Photo Commentary #17: Masking and Astrophotography Part II

Photo Commentary #17: Masking and Astrophotography Part II

Photo Commentary #17: Masking and Astrophotography Part II 683 1024 varunvisuals
This photo taken by Dominika Roseclay serves as a great example of one of the situations in which a photographer may have to rely on masking in order to display the “best of two worlds” – a well lighted urban scene as well as a clear starry night sky Note: it is just as possible to find small towns with no light pollution, thereby allowing for such an image to be taken without the use of any masking technique – I cannot say with certainty how the photo was truly captured. Just like any other photograph or piece of art, only the artist behind it knows the whole process of how it was made. I am only stating one method through which the photo COULD be made.
If you have been following along, you will know that my last commentary posed a question asking you to identify three different topics I had already spoken about, within that image.
 
Here is the answer: reflecting surfaces, astrophotography, and masking. One person had correctly commented on the underlying conundrum – how do you get to see clear stars above a highly light polluted area, such as a city (if you remember, astrophotography can only be performed in areas with little to no light pollution)? Well here’s the thing…you can’t. Not really that is (more on this in a bit). So how was it done?
 
The starry sky was likely photographed in an area with low light pollution using proper astrophotography techniques while the city was captured in another location. Using masking (once again, this is explained in an earlier post), the starry sky would replace the typical starless sky seen over city’s as night. The reflecting surface of the water added to that image as well.
 
This photo may also abide by similar techniques (excluding the water of course). However, it is definitely possible for such a photo to be taken in a location that does not require any masking. That is, a small town with enough light to make the structures as visible and eye-catching as a city, but not enough light to pollute or hide the starry sky above. Regardless of which avenue was taken, Dominika definitely nailed this shot!
 

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