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Stars and Evening Twilight

Posted by
Scott F. Schilling (San Martin, United States) on 23 September 2009 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.

I had the opportunity to go with some good friends and work on a technique that I had not used before - shooting several exposures of the same scene approximately 1/2 hour apart and then working the three images together to form a final composite image. I very much enjoyed the results, although it is a significant amount of processing work for me to arrive at the final image!! The presence of a crescent Moon made this exciting for me to try and get the stars and the crescent moon to show well in the final image.

This is from the hills above Hollister, California looking westward towards the Monterey Bay. Thanks Don and Mike!

Barbara Kile from United States

Interesting technique, Scott. Does this give you, for instance, more stars in addition to the changes in your lighting? Great work on this technique! Love the fence in the foreground - it gives some interest too.

23 Sep 2009 5:04am

MARIANA from Waterloo, Canada

Fantastic picture !

23 Sep 2009 5:13am

john4jack from Corvallis, Oregon, United States

Like a gorgeous painting.

23 Sep 2009 5:15am

Arantza from Menorca, Spain

Ohh fantastic !! I love it .It's a fantastic image, the colors are really beautiful. good job!!

23 Sep 2009 5:29am

Hassan from Tehran, Iran

nice work

23 Sep 2009 6:07am

Phil from France

hello Scott,
Absolutely superb !!!

23 Sep 2009 6:13am

rem_la from Villiers, France

superbe cette bande jaune !

23 Sep 2009 6:54am

Ana Lúcia from Leiria, Portugal

Again a masterpiece.

23 Sep 2009 7:22am

Vitor Martins from Lisboa, Portugal

Fantastic image, with amaizing colors. Nice tecnhique this one of working three diferent images. Something like HDR?

23 Sep 2009 7:27am

Mark from birmingham, United Kingdom


23 Sep 2009 7:33am

Paco Díaz from Palma de Mallorca, Spain

This is an outstanding work, great idea and processing. The final image is so wonderful....
I would like to know more about the process of combining the photos, is there a tutorial?
Thanks for this incredible image.

23 Sep 2009 7:43am

@Paco Díaz: Thanks for the comments - and yes there is a good article on this technique by Floris Van Breugel - This requires quite a bit of processing time and shooting time - but it is very fun to try - it requires a lot of masking work in photoshop to work the three or 4 images together. Here is the link to the article

Elena Kotrotsou from Drossia, Greece

This is a dreamy picture!!!

23 Sep 2009 8:38am

zOOm from Paris, France

A perfect night sky, a perfect landscape enhance by this superb color/light. Totally fairy in the end. Bravo.

23 Sep 2009 8:48am

Ben from Lyon, France

This is great result...

23 Sep 2009 11:19am

Yonatan from Bronx, United States

Very cool results from a technique I've never heard of. Is my assumption correct that the work is essentially the same as working on different layers for an HDR composition?

23 Sep 2009 11:42am

Eric Cousineau from Sherwood Park, Canada

Stunning is the only comment that comes to mind!!! Well done Scott! ;-)

23 Sep 2009 11:49am

Tracy from La Selva Beach, United States

This is so beautiful! How did you work with the movement of the stars & moon?
They really show up so beautifully in the twilight shy- just amazing!

23 Sep 2009 12:08pm

@Tracy: Thanks - this is a composite of 3 images taken about 1/2 hour apart after twilight - for the stars and moon the photograph needs to have an exposure time shorter than 15 seconds to avoid blur - I used about 10" on my moon and star exposure - see this website for good information on this technique -

Dawn from Maryland, United States

Oh my!! Amazing and beautiful! 5 stars *****

23 Sep 2009 12:15pm

xavier cardell from menorca-barcelona, Spain

Gorgeous nightshot. Brilliant adjustments of saturation.

23 Sep 2009 12:16pm

Tamara from Aarschot, Belgium

Magnificent night view... perfectly done !

23 Sep 2009 2:03pm

PD from Overland Park, Kansas, United States

Wow, this is fantastic!! Like Paco says above, I would like to kinow more about the technique... just layers and masks, or something more?

23 Sep 2009 2:24pm

@PD: This requires a lot of masking in photoshop in order to combine three images together - the other item is the photographs will take a few hours to complete - you have to take the exact same photograph about 1/2 hour apart for each image - after the sun has set. See this article for a very good explanation of how to do this -

sawsengee from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

stunning picture......looks like a page from the children's fairy tale book....a meticulous technique that is totally rewarding

23 Sep 2009 4:10pm

Laurent from Lyon, France

clap, clap, clap
tremendous picture.
The result worth all the processing made

23 Sep 2009 4:46pm

Rosa from V.N.Gaia, Portugal

Thanks for sharing your magnificent work!
Really inspirational!

23 Sep 2009 5:40pm

Stefan from Thiersee, Austria

Cool work, il like it very much!

23 Sep 2009 6:00pm

martie from us, United States

Stunning is SUCH an understatement! And thanks for the link to the tutorial. As a PS novice this is way beyod my skill set, but it'll be fun to try!

This one needs to be framed.

23 Sep 2009 7:15pm

Helena from Badalona, Spain

awesome. the technique and all!
i love the combination with the stars, awesome again

23 Sep 2009 9:25pm

Anina from Auckland, New Zealand

WOW!!! This is probably one of the best photos i've ever seen! I love it!

23 Sep 2009 10:16pm

Bethany from Michigan, United States

Just when I think your work can't possibly get any better, you pleasantly surprise me again! I love your work and think you do an excellent job of capturing the beauty around you. The colors in this photo are fantastic, and the way the light came out it almost looks like a painting. Very delightful indeed! :)

24 Sep 2009 12:42am

Lambspun from Madison, Maine, United States

Captured beautifully! Very exciting shot. :)

24 Sep 2009 3:01am

Pavan Kaul from Mumbai, India

Certainly on of the best from you Scott! A fantastic piece of work....I can just keep looking at it....Thanks for the link...Absolutely magnificent:)

24 Sep 2009 3:04am

bluechameleon from Vancouver, Canada

This is just so beautiful! The light and the detail is just amazing and there is a certain feel to this image that I can't quite put my finger on. Bravo!

24 Sep 2009 4:29am

DarkElf from Perth, Australia

absolutely stunning photo! flawless processing - the final image looks so sharp and clean - very well done!

24 Sep 2009 5:22am

Paco Díaz from Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Hello, Scott:, thanks very much for the link. It's a fantastic article and a good illustrated tutorial. I will tray it.
I'm very grateful for your kind response. Cheers!!

24 Sep 2009 5:37am

Yvonne Simons from Tilburg, Netherlands

This is amazing, gorgeous!!

24 Sep 2009 5:42am

Mike from Lichfield, United Kingdom

I think the time spent on location and with processing has really paid off as the result is magnificent and spectacular.

24 Sep 2009 7:52am

jeff (aka dogilicious) from Millerstown, PA, United States


24 Sep 2009 10:27am

Shahryar from Isfahan, Iran

so beauitiful,it's great :)
amazing :)

24 Sep 2009 11:18am

bekkah from Pennsylvania, United States

Oh, my! Stellar!! All of your efforts were truly worth it :)

24 Sep 2009 11:24am

Judy from Brooksville, Florida, United States

INCREDIBLE, Scott ... worth your time and efforts! * * * * *

24 Sep 2009 11:42am

Garaidh from United States

The hard work paid off! Beautiful photo. I'd love to know the post work that was done.

24 Sep 2009 5:07pm

Evelyne Dubos from Le Mans, France

Wooooooooooow !! What a marvel !! 5 stars without hesitation. Bravo Scott.

24 Sep 2009 10:20pm

Mirza Ahmad from Thames Ditton, United Kingdom

Very nice, works well on this image, a bit Dali'esque with the orange and blue hues.

24 Sep 2009 11:21pm

LCImagery from Oregon, United States

The results of all your hard work really shows in this stunning composition. It is simply gorgeious!

25 Sep 2009 12:14am

Jason Kravitz from Brussels, Belgium

Fantastic image Scott - your technique yielded incredible results !

btw - regarding your recent support query about announcement links... I sent a response to you last week - you may want to check your spam folder if you did not see it. I'll send another reply today but just want to make sure you can get my responses.

25 Sep 2009 9:29am

Viewfinder from Bradenton, FL, United States

I am blown away by this amazing shot; what you've done here in processing surely paid off. No cliche here - this is beautiful!

25 Sep 2009 8:09pm

Joanne from United States

How can more be said about such a capture of infinite beauty? Scott, thank you for your visits. Sorry I haven't been back sooner.

28 Sep 2009 11:57am

Jen from St. George, United States

WOW!!!! This just blows me away. The technique is something I've never even heard of before. I'll have to give it a try. I have to say - your first attempt is STUNNING! Everything is so carefully balanced and perfect. The light is amazing, the colors are brilliant, the stars and the moon are awesome, and the composition is stupendous. Okay, I'm running out of adjectives. Suffice it to say - this photo rocks!! :)

30 Sep 2009 10:43pm

Magda from Vancouver, Canada

Magnificent! The clarity and composition are just breathtaking!!! 10/10

3 Oct 2009 6:08am

image masking from Cochin, India

Excellent shot! Thanks for sharing!!

10 Oct 2009 4:57am

Shelley Boone-Miller from Klamath Falls, Oregon, United States

This is the one I saw at Taste of Morgan Hill...I didn't see a price on this your private picture?

14 Oct 2009 12:03am

dj.tigersprout from New York City, United States

fantastic indeed! a marvelous image!

27 Oct 2009 11:52pm