Learn How to Make Your Milky Way Photos Pop and Glow!


Are you ready to take your Milky Way photos to the next level? Check out a few of my favorite methods for making the Milky Way pop and glow! Here’s a simple glow effect you can try in Photoshop. Follow along in the video or written steps below:

  1. Add a levels adjustment layer to the top of your layer stack.
  2. Set the blend mode of that adjustment layer to Overlay.
  3. Adjust the levels sliders to taste, shoot for a look where most of the sky is dark but the Milky Way is very bright. It should look harsh and weird at this point, but that’s ok!
  4. Merge all the visible layers to a new layer, keeping the rest of your layers in tact.
  5. Disable or remove the levels adjustment layer created in step 2.
  6. Apply a Gaussian Blur to the new merge visible layer, try a radius of somewhere between 20 – 40 pixels or higher, it should look soft and blurry but not so blurry that that you can’t even recognize the Milky Way anymore.
  7. Change the blend mode of the blurred layer to Soft Light and adjust the opacity of that layer to taste.
  8. Your image should now have a lot more contrast and a soft glow! Mask out the foreground as needed if it’s being effected too much.

Are you excited to learn more? Read on!

I’m very excited to announce the release of my new video tutorial, Creative Edits Volume 2: Making The Milky Way Pop!

This new video course builds on my previous Creative Edits Volume 1 video by using advanced techniques in Photoshop to really make the Milky Way pop and glow. This video course assumes a working knowledge of Photoshop but should be useful for people of any skill level.

Here is a quick preview video that show’s what’s included in this course:

Topics include:

  • Creative editing examples with 3 images in Photoshop
  • An explanation of the blend modes we’ll use
  • Using levels adjustments in Photoshop
  • Using levels with blend modes
  • Using orton effects to create glow
  • Using Adobe Camera Raw as a smart filter in Photoshop
  • Advanced masking techniques to control edits
  • Protecting the stars from getting lost or blown out in the edits

The runtime for this new video course is 52 minutes spread across 5 video chapters.

You can learn more about the video at the following link:

I also have other tutorials available and bundle discounts on multiple videos. See them all at my website: http://www.adamwoodworth.com

Adam Woodworth is a landscape photographer, award-winning filmmaker and software engineer. He has had a love of photography for most of his life and one of his main focuses is landscape astrophotography. His earliest memory of gazing up in awe at the night sky was as a child in a canoe on a lake in Maine, fishing at night. The intensity of the star-filled sky in such a peaceful spot was a powerful experience, and now he enjoys sharing that experience through his photography. Follow him on Instagram as @awoodworthphoto.