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Starry, Starry Night in the Italian Alps
Starry, Starry Night in the Italian Alps
levyj413


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Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Free Study XII (Advanced Editing IV*)
Collection: Alps
Camera: Canon PowerShot S2 IS
Location: Val Ferret, Italy
Date: Aug 7, 2006
Aperture: 2.7
ISO: 200
Shutter: 15s
Galleries: Sky, Landscape
Date Uploaded: Aug 18, 2006

The night view across the Italian Val Ferret from Rifugio Bonatti, a "hut" that's more like a large hostel. Take the cable car from Chamonix, France toward Courmayeur, Italy, hop the bus up the valley, hike steeply uphill for an hour, and there you are.

From past experience I knew a 15s exposure would get me something good at ISO 200; although this camera can do ISO 400, it's even noisier.

This was Europe in the summer, so there was enough light even at 10:30 pm for me to see where things were with my eyes. However, I couldn't see anything through the viewfinder, so I put my camera on a bench, pointed it across the valley, and hoped.

There were two other takes that showed more mountains or more sky, but I liked this balance the best. I wish the full Big Dipper were visible, but the last star is hidden by the clouds. After three shots, I got my low-battery warning and called it a night.

We stayed here the first night of our 5-day hike. It was even more spectacular than the photos in my Alps collection show.

And the hike itself was very special - it was exactly halfway between my friend's and my 40th birthdays (he's 15 months older, heh) and 25 years to the month that we've been friends.

I highly recommend hut-to-hut hiking - no sleeping bag or pad, tent, stove, cooking gear. Just clothes, a first aid kit, water, and lunch each day.

Editing: auto-levels, noise reduction, then I split the sky from the mountains. In the sky, I did a couple more cycles of sharpening (which brought out the dimmer stars) and noise reduction. On the mountains, I did more noise reduction on the right half with the snow, but left the darker left half alone. Resized and flattened the two pieces together again without moving anything, then cloned out some minor sharpening halo on one part of the mountains and a blue pixel or two here and there.

One important note: I didn't create any stars, just brighten them to be easily seen.

This was by far the most fiddling I've done with a picture, but I figure for a free study, it's worth it!

Here's the original:
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/60000-64999/60862/120/393170.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/60000-64999/60862/120/393170.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Post-voting: YAAHHOOOOOO. What a ride all week. My finger is worn out from the update button. This one set every record for me: best score by 0.7, highest # of comments and faves during the challenge, and best percentile. And on a pic that represents an incredible trip with my oldest, best friend. What a rush! :)

Statistics
Place: 13 out of 684
Avg (all users): 6.8482
Avg (commenters): 8.4000
Avg (participants): 6.8241
Avg (non-participants): 6.9310
Views since voting: 12364
Views during voting: 369
Votes: 257
Comments: 40
Favorites: 23 (view)


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AuthorThread
01/22/2008 01:48:51 AM
oh, how i wish you'd do a step-by-step tutorial on this one for us total newbies! :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/14/2008 08:03:05 PM
Awesome shot man, great job with the lighting and exposure, very nicely done, added to faves.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/09/2007 12:48:20 AM
Amazing!!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/18/2007 07:06:02 PM
Wow Jeffrey, this is amazing.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/31/2007 11:45:57 PM
I missed this first time round, because I hadn't found DPC yet. I'm so glad you brought it to our attention. This is a wonderfully beautiful photo! I love the deep blue of the sky and the light on the mountains.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/31/2007 09:56:56 PM
Jeffrey,
I haven't commented before on this photo, but should have: it is breathtaking. No wonder you did so well in the free study! I wish you much luck in the other contests in which you entered this.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/29/2006 04:50:56 AM
Wow, you´re not kidding, this is pretty amazing.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/18/2006 02:19:00 PM
Stunning.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/17/2006 04:15:43 PM
holly crap! you did some awesome post processing work!

and what are you talking about?? this photo far outscores my best one... and this was for Aug? I have been out of it...

congrats on such a super awesome photo, esp. a 6.8 in a free study!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/27/2006 07:10:02 PM
My first reaction when I saw this was "with a PowershotS2 IS?!" It's a great camera but I had seriously brushed it off for any potential with nighttime shots. This sure proves me wrong. Excellent work on the original capture and the post processing.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/10/2006 11:58:22 PM
The beauty of the night! Congratulations on your top twenty finish.

Message edited by author 2006-09-11 00:45:46.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/10/2006 02:56:15 AM
Congratulations to my son, Jeffrey, on a beautiful photo! You deserve all the praise you get.
Mom
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2006 02:41:31 AM
Congrats on so many levels :D A wonderful, wonderful shot.....
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/08/2006 04:56:30 PM
Congratulations on your top 20 finish. Great capture!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/08/2006 11:39:09 AM
Beautiful! Congrats on the great score.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/08/2006 06:40:39 AM
I didn't have time to make it through all the entries and I can't believe I missed this. This is absolutely beautiful!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/08/2006 01:22:15 AM
Congrats on your personal best!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/08/2006 12:26:20 AM
Dang!! 14th out of 679!! Awesome! Congratulations!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/08/2006 12:17:37 AM
Jeffrey, I can't beLIEVE this photo is yours! This was absolutely my favorite photo in this challenge. I can not believe its not one of the top 3!!! In fact, it has stayed in my mind and inspired me to attempt to get something like this when we are in the Rockies in a week or so. This is one of my favorites of my favorites photos!!! I love the story of how you got it. I would buy this if you made it a print!!!

And even tho it should have won -- it's still awesome to have finished so strong in a challenge like this!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
09/07/2006 05:07:40 PM
8. nice and simple, but dramatic as well.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/07/2006 02:15:20 PM
awesome, you earned a 10!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/06/2006 07:33:04 PM
Wow, this almost looks unreal. Very beautiful.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/05/2006 03:26:25 PM
wonderful! 10!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/04/2006 11:06:23 PM
Technical: wow...the contrast, lighting, coloring, composition...its all awesome!!!
Creativity: very creative...i just love this shot...i hope it ribbons!!!
Score: 10 and adding to favorites...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/04/2006 01:03:38 PM
very nice capture. such a beautiful sky.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/04/2006 07:20:34 AM
Wow, nice starry sky. Beautiful clarity
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/03/2006 07:34:12 PM
wow. thats a ton of stars. realy really beautiful. i hope to see something like that in real life someday. 7
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/03/2006 06:11:39 PM
paint your palette blue and grey, look out on a summer's day &c &c
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/03/2006 06:08:46 AM
Wow this is beautiful! I love starry pictures. I like the blue sky and the grea mountain!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/02/2006 11:15:06 PM
Amazing! Congratulations on a great capture!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/02/2006 04:26:41 AM
Wow, It looks so unrealistic but at the same time very beautiful. The lighting is so mysterious. It's like it's taken during the day but the stars make it look like it's taken at night. Maybe the stars are just a lot of hot pixels.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/02/2006 12:28:54 AM
Absolutely beatiful! Great comp and tones.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/01/2006 10:34:26 PM
Simply beautiful. (8)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/01/2006 08:11:38 PM
It is like a dream.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/01/2006 05:56:52 PM
This is something DPC'ers will just love!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/01/2006 03:54:11 PM
Really nice. What was the elevation? 8.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/01/2006 03:24:40 PM
This photo is absolutely one of the most awesome photos I've ever seen. It is flawless perfection in every way: technically, and most definitely in wow factor appeal! I am way into the voting now, and this will be only my 3rd 10. And if you just notice your number of favorites having just gone up one. . ..that would be me! :) WOW!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/01/2006 04:38:38 AM
Gorgeous shot!
I'll be looking for this after it's over to see the exposure data.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/01/2006 03:13:45 AM
too many clones
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/01/2006 12:49:08 AM
no way! awesome, it looks unreal! wow...great image
  Photographer found comment helpful.


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