Image Stacking to reduce noise in long exposures (Night Photography)

Wandering Sagebrush

Free Range Human
Site Team
Nov 17, 2013
Northeast Oregon
I've been reading about a new to me technique that reduces noise in night photography, like a shot of the milky way and some interesting foreground, It's called Median Image Stacking.

For Example, if you have a landscape and night sky shot, you can take multiple exposures at lower ISOs and faster shutter speeds than you would if you were just trying for a single shot, or a blended shot with just two exposures. To get crisp shots of the sky, take 4 or 5 shots of the stars at something like a 5 or 10 second shutter, with an ISO of something like 6400. For the foreground, take one really long shot at something like ISO 3200, with a 10 minute exposure. You can then process them in Photoshop CC, using the stacking method that is in the link above. The results will give you a clearly visible and clean foreground, with sharp stars, and comparatively little noise in the night sky. There is a PS plugin that is available, as well. Check Starry Landscape Stacker, it's for Mac only at this point.

Caveat emptor. I have not yet tried this, so it's going to be an experiment for all of us.

Here's a linked Adam Woodworth photo that shows the results. Adam had an article in Outdoor Photographer that was my introduction to the subject. Here's Adam's Blog, too.

Cool thanks for the link! I'm gonna try this out on our next few outings. I've only done 25 second exposures before.
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