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Thread: Planning for light

  1. #1
    yobenny's Avatar
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    Planning for light

    Hi folks I am new here and to photography as well, having recently bought my first SLR.
    I really like that this forum hails from Cambridge as it is great to hear something besides an American opinion about things sometimes. (I live in Texas)

    Anyway, on Sept 29th we are going to have what some call the harvest moon, when the moon rises minutes before the sun sets, and both are on opposite horizons giving off their own light source.
    The moon is dramatically bright on this rise and is often crimson depending on atmospheric conditions.

    I would really like to do something with this opportunity, I am practicing shooting the moon and going to shoot some sunsets the next few days. I thought perhaps I would catch an old dilapidated shack I am fond of with the setting sun, and have the moon coming up beside it, or something like that.

    Any ideas on how I should approach that, or ideas on other frames please tell me as this day only comes once a year and I really want to try and do something with it. Thanks in advance!Planning for light

  2. #2
    dubaiphil's Avatar
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    Re: Planning for light

    Welcome to the forum, yobenny

    have a look at this thread - there may be some information for you:

    Low light, Night, Moon photography etc.

    Personally I'd probably use a tripod and bracket my shots - it's a rare occurance so I'd want to be able to have the best range of exposures later for processing.

  3. #3
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Planning for light

    A friend of mine wanted to shoot last month's "blue moon" thinking that the color of the moon would be blue. He was disappointed to learn that a blue moon is when there are two full moons within a single month. That only comes around "once in a blue moon!"

    However, it is an excellent idea of yours to research some shots and this is the place to get that kind of help! Welcome to CiC!

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    dubaiphil's Avatar
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    Re: Planning for light

    Google Earth can be very useful in planning shots too. You can get an estimate of the location of the moonrise and plan where a good location will be to get a pleasing composition

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    Re: Planning for light

    Great idea.

    But...

    Not quite sure how you will be able to get moonrise which will be at the extreme east and sunset which will be to the extreme west. You will probably need a lens that covers both horizons.

    Today about 5:30 pm, crescent moon was clearly visible overhead and sun was beginning to set to the west. With a wide angle lens it should have been possible to get both within the one shot.

    How good it all turns out will also depend on the weather and the quality of the sunset.

    Lots of variables! Not to worry tons of landscape experts here ...
    Last edited by Bobobird; 22nd September 2012 at 05:02 AM.

  6. #6
    pnodrog's Avatar
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    Re: Planning for light

    At a guess I think your best shots maybe just after sunset. Tripod a must. The camera will try and expose for the overall scene and not capture any detail in the bright moon. You will need an amount of negative exposure compensation which unfortunately will increase rapidly as the light from the sun disappears. Tripod and exposure bracketing are your best bet. Not long after sunset you will need to take a shot exposed for the moon and another exposed for the scene and paste the good moon over the burnt out moon. Depends on the software you have as to the best way of achieving the result. At some point you may get a lighting balance between the moon and the scene that works without any corrections. Depending on the scene a graduated filter may be useful - I have one but hardly ever use it, preferring to blend two shots.

    Great that you are going to practice, have fun and good luck.

  7. #7
    yobenny's Avatar
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    Re: Planning for light

    Thanks for the welcomes and suggestions folks, nice to be able to ask questions and get answers for sure.
    When you folks say bracketing photos I am assuming you mean shooting them in a set of graduated exposures created by stepping down the Fstop as you would for making HDR images?
    I have Adobe Superstitions I think it was the beta of cs6, I did think about shooting at different exposures to pick up on the different levels of light but I didn't know if "doin a pasty on the moon" was considered shirking the challenge or not since it would seem like it would take catching that few seconds in which both of them would work in an image.
    Also they are saying 40% cloudy and this time of year that means puffy small white clouds that catch that dusk crimson light and wondering if I should shoot three exposures, one for the old shack, one for the clouds and one for the moon, but I don't think I could do that much maneuvering in that short a time as I have not learned how to work like that yet.
    Im an old man these days it seems I threw my back out this afternoon right after I posted that and have been in the damn bed since, so I didn't get to practice but I think maybe tomorrow.
    I did buy a good tripod and have a an 18-55 and a 70-300 to work with.

  8. #8

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    Re: Planning for light

    Sorry to hear about your back. I have a pinched sciatic nerve and has been murder all this year. Get well soon.

    Do you mind telling me what camera are you using?

  9. #9
    yobenny's Avatar
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    Re: Planning for light

    It;s a 3200 nikon.

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