Day 179/365: “A road to the stars.” — Read through the full post for image acquisition details and post-processing workflow. — I was lucky enough to find dark and clear skies at John Bryan State Park in Yellow Swings, Ohio this morning after a short 45 minute drive. I explored the park and had my breath taken away by the Milky Way stretching across the sky and the seemingly infinite number of stars that accompanied it. While this wasn’t the darkest location I’ve ever been to, finding skies this dark in my home state of Florida is nearly impossible with only a 45 minute drive. This is a composite photograph made up of two exposures; my Nikon D500 and Tokina 11-20mm f/2.8 lens were left in the same position in between frames and the images were taken sequentially. The first image is a 25 second exposure at f/8 and ISO 400; this one exposed for the car driving through the scene. The second image is a 25 second exposure at f/2.8 and ISO 1600; this image exposed for the stars. Then I drove home. I made minor touchups in Lightroom before bringing both images into Photoshop. I duplicated the star frame and added a high pass filter to extract more detail and sharpen the image. I merged the high pass frame with the star frame, and then merged the car-trail frame with the resulting sharpened star frame using Photoshop’s “screen” mode. I then took the image into Lightroom again to make some final adjustments, including noise reduction (this image wasn’t too noisy, surprisingly). This is probably my favorite Milky Way image to date—I haven’t really shot it for awhile and have learned some new post-processing tips and tricks; my D500 also handles noise a lot better than my D7100 did. I hope you all enjoy the image and the details behind it. Feel free to leave any feedback or questions in the comments!