Moonlit Butte for star treatment

JimFox

Moderator
Staff member
Hi Jim, I think one problem is that many of the stars are blue, and don't get selected. My problem with the second selection is that when I go into select, the choices are greyed out. I think I need to do something to finish the first selection. I have never done a two step selection I usually finish with a save to new layer.

I need to start over and do this operation before I add any global Topaz steps. In fact, I need to keep the Topaz steps away from the sky. I will play some more but I have a ton of stuff to process first, so maybe later, and posting it to critique is a great idea. Maybe I will just do that first.
Hey Ben,

First off, you aren't selecting blue stars. This method won't select every single star in the sky. It's using the Color Range tool, which means it selects based on color. So you are selecting "whitish" colored stars. If you want to select blue/cyan colored stars you would do it a second time, but because the sky is blue/cyan it will take some careful layer masking. But I almost always just use the white stars.

2nd, you are making the first large selection for the area in the sky the stars are in, then you are making that into the top layer mask.

(The selection disappears since you made it into a Layer Mask)

3rd, then on the middle layer you are making a selection of just the stars with the Color Range tool, and turning that into a layer mask.

4th, the bottom layer you brighten to make the stars shine more.

One second, I will add a screen shot from my iPhone.

C37665D9-AB9F-473B-9866-8098C1C18E3C.jpeg
 

JimFox

Moderator
Staff member
With a full moon, so many stars are washed out, so the best you can do is bring out the brighter stars that were in the sky. It's actually kind of cool because this let's you see the Constellations better without all of the other background stars.

Just using your jpg, since it was such low resolution I had to go to 200% for the stars to be big enough, but I could see and click on the stars.

Again, one sec, let me upload another from my iPhone.

EC54275E-F137-4647-A443-F8E84A836C3F.jpeg


At 200% this is what I see towards the middle right. The stars are plenty bright enough to see. If you go back to your higher resolution version you were editing the stars would be plenty easy to select at just 100%.
 

Ben Egbert

Forum Helper
Staff member
Thanks Jim. I was making layer copies instead of layer masks. I am not sure I have ever done this before. I also had the preview turned off so it did not look like anything was selected. As soon as I turned it on, I could see the stars. I did not get as large a selection as you did but it did work. Here is my version.

200505-12690-5DS R copy star.jpg
 

JimFox

Moderator
Staff member
It looks like you did good Ben!

I am glad you worked through the issues.

With a bright moon light you aren't going to get a lot of stars, but having some be visible like that I think adds a lot to the photo.
 

Ben Egbert

Forum Helper
Staff member
Thanks for staying with me Jim. I am sometimes not so good at reading instructions. All I had to do was read.
 
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