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Star Stories
Tales from the dark skies of Tenerife, brought to you by the guides of the stars!
Astrophotography Special – Blending
By Peter Louer, your guide to the dark skies of Tenerife.

Well another week has passed and we have seen the first snow of the year on Teide.  We also managed to get a Lunar Eclipse in as well as some fantastic nights stargazing in the Dark Skies of the National Park.  Today’s Blog has been written by our very own Peter Louer and he explains some great techniques for blending.  Keep an eye out for more details coming soon about an astrophotography course held by us here in Tenerife with Peter Louer to be held over the Easter Bank Holiday in the UK for beginners to intermediates.  This is a great opportunity to work with someone with years of experience in astrophotography who has worked for the BBC’s Sky At Night magazine.  So that’s it from me this week folks I’m back next week with some more star stories! Keep watching the night sky, Kieran.

“Blood moon risin’ in a sky of black dust, tell me baby, who do you trust”

– Bruce Springsteen – The Fuse

Blending Photos Last Monday was a great time for Astrophotographers, we had a Lunar Eclipse fully visible from here in Tenerife which not only gave us some fabulous opportunities to shoot the dark red Moon but also to take shots of the moon with the background stars visible which is not normally possible due to the brightness of the full Moon. The background stars are still fairly faint and normally you would tend to use a long exposure to really bring them out but this overexposes the Moon, so to achieve a good balance I have used a technique called blending, quiet simply I have processed the RAW file twice the first for the Moon and the second to bring out the background stars.

I then copied the Moon image and pasted it on to the star image.  This is effectively laying the moon image on top of the star image thus blocking out the star image I then added an inverted mask.  This makes the pasted Moon Image transparent so that the star image shows through, then all I have to do is use the brush tool to make the actual Moon opaque, thus the stars shine through from below whilst the correct image of the moon blocks out the over exposed moon giving us a well balanced final photo.

All today’s Photo’s were taken by myself from Tenerife.  I look forward to seeing you all on our Astrophotogrpahy 3 day course at Easter.

As usual any questions, just ask Until next time Peter.

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