The Milky Way from Chimney Rock, Red River Gorge

The Milky Way as seen from Chimney Rock, Red River Gorge, Kentucky.

This past Thursday I met up with my buddy Josh Lowe and headed out to Chimney Rock in Kentucky’s Red River Gorge to shoot the Milky Way. Other than a few clouds along the horizon, conditions turned out pretty great!

The Shot

This shot was captured with my usual setup, a Canon 70D with my Sigma 10-20 f/3.5 @ 10mm. The sky is made up of 15 images stacked in Starry Landscape Stacker. Each sky frame is shot at ISO 10,000, f/3.5, with a 20-second exposure. This shutter speed technically introduces a slight bit of star trailing, but the sharpness is still acceptable.

The foreground is a single shot taken at ISO 800, f/4.5, with a 884-second exposure. The images were combined using layer masks in Photoshop.

I ended up doing quite a bit of processing to get the Milky Way to a point where I was happy with it. I intend to make some tutorials on this here soon, but I’m happy to try and answer any questions you might have in the meantime!

About the Author

Adam Thompson, better known online as The Serial Photog, is a Kentucky based landscape photographer specializing in capturing the beauty of Appalachia. Many years of experience in backcountry travel, including time spent volunteering with search and rescue, has made Adam feel quite at home in the wilderness.

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