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I was thinking "invert" the ND to hold back the foreground illumination, while you gather all the light you can for the stars.
It could "stand alone" as a single exposure (not sure @ ND value desired), or ... if you wanted ... then, it would be an easy matter to shoot a second image without the ND (or flipped), exposing for the foreground (generating black sky) and you could blend the two to taste.
Just gotta find a time/technique where those pesky clouds don't steal from the astro show ... balancing act that might be best approached at one vs....Show more →
Ok, gotcha, that may work, never thought of reversing the nd grad. Your idea made me consider another. I could do one shot while the moon was up and another after it sat. Then blend the results.
I once did this only reverse, I took a shot just at sunset for the foreground then waited for total dark while freezing half to death. But it turns out I was pointing wrong for the milky way. I was still able to blend, but it looks pretty fake.
Here is what it looked like, the milky way is 4 shots stacked, the foreground is pasted from an earlier shot.