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#AskPS: Should I get a light pollution filter?

T asked:

I am a beginner in astrophotography and want to improve Milky Way photos but I live in an area where I have some light pollution. I have found on the web, light pollution filters like NISI natural night: http://en.nisifilters.com/nisi-natural-night-filter: what do you think about that? Do you have some experience using this type of filter? The investment is a little high (filter holder and filter is around 680 Euros) I shoot with a Canon EOS 6D Mark II and a Sigma 14 mm F1.8 DG HSM Art. I have also started to use Lightroom and I find it difficult to deal with Light pollution in post processing.

Thanks a lot for the advice you could give me on filters and also post processing tips.

Best regards,
-T


I had an LP filter way back in the day, but I used it once, then never again. It can help to reduce some of the LP, but I find that spending money to rather take a drive away from the light pollution can produce much better results!
 
Note that is just my opinion, it may change one day…
 
As for dealing with LP in post, the best thing to usually do is play with the color temperature a lot until you can find that point where it isn’t “brown/red” anymore. Closer to a blue/purple. The more LP there is, the colder the color temperature needs to be. For example, I’ll shoot/edit ~2900K in the city, and ~4600K+ in dark skies. But, remember you can change it after the the fact in post, as long as you shoot raw.
 
So, remember to always shoot raw!
 
Hope that helps a little!
 
Cheers,
Cory

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About the author

Cory Schmitz

Co-founder of PhotographingSpace.com, co-owner of several telescopes and mounts, too many cameras, and not enough hard drives, Cory is an American expat living in South Africa with his wife, Tanja Schmitz.

An avid astrophotographer for timelapse, deep-space imaging, lunar, planetary, and star trail imagery, he is an all-around jack-of-most-trades for night-sky photography.

He is also an internationally published and commissioned astrophotographer, where his photos have been used in multiple online and print publications.

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