Forget everything you know about how to process a photograph, because when it comes to post-processing Milky Way photography, nothing is the same.
You’ll make adjustments to sliders that you would never dream of making when editing a regular landscape photograph, but don’t worry, with Milky Way processing, it’s 100% acceptable.
The rules change, but the principles remain the same, so let’s have a look at the seven settings you must use:
The Graduated Filter
When processing a photo in Adobe Lightroom, it’s always best to start at the top of the develop window, and for the majority of my Milky Way photography, I find that that involves using a graduated filter for colour correction.
In the photo below I’ve added a blue graduated filter to the right side of the image, and you can see a very clear difference.
The graduated filter has removed the orange glow from the horizon, which is there as a product of light pollution from hundreds of miles away.
But using a graduated filter, you can apply the colour correction to the affected area while leaving the rest of the photo untouched.