White balance for astro shots

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by walter_j, Mar 24, 2016.

  1. walter_j

    walter_j Mu-43 Veteran

    365
    Sep 10, 2013
    Hagwilget, B.C., Canada
    Walter
    Whats the proper way to get the colour right for astro shots? It seems like I get such a range of blues that I have no idea what the proper one should be. Auto white balance seems to make things worse. Any tips?
     
  2. robcee

    robcee Mu-43 Veteran

    289
    Jan 10, 2016
    Toronto
    Rob Campbell
    "it's complicated." :)

    In general, I usually drift between 3800 and 5000K with boosted magentas. Stars, like our sun are around 5500K but that tends to make everything too red and enhances the inevitable chrome noise we get from shooting high ISO.

    Try 5000K as a starting point and go from there. It's a subjective thing. I like a little blue in my sky. Also, give the color saturation sliders a try for more creative effects. Shadow/Highlight toning can be effective as well. Depends on how much realism you're going for.
     
  3. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    For artistic effect you can make it whatever colour you desire, but a properly dark sky should not be blue - the actual colour is a fairy neutral gray around 4600 - 5000 K, but with light pollution it will inevitably have a graduated orange cast which is also undesirable and might require compensation for. The Milky Way dust clouds should at least look somewhat brown in areas, not completely blue in shade.
     
  4. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Mu-43 Top Veteran

    655
    Mar 21, 2013
    N Essex, UK
    Mike
    It's known that the majority of stars are dim & red compared to our sun, but the brightest are generally blue, so the visible stars may well be more blue than red.
    I'd use a sunny or cloudy setting as a starting point, as their isn't a simple correct answer. If working with RAW (probably best for astro shots) I'd go with wjiang & adjust the WB based on the background sky...