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Thread: Blurry Multiples - A silly question but I'd like to know why

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    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Blurry Multiples - A silly question but I'd like to know why

    I stumbled across this photo of a moon which is either blurred by the slow shutter speed, perhaps a multiple exposure, or just something created by the movement of my tripod which could not handle the weight of a long lens?

    I am simply curious and would like to know why the moon came out like this... I don't think it is blur because it does not look the the blurring one would see when using a slow shutter speed, say on water.

    Manual, Spot Metering, iso 100, F9, SS 1 second

    Original JPeg (as shot just smaller)

    Blurry Multiples - A silly question but I'd like to know why

    Thank you.

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    Re: Blurry Multiples - A silly question but I'd like to know why

    It looks like the tripod juddered over the course of the one second exposure, stopping briefly enough 4 times to almost be able to make out the moon. You do know that if you want a photo of the moon your exposure only needs to be ISO 100, 1/125 sec and f/16? (or equal). The moon is illuminated by the sun so it's the same exposure as a daylight shot.

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    Re: Blurry Multiples - A silly question but I'd like to know why

    Hi Ben,

    Thank you. Very helpful. I'm try to learn by all of my mistakes. I had no idea how I created this and while I suspected that it was movement of the tripod I wasn't sure. Not that it is something I would wish to replicate!

    Yes, thank you for advising. I'm not sure why I had the shutter speed set so low, very likely a wrong turn on the dial. I appreciate your sharing this with me.

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    Re: Blurry Multiples - A silly question but I'd like to know why

    As previously pointed out, f16 rule works for shooting the moon. If it's low to the horizon maybe a stop brighter. Also when using a long lens it is not intuitively obvious but you can get motion blur from the transit of the moon. It is moving a lot faster than you realize. Of course if you are trying to keep it in the viewfinder on a fixed tripod the speed becomes obvious pretty quickly as you have to keep re-centering the moon in the frame. Even at higher shutter speeds it's not a bad idea to use shutter lock or shutter delay. I don't know what it is about the moon but it seems to really magnify any flaws in technique.

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    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Blurry Multiples - A silly question but I'd like to know why

    Thank you, Dan

    Very informative... The first I've ever heard of motion blur caused by the transit of the moon and something that would never have occurred to me. Great to know for future.

    Thank you.

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    Re: Blurry Multiples - A silly question but I'd like to know why

    Your belief that the tripod was not up to working with the long lens may be correct but I would ask you .... was the lens mounted on the camera and the camera on the tripod .... if it was the leverage of the lens on the tripod is considerable.
    It is probably worth the effort to organise a balanced rig with the support being place at the balance point. I made this drawing of something I have been meaning to get around to making for some time for another contribuitor to this blog. When I added a rather heavy telephoto adapgtor to my bridge camera I made a collar for the lens so that it would mount on my monopod and the camera hung from the lens behind it. With even basic tools I think something along these lines could be made.
    The drawback would be that the balance point would be different from that needed for level photos if looking up at the moon.
    If I made this device for use on a tripod I would have a number of holes drilled and tapped [ 1/4 x 20 threads per inch ... the standard BSW thread ] to help when pointing the rig upwards or downwards .... you can probably see where the balance point for level photos is of this rig from the hole in the collar.
    Blurry Multiples - A silly question but I'd like to know why
    Below is the result of my first moon shot where I took a shot using AE which due to the amount of black around the moon grossly over exposed so I then used a quarter shutter speed and then a sixteenth [ two stops each time less ] I was only using a 280mm angle of view lens so the moon was quite small in frame. Shooting at 100 ISO
    Blurry Multiples - A silly question but I'd like to know why
    EDIT Reading Dan's post I too have yet to get a moon shot I'm happy with ... Those shots orginally taken in 2003 with my Nikon 5700 and have pretty well given up on the idea
    EDIT TWO Way back there was an interesting thread on moon shots at Photo.Net which indicated people got great shots with quite a variety of exposures which I believe is becuase of varying atmospheric conditions in their location ... tried to find it but discovered the subject is covered ad infinitum in answer to my search so gave up
    http://photo.net/search/?cx=00657797...a.x=12&sa.y=10
    if you want to spend time there
    Last edited by jcuknz; 25th April 2013 at 09:46 PM.

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    Re: Blurry Multiples - A silly question but I'd like to know why

    I should have mentioned in my last post, similar to the f16 rule, shooting anything moving with a long lens you should endeavor to stick with the 1/focal length rule. So combining the two rules, at ISO100 with a 500mm lens, full frame, you would be shooting f8, 1/500s. With a 1.5 crop factor then f5.6, 1/1000s (assuming we're sticking with +- 1EV changes). If you are shooting one of the newer high pixel density sensor cameras, the larger aperture is also beneficial. And of course the higher the ss, the less effect a less than perfect tripod mount will have. Bottom line is that you have plenty of light to work with when shooting the moon so take advantage to eliminate as many variables as possible.

    In the name of full disclosure, I've yet to get a moon shot that I'm happy with

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    Re: Blurry Multiples - A silly question but I'd like to know why

    I did need to do a Moon subject back in October 2011 and came up with this rather corny result of connecting earth to the moon rather than shooting the moon itself which was trying to hide behind clouds.
    Blurry Multiples - A silly question but I'd like to know why

    In the end the clouds won out
    Last edited by jcuknz; 25th April 2013 at 10:13 PM.

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    Re: Blurry Multiples - A silly question but I'd like to know why

    Thank you everyone for your replies and advice. Truly appreciated.

    Photo Nut that looks like a wonderful piece of equipment. Thank you for sharing but I think I'm just going to buy a better tripod. (The one I have is not of high quality.) However, I'm sure someone reading this forum will build one just like it one day.

    Dan, thank you for the information on focal length... Very helpful. I like the mood of you photo.

    I think I have taken some decent (not spectacular but decent) moon shots so I will share. These are from 2011 photographed in Mexico with a Sony Alpha 200 DSLR.

    The original jpegs cropped and sharpened .5 radius 25%...


    Manual F11 SS 50 ISO 100 spot metering 420 mm focal length


    Blurry Multiples - A silly question but I'd like to know why

    Manual F 11 SS 160 Center ISO 100 weighted metering 420 focal length

    Blurry Multiples - A silly question but I'd like to know why

    Aperture Priority
    f 6.3 iso 100 spot metering 420 mm focal length

    Blurry Multiples - A silly question but I'd like to know why

    PS Even though I like these moon shots, I know they are not perfect. Any and all feedback on improvements needed is always appreciated. I suspect that my focus is not sharp enough.
    Last edited by Brownbear; 25th April 2013 at 10:46 PM.

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    Re: Blurry Multiples - A silly question but I'd like to know why

    Christina ... I think you will like the second one much better if you use the curves tool on it bringing the bottom to the right 1/8along the bottom and the top of the line 1/4 to the left ... steepening the line which means you have added contrast, you might like the top moved 3/8 to the left.
    Either the focus is not quite right or other gremlins are spoiling your efforts ... atmosphere, tripod steadiness, lens quality, apeerture/shutter etc. The last shot gives me the idea that the phase of the moon may come into it and full moon may not be the best time to shoot. Had it been raining prior to the last shot?
    Last shot suggest you have it there for when everything works for you.

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    Re: Blurry Multiples - A silly question but I'd like to know why

    Hi Photo Nut,

    Thank you. I'm in the process of cleaning up my photos (a huge job that will take me months to complete) but I will save these photos (and all the notes in this thread) and when I get to the moon file I will try your editing suggestions starting with the raw file.. And by then I hope to be much better at editing!

    Dan... the next time I photograph the moon I will try all your recommendations. Thank you.

    Photo Nut... I can't remember that far back but the last moon photo was taken in September 2011, during the tail end of the rainy season in Mexico, when it typically rains everyday, so it is very likely that it poured rain before the shot.

    Quote Originally Posted by jcuknz View Post
    Christina ... I think you will like the second one much better if you use the curves tool on it bringing the bottom to the right 1/8along the bottom and the top of the line 1/4 to the left ... steepening the line which means you have added contrast, you might like the top moved 3/8 to the left.
    Either the focus is not quite right or other gremlins are spoiling your efforts ... atmosphere, tripod steadiness, lens quality, apeerture/shutter etc. The last shot gives me the idea that the phase of the moon may come into it and full moon may not be the best time to shoot. Had it been raining prior to the last shot?
    Last shot suggest you have it there for when everything works for you.

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    Re: Blurry Multiples - A silly question but I'd like to know why

    Christina, the moon moves faster than you think. Shutter speeds of around 1/250 or greater are needed to get good shots. (you can get good one's at 1/125 if you take a few and pick a good one out of the bunch)

    Manual mode------spot metering----manually focus with live view and 10x zoom(not shure if nikon has live view or not......you can use auto focus if you have to)--------underexpose the image at around 0EV to -2/3EV-----Weight your tripod, and shoot with a shutter release or remote shutter, or use the timer (not too long of a timer, or the moon will move and be out of focus)-----Lock the mirror up so you don't get any vibrations-----take a dozen shots or so, so you can pick a good one----------The moon is far away, use the lowest f/stop you can. You won't need the depth of field at that range. (this will help you keep your shutter speeds up and iso low)


    Hope this helps..............Both image have the same settings.

    Tv(Shutter Speed)
    1/60Sec.
    Av(Aperture Value)
    F11
    Metering Modes
    Spot
    Exposure Compensation
    0
    ISO Speed
    320
    Lens
    -
    Focal Length 300 f/4L + 1.4xTC + 2xTC
    840mm

    Not quite as sharp as i would like, but the best of several shots at 1/60s. Should have raised the iso, but didn't.

    Blurry Multiples - A silly question but I'd like to know why




    This one is one of my best . Still should have raised the iso for more shutter speed. The reason i used f/11, is because I had to because of the teleconverters on my lens.


    Blurry Multiples - A silly question but I'd like to know why

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    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Blurry Multiples - A silly question but I'd like to know why

    Now those are absolutely amazing moon shots! Thank you for sharing... Now I know the type of moon shot one should aspire to capture in photography

    Also thank you so much for sharing all the details of how to photograph... Printed and saved for future reference.

    Again accounting for the speed of the moon is something that I never would have thought of. I've read about locking up the mirror to prevent movement but it seems like an odd thing to do to ones camera... (worried about the mechanical effect on the camera) Nevertheless I will try it one day. No live view but that's okay.

    Why do you consider the 2nd moon photo to be one of your best? I'm presuming that it is a better shot than the first moon photo but to me both photos are equally amazing?

    I'm going to edit the title of this thread as I think it has turned into a wonderful learning tool for photographing the moon.

    Thank you Steve.




    Quote Originally Posted by Steve S View Post
    Christina, the moon moves faster than you think. Shutter speeds of around 1/250 or greater are needed to get good shots. (you can get good one's at 1/125 if you take a few and pick a good one out of the bunch)

    Manual mode------spot metering----manually focus with live view and 10x zoom(not shure if nikon has live view or not......you can use auto focus if you have to)--------underexpose the image at around 0EV to -2/3EV-----Weight your tripod, and shoot with a shutter release or remote shutter, or use the timer (not too long of a timer, or the moon will move and be out of focus)-----Lock the mirror up so you don't get any vibrations-----take a dozen shots or so, so you can pick a good one----------The moon is far away, use the lowest f/stop you can. You won't need the depth of field at that range. (this will help you keep your shutter speeds up and iso low)


    Hope this helps..............Both image have the same settings.

    Tv(Shutter Speed)
    1/60Sec.
    Av(Aperture Value)
    F11
    Metering Modes
    Spot
    Exposure Compensation
    0
    ISO Speed
    320
    Lens
    -
    Focal Length 300 f/4L + 1.4xTC + 2xTC
    840mm

    Not quite as sharp as i would like, but the best of several shots at 1/60s. Should have raised the iso, but didn't.

    Blurry Multiples - A silly question but I'd like to know why




    This one is one of my best . Still should have raised the iso for more shutter speed. The reason i used f/11, is because I had to because of the teleconverters on my lens.


    Blurry Multiples - A silly question but I'd like to know why

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    Re: Blurry Multiples - A silly question but I'd like to know why

    I just like the detail I got in the second one best. It's harder to get detail and as much contrast on a full moon.( i think it's the angle of the light.)

    The first image, by the way, is the super moon. Once every 18 years - 11 days - 8 hours. It's at its closest point to the earth and is about 14% larger (looks 14% larger). Shot march 19, 2011.

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