path to tannhorn

Hiking the Brienzergrat

From Brünigpass to Interlaken via Brienzergrat

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Estimated reading time < 10 minutes


Prologue


The vastness of the “Brienzergrat”, I watch it’s mighty peaks every day when I look outside the window at home. In Fall last year I thought about how it would feel to walk the complete ridge from Brünigpass to Interlaken. However, was this even possible for me in only one day? I hike a lot for my photography trips, but I am no athlete.

Eventually, I might have gotten inspired by the Audiobook of David Goggins:

“When your mind is telling you you’re done, you’re only 40 percent done.”

Therefore, it was time to push myself a little further, and this iconic hike made it to my list for summer 2019.

From Brünigpass via Wilerhorn and Harder Kulm to Interlaken, I calculated a Distance of 40km and 3000 meters of altitude. That implied a walking time of 16 hours.

Preparation


Training

I am usually in the mountains for photography reasons, and therefore I am somehow used to marching. However, this tour was already a little advanced stuff for me. Hence, to ensure that I will be able to complete this mission, I started training on the hiking trails in my home area. I bought a trail running shoe and tried to become faster. Without my camera gear, I reduced the weight I carried by more than half. In addition, the trails on this altitude are nice and easy, so I figured a light shoe would be the best choice for this.

I was able to ask some friends that already did this hike for some advice and tips. In addition, there were some reports online, which helped me out too, although most of them were only covering parts of the whole distance.

Water

The big question for this tour was the amount of water I had to carry. There could be found water between the starting point and Wilerhorn, then again on Brienzer Rothorn. However, from there, when the path follows the ridge, there is no access to water without taking big detours. Carrying more water means more weight, so I decided to go with only 2.5 liters.

Outdooractive

To plan my tours, I always use Outdooractive planer. The desktop version allows you to plan waypoints easily. Synchronized with a smartphone, the tours are still accessible, and there is a feature to track the hike.

Additionally, Outdooractive is a huge community. Planned tours can be shared and downloaded, and if you browse the site, you will find a lot of inspiration for hiking trips.

With the discount code, I can share with you especially for the publication of this post, you’ll get a €10 price-reduction on the paid pro versions of the app. These versions allow the offline use of saved tours, and there are more professional maps (satellite / topo) available.

>> test pro for 30 days << | coupon code: PAEDIIL10P


What I carried with me

Just a quick list of what I took with me.

The links take you to my partners of Bergzeit online shop. Check out their online-magazine for gear review and stories from the mountains.

Hiking the Brienzergrat

Lumix TZ202

So that I did not have to do this hike without any camera at all, Lumix Switzerland sent me a travel camera for a month of testing.

It fits into the belt pocket of my backpack, has a zoom range from 24-360 mm, and the typical Lumix menu made it easy to use from the beginning. Read my review on the TZ202 and find out how the camera puts up.

Lumix TZ202

The Hike


The waypoints [A]-[P] correspond with the waypoints on the map.

I did not plan the exact day for the hike. First, I had to become fit enough. The second weekend of August seemed to be perfect weather conditions. Warm, dry, and no storms were predicted. Spontaneously, I decided to hike the first part to Brienzer Rothorn, and if I feel good on top, I might try the full distance after all.

August 9th, 2019, my alarm goes off at 02:30. At 02:31, I am filling up my coffee cup and felt unexpectedly fit.

Brünigpass [A] 03:06

Shortly after 3 AM I started walking on Brünigpass. I was going at a nice pace, thanks to the cold night. At the Rothorn/Wilerhorn junction [C] I filled my bottles with water.

Wilerhorn [D] 04:46

It was pitch black when I arrived at this first peak. I was able to see some shooting stars as I took a quick break before I continued the journey. After shooing away, some cows that just started to wake up, I found myself on Gibel [E]. Here I took the direct way up the rugged ridge to Höch Gumme. Alternatively, there is a way around the ridge.

Höch Gumme [F] 05:49

Reaching the second peak at blue hour, I wished for a tripod and more time to take pictures. The sky was breathtaking.

From here, the path was easy and fast. In the distance, the first sunrays just kissed the Brienzer Rothorn. In addition, after the ascent to this peak, I was rewarded by one of the best views on this trip, overlooking Lake Brienz to the south and Central Switzerland on the opposite side.

From Wilerhorn to Höch Gumme
sunrise brienzrgrat haslital lumix tz202

Lumix TZ202 | ISO1600 | F3.3 | 1/400"

Brienzer Rothorn [G] 07.34

Leaving the viewpoint, I was looking forward to filling up my bottles. However, I found locked doors and a photographer. “Did you sleep up here?” I asked. “Sleep?” he answered, “no time for sleep; I had to take pictures.” “Right on!” I thought. We exchanged Instagram handles and chatted for a while.

Finally, the first gondola arrived, and I could enter the bathroom for some freshwater.

The Brienzer Rothorn was my first goal. I could easily take the train back home if I did not feel capable of continuing the hike. However, in my mind, I was already on Harder Kulm, so I kept going – after photographing the grazing ibexes.

The way to Chruterepass was easy so far, but this was going to change soon.

From Höch Gummen to Briefenhorn
Ibex at Brienzer Rothorn

Lumix TZ202 @123mm | ISO200 | F6.4 | 1/250"

Chruterepass [H] 08:30

On this little pass, there is the opportunity to hike down to Brienz again. Or you continue following the ridge. I started going further up, but asked myself: “Is this the path?“ A few minutes later I was back at Chruterepass and checked the map, how could you possibly go wrong on a ridge this narrow? I did some extra meters in altitude but this has to be the right track, although it looks like only the ibexes would go there. It gets more demanding and exposed from now on. From here I would not recommend going further on a wet path.

Briefenhörnli [I] 09:13

Arriving on Briefenhörnli, I quickly realized that the next big goal, and the crux of this hike, the Tannhorn, is still too far away. The distance seemed not to bother me so far, but the long exposed sections on the narrow ridge started to mess with my mind. The lack of sleep and the already 6 hours of hiking did not help me feel better here. However, I kept being super focused and arrived at the crux. I took some time to breathe before climbing up the rugged hill.

path to tannhorn

Lumix TZ202 @12mm | ISO200 | F5.6 | 1/800"

Tannhorn [J] 10:05

Finally on Tannhorn, what a view! The color of the lake was so beautiful on that day and helped to clear my mind. The next descent was again not to underrate in its steepness. However, from here on, the path gets a little more forgiving again.

On the section to Blasenhubel, I noticed a small cottage – with a running fountain [L]. A detour I was happily taking for fresh cold water. The alpine dairyman noticed me drinking and a short time later, I was had coffee in front of me. Therefore, the 30 minutes detour turned into a 60 minutes coffee party — what a motivation boost. Strengthened I hiked back up to the ridge again.

From Briefenhorn to Tannhorn
The crux before Tannhorn

Augstmatthorn [N] 13:20

Soon the sound of drones brought me back from my tunnel view. The next peak must be Augstmatthorn then. Looking back to my starting point from here, so far away, I felt awesome! Now I was able to go faster again, and the trail is only going flat or descending from here. Therefore, I jogged a longer distance, although there’s still a lot of ground to cover to Harder Kulm.

Harder Kulm [O] 15:07

Not a lot to see in comparison to the views so far. Too many people are scrambling on the viewing platform anyway, so I kept going. The last section of this hike takes you down through the steep woods. Exactly what my keens needed on that day. This sucks. However, I am almost at the finish line.

Interlaken [P] 15:58

After 12 hours and 45 minutes, I reached Interlaken. Exhausted but unbelievably happy. This was a big achievement for me and nice to see how far I can go. Except for the long exposed paths on the narrow ridge, which were a psychical burden, maybe also because I was already a little tired, I did not have any noteworthy problems. Which I am grateful for.

If you need more details or if you want to add something, do not hesitate to contact me.

From Tannhorn to Interlaken
The view back home from augstmatthorn

Image gallery


Hiking the Brienzergrat
Hiking the Brienzergrat
Panasonic Lumix TZ202
Hiking the Brienzergrat
Hiking the Brienzergrat
Hiking the Brienzergrat
Hiking the Brienzergrat
Hiking the Brienzergrat
Hiking the Brienzergrat
Hiking the Brienzergrat
Hiking the Brienzergrat
Hiking the Brienzergrat
Hiking the Brienzergrat
Hiking the Brienzergrat
Hiking the Brienzergrat
Brienzergrat hiking

Paedii

Paedii is a Swiss-based outdoor photographer. He focuses on vast landscapes and constantly improves his own photographic style.

more about me

Thank you for your support! Some of the links that recommend products on this page are affiliate links. If you use these links for a purchase, it supports me with no additional cost for you and enables me to continue posting free content. I only recommend products that I used for an extended period of time and that I would buy again. 


panasonic lumix tz202 travel camera

Panasonic Lumix TZ202 review

Panasonic Lumix TZ202 review

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Prologue

For my hike over Brienzergrat (whole story here), I was looking for a super compact and lightweight camera. Lumix Switzerland sent me the Panasonic Lumix TZ202 (also known as TZ200 and ZS200 in other countries) for one month of testing. I had a lot of fun with it and found impressive sides, yet some negative features too.

This review is mostly an honest field test and reflects my experience with the camera. I do not have a laboratory to test out every pixel. Therefore, you will not read too much scientific stuff. For me, it is far more important how a camera feels and puts up in the outdoors.

Specs

  • Price: approx. €630
  • Weight: 340g
  • Size: 111 x 66 x 45 mm
  • Sensor: 1-inch MOS-Sensor
  • Aperture: F3,3 – 8,0 (@24mm), F6,4 – 8,0 (@360mm)
  • Resolution: 20MP RAW images
  • Zoom: 15x optical
  • Battery life: ~350 images
  • Burst: 10images/second
  • USB Chargeable

Panasonic Lumix TZ202 review

Handling

I was afraid that a camera this small would not be easy to operate. And of course, it is not as fast and intuitive to handle as the G9 for example. However, I was surprised how quickly I got the hang of it. It feels built solid and high quality. Like on all the new Lumix cameras, most of the buttons can be customized with a long press. I really love this. Everybody has a different photography style and needs different features. For example, I shoot exposure brackets a lot, so this feature goes to quick access on my camera. 

The TZ202 is a little wider and heavier than a smartphone, but it still fits in every pocket. Therefore, I mostly had it in the front pocket of my backpack. This way it is always and quickly accessible, even if you are roped up, climbing or on the run.

Panasonic Lumix TZ202 review

Display

The touch-display is almost as big as the camera, which is important to me as I shoot by using the display a lot. It is too bad the screen is fixed and cannot be tilted, so low angle shots are somehow complicated. In addition, if you’re into selfies, this might be a problem.

Burst

For sports images, I need a solid burst function, so we tested it on a trail running shooting, which is where the burst mode and focus speed shined. The camera shot 10 RAW images per second, for 30 images, and then it had a cool downtime for a couple of seconds to clear the buffer and saving the images to the SD-card. I found this to be enough for this purpose and ok for a camera of this size.

In addition, all images in this post are shot with autofocus. It has never let me down and was quick in good light, but it took some time in the twilight.

Panasonic Lumix TZ202 trail running

Trail running

Lumix TZ202 @50mm | ISO200 | F6.3 | 1/800"

Panasonic Lumix TZ202 review

Panasonic Lumix TZ202 trail running

Lumix TZ202 @33mm | ISO200 | F5 | 1/2000"

Image quality

I only shot RAW. Because there is no reason why you should shoot JPEG, you only lose a lot of image quality. Lightroom is easy to learn, and you will get so much better images if you shoot RAW.

The 1-inch sensor gave me good image quality up to ISO 800, and I even had some good low-light handheld shots at ISO 1600.

There is some noticeable noise at lower ISO too, but it can be corrected easily in Lightroom. I love post-processing, and I was truly impressed by how far I was able to push the RAW files, that was unexpected. Shadows could be recovered really well, so I went hardcore in photoshop on those two pictures from the glacier landscape. In addition, the sharpness in the image was good, although it felt a little softer on the edges and on higher zoom ranges. However, it is a 24-360mm lens, how could I complain?

Panasonic Lumix TZ202 review

Sharpness - uncropped

Lumix TZ202 @75mm | ISO400 | F6.4 | 1/1250"

Panasonic Lumix TZ202 review

Sharpness - cropped

Lumix TZ202 @75mm | ISO400 | F6.4 | 1/1250"

panasonic lumix tz202 review

Glacial landscape

Lumix TZ202 @24mm | ISO200 | F5.6 | 1/800"

panasonic lumix tz202 review

Glacial landscape

Lumix TZ202 @24mm | ISO200 | F5.6 | 1/1000"

Pros

  • Small
  • Lightweight
  • Massive zoom range
  • Impressive image quality
  • USB chargeable
  • RAW files can be pushed a lot

Cons

  • Fixed screen
  • Quality drops in low light

Who is this camera for?

The Lumix TZ202 is awesome as a travel camera for your next city trip or holidays. If you’re into alpine sports, like skiing, trail running, mountaineering or climbing, it will fit in your pocket without bothering too much, never missing those epic moments. The Image quality is really nice for a camera of this size, and you’ll get print quality in good light.

For bloggers or just for social media usage, this is, of course, a perfect fit as well.

For professional assignments where you need to be as fast as possible and where you need the best image quality possible, I would only have it with me as a backup though.

Panasonic Lumix TZ202 review

Ice cave

Lumix TZ202 @24mm | ISO800 | F3.3 | 1/50"

Conclusion

I wish I could keep it. For hiking or “behind the scenes” shots, this would be an awesome little helper for me. Set up, I was able to give it to friends or anyone to take pictures of me too.

Let me know in the comments if you have further questions, suggestions for the next post or criticism. Or contact me directly.

>> Link to the shop <<

Sample images gallery


Paedii

Paedii is a Swiss-based outdoor photographer. He focuses on vast landscapes and constantly improves his own photographic style.

more about me

Thank you for your support! Some of the links that recommend products on this page are affiliate links. If you use these links for a purchase, it supports me with no additional cost for you and enables me to continue posting free content. I only recommend products that I used for an extended period of time and that I would buy again. 


landscape-photography-plpictures-sunrise-lucerne

Photography trip to Pilatus

Photography trip to Pilatus Mountain in Switzerland

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Prologue


The Pilatus Mountain is deservedly one of the best-known viewpoints of Switzerland.

The view over Lake Lucerne, as the sun gently rose on the horizon and the first sunrays touched my home, the Bernese Alps in the south, was an incredible feeling. We were able to capture those emotions during our photography trips to Pilatus in June and July.

landscape-photography-plpictures-bernese-alps-mountain

Bernese alps panorama

How to get there


Cableway- or cog railway

Mount Pilatus can be reached in different ways. The easiest yet nonetheless exciting option is taking the aerial cableway from Kriens. It is running all year long.

However, my favorite in summer is traveling by cog railway from Alpnachstad. One way is about 30 minutes and the perfect opportunity for a quick trip after work since it runs until late in the evening. Sitting in the historic railway, you might already see Ibexes playing on the steep slopes. Get your camera ready!

Cog Railroad pilatus schweiz
cog railroad pilatus switzerland
ibexes pilatus

Hiking

If you do not have an all too tight schedule, take one of the many hiking paths to reach the top. The ascent is not really technical, but long. For the 1600 meters in altitude, plan about 5 hours if you want to take pictures on the way up. I always plan my trips with the Outdooractive App. Hikes can be planned, saved, and shared on your Desktop. Synchronized with your smartphone, the path can be tracked offline. You can also download my tour to your account.

Photography tips


Viewpoint "Esel"

You can already take nice pictures from the platform next to the Hotel. However, a quick stroll of 10 minutes takes you to one of the higher viewpoints and an even better overview of central Switzerland.
Sunsets are photographed the best from the viewpoint “Esel” to the southeast of Hotel Bellevue. I feel like this is the best view on Lake Lucerne. Additionally, the path up the hill makes a perfect compositional element for wide images. I chose a small aperture of F/18 so that I got a nice sunburst. The sun was rising fast and no time for a tripod. Luckily the stabilization of my G9 helped me with the handheld exposure of 1/8″.

If you brought a telelens – I always keep my small Lumix 45-175 mm in my bag – there is a nice opportunity for layer shots of the mountains. The rising sun fills the valleys with beautiful warm light.
A telelens is necessary on Pilatus, because there are many Ibexes up here. If you are lucky or patient enough, you might even photograph them standing on an exposed ridge with the city of Lucerne in the background.

landscape-photography-plpictures-sunrise-pilatus

Sunrise from Pilatus

Lumix G9 | Olympus 7-14 @7mm | ISO200 | F18 |1/8"

pilatus morning light layers mountains lucerne

Mountain Layers

ibex on pilatus sitzerland

Ibex

Lumix G9 | Lumix 45-175mm @175mm | ISO800 | F5.6 | 1/400"

Viewpoint "Oberhaupt"

On the opposite side, there’s the other viewpoint “Oberhaupt”. A short walk takes you up again. Up here you will get epic panoramic shots of the hotel and City lights.

Good to know: the milky way is rising exactly behind the hotel early in summer – pretty cool. With a fast wide-angle lens, you’ll get unique astro-photographies. To compensate for the bright lights of the hotel, I shot multiple brackets and stacked them in Lightroom and Photoshop.

A quick guide on how to photograph the milky way can be found here.

milky-way-over-pilatus-lucerne

Milky way over Pilatus

Lumix G9 | Olympus 7-14mm | ISO1600 | F2.8 | 8",15",30" HDR

landscape-photography-plpictures-lucerne-pilatus

Watching Lucerne

Lumix G9 | Leica 12-60 @28mm | ISO400 | F3.6 | 3.2"

Accommodation


We stayed the night in Hotel Bellevue, this gave us the opportunity to shoot sunset and sunrise. We brought our heavy backpacks to our rooms and met up for the included dinner in the restaurant. A welcome change, since on our photo trips we usually sleep somewhere on the ground. Dinner was incredible and so was the staff. We would love to come back someday ;).

Those two trips to Pilatus were really successful and exciting. We returned with nice pictures and experiences back home.

For more details on the different offers on Pilatus, check out  www.pilatus.ch

landscape-photography-plpictures-lucerne-sunrise-pilatus

Pilatus sunrise


Personal photography-workshops

Would you like to take pictures like this? Join me in a personal photography workshop. Be it on Pilatus or somewhere else in beautiful Switzerland. I will put together an offer that absolutely fits your learning goals.

contact me

Paedii

Paedii is a Swiss-based outdoor photographer. He focuses on vast landscapes and constantly improves his own photographic style.

more about me

Thank you for your support! Some of the links that recommend products on this page are affiliate links. If you use these links for a purchase, it supports me with no additional cost for you and enables me to continue posting free content. I only recommend products that I used for an extended period of time and that I would buy again. 


How To Photograph The Milky Way

how to photograph the milky way

A guide for beginners on how to photograph the milky way

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estimated reading time < 10 minutes


Prologue


Witnessing the milky way on a dark night, maybe even sleeping the night outdoors while watching it, is something really special. And remembering those moments by taking a picture of it, is a really fun thing to do.

How good your milky way pictures are going to be, depends on many factors. I put together a quick guide that is going to help you out, even if you just bought your first camera. Let me show you my approach to planning, shooting and editing this image from Belvedere Hotel in Switzerland.

Planning time and place


Before you can actually go out and shoot, you need to know when and where the milky way is going to be visible. You can see the milky way all year around on a clear, dark night sky. However, if you want to photograph the galactic core which is the part that looks the most impressive, February to October is the best time. That’s because the milky way travels higher in the sky.

In general, the milky way rises as following throughout the year:

  • During spring it appears on the south-eastern horizon before dawn.
  • In summer, watch due south right around midnight.
  • And towards the south-west is where it rises in fall. Just after dusk.

So, usually for rough scouting, I use a map and just look for spots facing south. Later on, for more precise planning, I’ll check out the location during the day and use the PhotoPills app with its augmented reality function.

Artificial and natural light

Another important planning factor is artificial and natural light. It brightens the night sky and weakens the view on the milky way.
Avoid bigger cities close to your chosen location.

Also, watch the moon phase. The perfect time is around a new moon. But you’ll get good results too if you plan the shoot on a night with a moon setting before dark, or a moon rising in the morning.

Again, I use the PhotoPills app to calculate and plan the moon phase. Lastly, plan shooting after astronomical twilight, when it’s as dark as it gets. You’ll find this information in PhotoPills as well.

Scouting

With that in mind, you additionally want to focus on a location that doesn’t block the view on the horizon too much. Try finding an elevated place, or if you shoot from a valley, keep a distance to high mountain ranges. If you found a suitable location, optimize your success by scouting the location beforehand during daylight. This way you can try out different compositions without being under time pressure. Use the PhotoPills app, which allows you to view the night sky in augmented reality. You can try to find a subject for the foreground that makes the image even more interesting like I did with this old hotel. Though, photographing the milky way on a bare sky is already incredibly beautiful.

What should be in your bag?


Camera and lenses

Let’s talk about the tech stuff!

We’ll be shooting in really low light, so a camera with a big sensor and excellent high ISO performance will give you an advantage. Now, this doesn’t mean you need to buy the most expensive camera right away.
I use micro four-thirds crop-sensor cameras and got some decent night images so far.

For the lenses, you want to use a wide-angle lens with a large aperture like f/2.8 or f/2.

I use the Leica 12mm f/1.4 (24mm full-frame equivalent), or the Olympus 7-14 f/2.8 (14-28mm full-frame equivalent) for most of my night images.
But, when I began shooting the milky way a few years back, I even shot a portfolio piece on the cheap Samyang 7.5mm at f/3.5. So if you just started out, try using the gear you already have and evaluate what you need later on.

You can always contact me for personal help on gear. Also, take a look at my equipment page.

Other essentials

Obviously, bring warm clothes, enough batteries and a headlamp. Also pack some awesome, delicious, freshly ground coffee (coffee can be replaced by beer, although I suggest coffee, coffee is really the only thing you should not forget).

Take a good tripod with you, you’ll be shooting multiple second exposures.  Don’t buy those cheap tripods. I broke too many of those already when I started photography.
Now I’m using my Benro Travel Angel for 4 years already and it endured a lot. It’s better you make a one-time investment for a solid and lightweight carbon-fiber tripod and be happy with it for years to come.
You can also bring a remote shutter release. I use a really cheap one without a timer or any other features.

The shoot


Composition

Alright! After all this planning, let’s get to the fun part. And it’s actually the easiest part too.
If you did not scout the location in advance, get there early enough to find a good composition, check in with PhotoPills again and make sure the milky way rises at the right position. I usually frame the shot at blue hour and don’t change my camera angle anymore.
For this image, I prepared to see the core right next to the hotel. The building was put dead center because of the symmetric road. I had a wider composition planned, but the many cars arriving and parking in my shot forced me to go closer.
So always be ready to adapt and never complain about these little challenges if you chose a famous spot like this. Instead, make friends with the other photographers. Talk about their approach to the scene and try taking your best picture ;).

Settings

  • Put your camera into manual mode, which will give you full control over ISO, aperture, shutter speed and white balance.
  • Shoot in RAW if supported by your camera since shooting in RAW will help you get the most out of the picture once you edit it in post-production.
  • Keep your aperture as wide open as possible for the entire shoot (smallest F-stop number).
  • Try white balances between 3500 and 3800 if you can’t shoot in RAW. When shooting RAW images, this can be neglected (in my opinion), because it doesn’t affect the image for post-production.
  • Focus on a bright star. I usually zoom in 10x on my display, turn the focus ring so the star appears as small as possible. Then take a test shot and check if the focus is on point.

If you try out settings, keep in mind that doubling your ISO lets you reduce the shutter speed by half and vice versa, for the same exposure of the image.

To frame a shot again in the dark, you can use extreme high ISO and fast shutter speeds. The images are going to be unusable, but you don’t waste too much time finding the perfect angle. This method will also help you with finding the perfect focus quickly.

 

Use a remote shutter release or a two-second timer on your camera to snap the picture. This will prevent shaking the camera and blurring the image.

Getting the stars crisp

If you found an appealing composition, try different ISO and shutter speed settings. The wider the lens, the longer your shutter speed can be without blurring the stars too much as caused by the rotation of the earth. The display of my Lumix is very high-res, so I always zoom in and review closely, then adapt. There are rules out there letting you calculate the optimal shutter speed for every focal length. But, like always in photography, listen to your heart. If you feel like those stars are blurred too much, reduce the shutter speed and try higher ISO. Definitely try different settings so you can choose the best image in post.

As for me that day, I knew I can push my G9 to ISO 3200 max if I wanted acceptable noise. This led to a shutter speed of 15″.
The easy thing about shooting the night-sky is that you can almost always use similar settings.

Don’t forget to be in awe of the milky way for a couple of moments. This is really what it’s all about.

Post Production


Since this is meant to be a “how to” on the basics, I kept the editing rather simple. I still suggest getting RAW processing software if you want to get into photography more.

I’m really pleased with Adobe Lightroom and have been using it for 4 years now, 3 years ago I even switched to the Adobe CC photography plan and started using Photoshop too. But you might have found or will find another solution to fit your needs.

However, this is a quick overlook of how I edited this image in Lightroom only.

Tonality

After opening the Software and importing the images I filtered them in the library module. Personally, I look at all the images from the shoot and rate all images that are somehow usable with one star. Later on, I delete all unrated images forever. Then I view all the rated images again and rate the best of each set or composition as two star images and so on.
From this particular shoot, I decided to use the following RAW as a starting point:

RAW image shot on the Lumix G9 with Leica 12mm f/1.4 | iso3200 | f/1.4 | 15”

Then I switched to the develop module. For the adjustments, I prefer working from top to bottom by adjusting the white balance first, a good starting point for RAW images shot at night is around 3800K

Next, tonality. I usually bring up the shadows and play around with the sliders while I try to find a good balance between shadows and highlights. Always keep an eye on the noise and don’t push it too far, especially with low light and high-ISO images.

after basic tone adjustments

Noise reduction and sharpening

After this, I applied some noise reduction and brought some sharpness back in. Sharpness settings really depend on the style of your picture. Play around with the sliders again and watch closely what it does to the image, find a balance between acceptable noise and softness. You can try my settings as a starting point. 

Hiking the Brienzergrat Hiking the Brienzergrat

before / after noise reduction and sharpening

Selective Adjustments

Some radial filters help to adjust the most important parts. So I applied one filter only to the old hotel and brought up the exposure, so it really pops out (Find the radial filter on top of the panel).

I applied a similar procedure with the milky way. A little more brightness and contrast, supported with clarity and dehaze enhancement make the milky way look awesome.

radial filter on the hotel

radial filter on the milky way

Conclusion


Done!

I hope you got inspired and go out enjoying the night sky. To me, spending a night under the stars is one of the most special experiences and hopefully you get to feel it for yourself soon.

It was really fun writing my first ever blog post. Let me know in the comments if you have further questions, suggestions for the next post or criticism.

Also, I’d love to see what you end up with, so DM your milky way shots to my Instagram!

Additionally, if you want to step up your photography game now, consider Adobe Creative Cloud as your photo-editing software, or get yourself professional video tutorials from my friends at Digital Photography School.

Finally, here’s the shot before and after.

Hiking the Brienzergrat Hiking the Brienzergrat

before / after, RAW to final image


Paedii

Paedii is a Swiss-based outdoor photographer. He focuses on vast landscapes and constantly improves his own photographic style.

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