Krakow Wawel with Milky Way Filip Gawronski

Landscape Night-Photography Composit

This time i wanted to try a first, simple photography composit out of two photos. I made a pretty decent shot two days ago. It is a night shot taken at the riverside of the river Vistula in Krakow, Poland. Unfortunately, like in all bigger cities, the sky is containing almost no stars. So i decided to give it a try, and replace the sky with one of my milky way shots, which i also have done recently in the polish countryside.

The whole process did not take longer than 30 minutes. As a base file to work on i took the before in Lightroom prepared foreground photo with the river and the boat, which you can see above. Then i imported the raw file of the sky out of Lightroom into photoshop as a seperate file. Within this file i duplicated the layer on top of the first, foreground file.\r\n\r\nNow, having both layers in one photoshop file i just had to move the sky-layer in the correct position, then i started to lower the opacity of this layer. Immediately i started to see, how my image started to become more interesting. Finally i kept the opacity of the sky-layer at 58%. Below you can see the sky photo as imported from Lightroom.

Of course i needed the stars as a reflection in the water. I made this by copying ang flipping upside down the sky layer. Then just brought into position. The final step was masking out the areas, where the sky should not be visible: The foreground, the grass, the boat and all the buildings on the other side of the river. This process took most of the time, and i believe, i could do it a little better by spending even more time. Create a layer mask on your sky layer and mask it out by taking a brush with around 30% opacity, 100% flow and painting on it in black. To make the stars visible again, change to white color and go on painting. The same thing fot the water reflection. The opacity of the water reflection i left at 35%. Way lower than the main sky. I did this because i wanted to appear it more real. The reflection in the water should not be too crisp because of the water movement.