Starry Landscape Stacker is a popular, Mac only, program that allows you to stack landscape images that include a starry night sky to reduce noise and enhance detail. It has been my personal choice of stacking software for some time now. Let’s check out what is new with version 1.7!
The are two major updates in version 1.7. The first update being with the sky mask itself. You now have the option to have a sky mask with islands of sky or one without islands of sky. An island of sky might consist of those pesky gaps of stars between tree branches or gaps between bridges or other foreground objects that have gaps allowing stars to shine through.
The second biggest change comes with the stacking algorithm itself. You now have six options: Min Horizon Noise, Min Horizon Star Duplication, Mean Min Horizon Noise, Mean Min Horizon Star Duplication, Max Value and Min Value. The star duplication (dupe) feature is another useful feature to help maintain pin point stars in difficult areas, such as between tree branches, where normal attempts might produce a star trail.The Min horizon noise option will be the best in most situations but you can always save more than one version and blend them later in photoshop or similar post processing software.
I tested it with some of my images that contained trees and the final result was pretty good. Not perfect, but still a worthy improvement! If you use Starry Landscape Stacker let us know your thoughts on the newest update. Also, what features would you like to see in the future?
Watch the full video on YouTube to see the developor demonstrate the new masking and stacking options.