size… Alt+Ctrl+C
Paste Ctrl+V
Paste Into Shift+Ctrl+V
Fill… Shift+F5
Free Transform Ctrl+T
Transform >
Again Shift+Ctrl+TZoom In Ctrl++
Zoom Out Ctrl+-
Fit on Screen Ctrl+0
Actual Pixels Alt+Ctrl+0
Extras Ctrl+H
Target Path Shift+Ctrl+H
Grid Ctrl+’
Guides Ctrl+;
Rulers Ctrl+R
Snap Shift+Ctrl+;

New Layer… Shift+Ctrl+N
Layer via Copy Ctrl+JLayer via Cut Shift+Ctrl+J
Create/Release Clipping Mask Alt+Ctrl+G
Group Layers Ctrl+G
Ungroup Layers Shift+Ctrl+G
Bring to Front Shift+Ctrl+]
Bring Forward Ctrl+]
Send Backward Ctrl+[
Send to Back Shift+Ctrl+[
Merge Layers Ctrl+E
Merge Visible Shift+Ctrl+E
All Ctrl+A
Deselect Ctrl+D
Reselect Shift+Ctrl+D
Inverse Shift+Ctrl+I
All Layers Alt+Ctrl+A
Feather… Alt+Ctrl+D
Last Filter Ctrl+F
Extract… Alt+Ctrl+X
Liquify… Shift+Ctrl+X
Pattern Maker… Alt+Shift+Ctrl+X
Vanishing Point… Alt+Ctrl+V
Proof Setup >
Proof Colors Ctrl+Y
Gamut Warning Shift+Ctrl+Y