Please advice on raw editing techniques

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SilkWorm New Member • Posts: 21
Please advice on raw editing techniques

I am very new to raw file editing especially for night sky scene. These photos were taken in the backyard of my apartment on a $20 dollar table tripod, apparently not the best location nor tool. Therefore please focus on the editing technique given the shooting constrains.

The first image was direct jpeg out from the Lumix GX85 and the second one processed from the raw file with Rawtherapee. The direct jpeg looks alright but I aim to make the stars punch out more from the diffusive background light. Therefore I did the following things: 1. Add 2/3 EV to push the highlight (mainly building light and star) slightly off the edge. 2. Use a gradient density filter and adjust the tone curve to darken the buildings. 3. Fill in black to bring down the tone of sky. 4. Colder white balance and cropping. 5. Fine tuning noise reduction. (Adjust luminance with curve only, automatic global chrominance)

I find the result is marginally better to my taste. The stars became more apparent due to the sky tone tuning and slighter noise reduction. However it is far from the master pieces posted here. Would you kindly suggest one thing or two to help me improve the editing? Thank you!

GX85 direct jpeg

Edited

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85
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