I traveled out here to shoot the Galactic Core. I had high hopes that I could at least partly eliminate the ambient light from the bay area. Finding a "dark sky" anywhere in California is a real challenge. I picked a moonless night too. Alas, "true dark" was not to be. SF alone cast a heavy enough glow to make capture difficult and post-processing rather extreme. The Shots of the core are extensive post-processing to highlight the core and eliminate what ambient light I could so that the core showed through. You can see that I used two themes in post-processing, one cool and one a bit warmer.
I arrived here in the late afternoon, so I got some daylight shots in. This turned out to be a challenge, too, as the sun settled until it got below the sparse cloud cover. It was casting some strange colors on my sensors. White balance and glare were a real bother. Again post-processing played a significant role in cleaning up those images.
Image-making isn't just a point-and-shoot project. On a not-so-perfect image-making day, so much depends on how well you can manipulate the data your camera collects. Everything is there in the original image. You have to tweak it here and there to highlight the good and eliminate the bad as much as possible. This capacity to manipulate the data in post-processing is probably the most impactful property of digital photography. A couple of years later and my skills in Photoshop are greatly improved. This time though, I have what I think are far superior images than when I first processed them back in 2018
Nikon D850 DSLR
Tamron: SP 15-30mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 | SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 | SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2