Anyone ever seen those beautiful images of constellations, such as Orion, with the stars showing some nice, sharp diffraction spikes, a very deep exposure, and beautiful glowing stars as the main constellation?
Well, I tried my hand at that but was less than successful. With the lens I used, the longest exposure I could take without having star trails was about 4 seconds. So I stacked 34 4-second exposures to make my image. I was expecting to get a lot of luminosity range in the stars, but Boulder city lights - while not as bad as Cleveland, OH - are not great when trying to get deep shots.
So below I'm attaching two versions. One shows the un-doctored image. I still cleaned it up, adjusted levels, curves, got rid of skyglow as best I could, etc.
The second is doctored. I really emphasized the color saturation of blue and red, and I added some fake diffraction spikes by using PhotoShop's Smudge tool.
I'd be curious to know what people think and which they like more. And if there's any advice for doing better.