That second one is much better, as far as noise goes. 🙂 I asked just to make sure, I wondered if maybe the RAW conversion process was pushing the exposure and adding noise, or something like that. Are these stacked from RAW files, or .jpg files?
OK, now with a year of experience under my belt, I try again at the Milky Way. I was using a 7D this time instead of the XS, but the same lens.
I shot 30 Raw frames at:
Then, I ran them through a few editing programs, thanks to @buddingphotographer for the code!!! And then finished the editing in Lightroom. Next I combined the foreground in GIMP. This is the finished picture.