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Thread: The moon the night before last

  1. #1
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    The moon the night before last

    I spotted the moon in the wee hours of the morning and it looked very pretty so I thought I'd try another shot at photographing the moon... This time I used as faster SS and higher iso, as I have been advised and read on the moon threads here.

    Hand held only because I did not have time to find my tripod and the moon was about to disappear behind a tree.

    Manual, spot metering, F11, SS 250, iso 250 300 mm lens (cropped tight)

    I moved the white point in LR as far as I could without clipping, sharpened the moon and increased clarity, and I moved the black point but just a bit because it seemed to make the moon too dark.

    I think this moon shot is pretty good but I would like to know how I could improve upon it for the next time around, aside from the obvious of using a tripod...

    WB as shot

    The moon the night before last


    The moon the night before last


    WB auto

    The moon the night before last

    Thank you

    PS I would like to invite everyone who photographed the moon the other night to post their photos here... as I think seeing the difference in moon shots is a helpful learning tool.[/B]
    Last edited by Brownbear; 23rd August 2013 at 01:35 AM. Reason: add invite

  2. #2

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    Re: The moon the night before last

    Very nice Christina, every time I see that full moon up there I think about setting up to photograph it, but always seem to have something else going on that deters me.

    I prefer the last one with the warmer color, but that is a subjective thing. I would suggest that you don't need to stop down as far as f/11. The moon is all at a single distance--infinity--so you don't need depth of field. You need speed. 1/250th is dicey territory for a 300mm lens, handheld. I would stop down only enough to reach the lens' sweet spot, usually one or two stops down from wide open. That would also let you use a faster shutter speed. Both the aperture change and the speed increase should contribute to a sharper image.

  3. #3
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: The moon the night before last

    Thank you Arlen,

    Very helpful to know... The very next opportunity, I will try just that along with a tripod.. I suspected that they needed to be sharper. Thank you for your C&C..

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    Re: The moon the night before last

    Dittoing everything Arlen has shared. I saw the same moon the same night- I don't usually bother with full moons because they are so had to get past the flat light and reveal any nice texture and features, but that moon was almost startling. Luckily I did have a tripod close by and slapped it together. Pretty much the same processing as you but added more contrast to try and enhance detail a bit. So here's a slightly different look at virtually the same time.

    840mm About a 1:1 crop ISO200 1/250 @ f/8 Tripod, remote release
    The moon the night before last

  5. #5
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: The moon the night before last

    Wow... Thank you for sharing... Gorgeous shot... Your moon looks so much better than mine, but your shutter speed was close to mine so I suspect it is the tripod, aperture and remote release that make the difference.


    I would like to invite everyone who photographed the moon the other night to post their photos here... as I think seeing the difference in moon shots is a helpful learning tool.

  6. #6
    kdoc856's Avatar
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    Re: The moon the night before last

    The tripod is 90% of that, and I use the remote because even the tiniest vibrations can show up. Using a shutter delay will have the same effect but I try to touch the system as little as possible because my carbon-fiber tripod legs can vibrate for almost 4 secs after manual shutter release by my timing.

    I was using a 70-400 at 400mm, with a 1.4TC, on an APS-C camera with a 1.5 crop factor.

    Christina, you got really sharp shots considering yours were handheld- you must be rock steady!
    Last edited by kdoc856; 23rd August 2013 at 10:39 AM. Reason: typo

  7. #7
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: The moon the night before last

    I woke up a 4am and gave it another try, this time using my tripod and an extender, and following the guidelines provided. Unfortunately my new camera is too heavy for my old tripod so I did my best to stabilize the camera and tripod with a tight grip on both.

    The moon was not quite full.

    SS 250 F8 iso 500

    The moon the night before last

    SS 320 F6.7 iso 500


    The moon the night before last

    Are these an improvement, or not?

    I read somewhere that the histogram of the perfect moon shot should extend to the middle but the histogram for all of my moon shots is bunched up at the far left... ?

  8. #8
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: The moon the night before last

    I almost shot the moon... As I was driving home last night I saw the wonderful moon with some clouds in front of it. They looked great but, by the time I got home to my camera, the clouds were gone and all I would have had to shoot is a bare moon.

  9. #9

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    Re: The moon the night before last

    Christina, there seems to be much more detail shown on your second lot of images.

    There is one thing that puzzles me. On your second lot of pictures and on Kevin's there appears to be more detail shown at the bottom of the moon than the top even though the moon is rotated differently for you compared with Kevin. Is this some sort of diffraction effect or am I seeing things that aren't there?

  10. #10
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: The moon the night before last

    Are you saying that shots of the moon with clouds in front of it are better than the bare moon? Don't clouds hide the detail in the moon?

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    I almost shot the moon... As I was driving home last night I saw the wonderful moon with some clouds in front of it. They looked great but, by the time I got home to my camera, the clouds were gone and all I would have had to shoot is a bare moon.

  11. #11
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: The moon the night before last

    Nice to hear that more detail is seen.

    Yes, our moons seem to have a different orientation. Sorry, but I don't know why nor am I familiar with the term diffraction effect.

    My 2nd set of images were photographed a day later.



    Quote Originally Posted by TonyW View Post
    Christina, there seems to be much more detail shown on your second lot of images.

    There is one thing that puzzles me. On your second lot of pictures and on Kevin's there appears to be more detail shown at the bottom of the moon than the top even though the moon is rotated differently for you compared with Kevin. Is this some sort of diffraction effect or am I seeing things that aren't there?

  12. #12
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    Re: The moon the night before last

    Those are some fine images.

    Mike, really good sharpness. I agree with your suggestions based upon my limited experience at shooting the moon. Capturing its fine detail will really challenge ones technique and equipment. Whenever I do this, I may shoot 10 or 15 images because one of them will be sharper that the others because of (the lack of) vibration even though I try to minimize it with each shot. Focus is also critical.

    Christina, your first image is very good considering it was handheld. You are a lot steadier than me. In your second set, the first image appears to be slightly sharper to me.

    Paul S

  13. #13

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    Have a guess :)

    Re: The moon the night before last

    How about a shot of Earth ... from Saturn?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/90...-waving-at-you

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