The Milky Way Through A River Gorge

Photographer Adam Woodworth captures the Milky Way between the walls of a gorge on the Bay of Fundy
The Milky Way over a River Gorge

Nikon Z 7, FTZ Mount Adapter with AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm F2.8G ED.

The Milky Way on the coast of the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick.

It might be hard to tell in a small online image, but the white dots in the largest pothole in the rocks closest to the lens are reflections of the stars.

This is one of those shots that had been a year in the making. The timing didn’t work out for me last year, but this year I got lucky with a clear night after some heavy rain and wind storms came through the Canadian Maritimes.

Technical Details

Camera and lens: Nikon Z 7 with FTZ lens adapter and AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm F2.8G ED lens at 14mm and ƒ/2.8 for all shots.

Sky Exposure: Star stack of 20 exposures at ISO 3200, 8 seconds each. The exposures were stacked for pinpoint stars and low noise in Starry Landscape Stacker for Mac (you can do this on Windows using Sequator). I processed the stack twice, once for the sky and another time using the foreground pool of water in the pothole for the star reflections. I used the pool as the “sky mask” so that Starry Landscape Stacker would align and average the stars in the pool. In both cases the results are pinpoint stars and low noise.

Foreground Exposure: Focus stack from three separate exposures, each at ISO 1600 for 10 minutes.

The resulting sky star stack, reflection star stack, and all three foreground exposures were blended in Photoshop for low noise and depth of field.


Learn more about Milky Way shooting & editing techniques through tutorials available at Adam’s website, www.adamwoodworth.com, and follow him on Instagram as @awoodworthphoto.

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.
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