A night in Vernazza – Astrophotography with Fuji X-T3
Vernazza and Cinque Terre in general is a gorgeous region any time of the day, but it’s even more amazing on a clear night. The town of Vernazza is quite small but for astrophotography there is still a lot of light and it can become very challenging to capture a composition like this one.
About the shot
In August, the Milky Way core rises after sunset and it’s low above the horizon when it gets dark enough. This composition was planned with Photopills which showed that the arch of the Milky Way would be rising right above the Dorian Castle, the prominent tower in Vernazza.
I used a 25s, f2.8 iso1600 shot to capture the Milky Way. Unfortunately the town was extremely bright and overexposed so I took a few shots to capture the brightest highlights while fighting off a bunch of mosquitoes. In the end I ended up combining 3 different exposures to bring back most of the details.
First step was to adjust each of the frames in Lightroom. The biggest change was the white balance which was way off. The brightness levels had to be adjusted in the basic panel to recover as much shadow / highlight detail as possible.
Next step was to bring everything in Photoshop and combine them by using different techniques from a simple gradient mask to luminosity and selective masking. There were a couple of cables and some lens flares from the bright town lights that of course had to be removed.
All in all it was an interesting and challenging photograph of this magical place.