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05-02-2012, 03:56 PM   #1
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Duplicating the 'Moon Illusion'

Hey all,
So with the coming of the brightest full moon of the year this weekend, I'd like to take a stab at duplicating the the moon illusion where the moon appears larger at the horizon during moonrise. Has anybody got any tips/tricks on how to duplicate this? I've tried in the past and have been disappointed with my results.

05-02-2012, 04:55 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by an3ony Quote
Hey all,
So with the coming of the brightest full moon of the year this weekend, I'd like to take a stab at duplicating the the moon illusion where the moon appears larger at the horizon during moonrise. Has anybody got any tips/tricks on how to duplicate this? I've tried in the past and have been disappointed with my results.
Just use a long lens. Something >300mm should do the trick.
05-02-2012, 05:45 PM   #3
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Ya, it's hard to fool a camera lens. 300mm is good, but your terrestial subject will need to be farr away to be in focus. You can do focus blending to get around this, though ghosting might be a problem in some scenes. Dynamic range can also be troublesome unless the terrestrial subject is artificially lit. You can use HDR, but the moving moon can also create ghosting.

This is with a Tamron SP 300/5,6. It's a single exposure:

05-02-2012, 08:04 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by an3ony Quote
Hey all,
So with the coming of the brightest full moon of the year this weekend, I'd like to take a stab at duplicating the the moon illusion where the moon appears larger at the horizon during moonrise. Has anybody got any tips/tricks on how to duplicate this? I've tried in the past and have been disappointed with my results.
A composite. The camera will not see the moon as larger.

Take one shot zoomed in to the moon, and one of your landscape and put them together.

05-03-2012, 12:34 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Here is one with Sigma 70-300mm @300mm

Even thou the moon does not seem to be huge it is still a nice effect. I think that I was about 80-100m (some 300yrds) away from that balcony.


05-04-2012, 03:39 PM - 3 Likes   #6
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last sunday evening...

da 55-300 @ f11 1/200
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05-06-2012, 02:45 PM   #7
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DA55-300ED at full zoom. The problem with shots close to the horizon is that most times they are not going to be all that sharp, because of atmospherics, pollution, etc... there was a distinct haze out to sea when I shot the following...





05-06-2012, 03:10 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by kyteflyer Quote
DA55-300ED at full zoom. The problem with shots close to the horizon is that most times they are not going to be all that sharp, because of atmospherics, pollution, etc... there was a distinct haze out to sea when I shot the following...


what you'd done was what I was trying to achieve. here's what I came up with;

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05-06-2012, 03:50 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by alohadave Quote
A composite. The camera will not see the moon as larger.

Take one shot zoomed in to the moon, and one of your landscape and put them together.
I hate those kind of false shots. They just look tacky IMO
05-06-2012, 04:09 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Smeggypants Quote
I hate those kind of false shots. They just look tacky IMO
They can, but it's the only real way to accentuate the size of the moon. A 2% difference will be incredibly hard to see, especially since you don't have any real frame of reference to the normal size of the moon.

And, since the full moon at the horizon is a perceptual illusion, not an optical illusion, taking a picture isn't going to make the moon look any larger to the camera.

This isn't the best example of blending, but it shows what I mean:




The original shot of the moon in this shot was tiny, and there was no detail in the moon. And, to get any kind of detail in the moon, requires that the rest of the scene went completely black.
05-06-2012, 07:54 PM   #11
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Exactly that pic looks tacky
05-06-2012, 08:21 PM   #12
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I had to make one tonight, just because...
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