I am new to photography. I like the Ubuntu 14.04 forever wallpaper the most.

Photo of hills and a night sky

I am interested in developing similar photography (or a similar technique, if any). How can this be accomplished? Does the location need to meet certain criteria? What kind of editing is needed?

  • \$\begingroup\$ The link is dead. \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Aug 12, 2015 at 23:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's not only about location here. It's also about how this kind of photography developed or can be learned. If photography is special kind then enthusiastic person should know first where to start from. That's what I tried to ask here \$\endgroup\$
    – S S
    Oct 13, 2015 at 11:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ I asked to where one should go to take this kind of photography. Let me know if you feel that it should be edited. \$\endgroup\$
    – S S
    Oct 13, 2015 at 13:07

3 Answers 3


According to author's annotation to the image at 500px, it was taken in desert of Medina, Kuwait. It was submitted for inclusion with Ubuntu by someone else, and luckily the Albanian photographer Shady S. was happy to give his permission.

More generally, you'll need a location with no light pollution from surroundings. Technique-wise, have a look at already excellent answers on capturing the Milky Way and its colors.

  • \$\begingroup\$ find a dark place near you: lightpollutionmap.info \$\endgroup\$
    – null
    Aug 12, 2015 at 11:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Imre, This image is edited (not all natural) isn't it? \$\endgroup\$
    – Pacerier
    Oct 19, 2015 at 13:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Pacerier it's hard to tell, but I don't see any obvious tells of heavy post-processing. There's a fair amount of noise. As AJ Henderson mentions in his answer, it could be just some basic color touch-up. \$\endgroup\$
    – Imre
    Oct 19, 2015 at 15:00

To capture images like this you will need

  • The night of a new moon (the moon will wash out the image otherwise). You may be able to get away with a sliver of a moon as well.
  • Log exposure, I usually opt for below the 30 second range so that you wont see star trails. Unless you are trying to shoot star trails they are fun as well.
  • A tripod or something to mount the camera on. When doing long exposures you need the camera to be still. The only way to do this is with a tripod or other similar mount.
  • If you want to get really fancy you can build an equatorial mount to track the sky. The simplest version of this is a Barn Door Tracker. Basically these mounts move the camera in order to counter the earths rotation.
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks Dave.. It was really hard to decide to whom I should make it as accepted answer. Your answer is also very useful for newbie like me. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – S S
    Aug 14, 2015 at 4:32

This particular image may well be direct out of camera with only some basic color touch up. The only limitation on location is that it needs to be a dark area with the milky way overhead at the position you want and the moon should be mostly dark to avoid light pollution. It also needs to be a clear night obviously.

You use a long exposure on a tripod. You can tell this image was a long exposure from the trail on the left of the image which shows the travel of either an airplane or a shooting star.

The red on the side is likely a source of light pollution located off camera. Long exposure photography, especially when set this sensitively, is EXTREMELY susceptible to color fringing from external light sources. It could also be caused intentionally by introducing an external light source to the area.

Then it is just a matter of working your exposure curves carefully in post to bring out the details and contrast at the right parts of the image.


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