Milky Way Over Mount Rainier
Long exposures with digital cameras and post-processing software make pictures like this possible. With the naked eye it is obvious that one is looking at the Milky Way. There is a denser line of stars and a faint cloudiness along that line. The camera sensor sees the same thing as my eyes (in a manner of speaking) but as the shutter stays open longer, the strength of the light signal on the sensor accumulates and small points of light that our eyes cannot see are now recorded by the sensor electronics. Finally, with software like Adobe's Lightroom, I can increase the whites, decrease contrast, which shows even more points of light, and also remove the traces of yellow light pollution from cities far in the distance. Then, last of all, because I have increased the gain of the electronic sensor to capture this light, I have to use the software to reduce the noise that is added to the image by the gain.