By "GARBAGE", I mean "IMAGE". I often type the first word that comes to mind in lieu of the correct one. Looking back now a few days later, I think the stars should be smaller, dimmer, and less numerous.
Receding waves on the sandstone formations of Oregon's Cape Kiwanda at twilight.
Check out my buddy David's shot from here earlier in the evening!
Three exposures -
Landscape+water: 2 seconds, f/11, ISO 100
Sky (for dynamic range): 1/2 sec, f/11, ISO 100
Stars (1/2 hour later): 30 sec, f/4, ISO 1600
Before anyone says anything about the sky color, check out this informative screenshot of one of my RAWs that I hastily put together, which I believe is justification/exemplification of my approach to lingering post-sunset color in my twilight images: check it out here.
That having been said, I could probably push the yellow/orange area of the sky more toward red/magenta, and darken it a bit further.. but meh. The main thing to keep in mind is that the warm/cool division in the sky is NOT where I blended two exposures - the white dots of the stars were merely overlaid via the Floris Van Breugel method. The sky color is natural, and indeed occurred after stars had already appeared over my head.
The exposure time has also been mentioned on this image, and I'd like to DISCUSS that. And by "DISCUSS", I mean "talk at you about".
I couldn't give up that water texture in the FG, or the wave, both of which were captured in the same 2-second exposure. I had some foggy 30 second exposures and they're really just nowhere near as interesting. The thing is, when you're there and night is falling, you don't see long exposures with your eyes - you can still see the waves approaching and crashing and receding. I wanted to convey that. It's really only photographers that get put off by the water not being a longer exposure, since photographers know that you generally need longer exposures at that time of the evening. Not a matter of realism though, since you can totally see the action yourself at the scene.
If it makes you feel better, just imagine I had a D800 and shot it at ISO 1600-6400 to freeze the water action later in the evening with acceptable quality, instead of a 40D that forces blends like this because it's unacceptable at those ISOs. :)
Also, credit to Ryan Dyar / Chip Phillips for the comp and inspiration - you should check out their shots from here, because they're better.