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How do I get a clear moon shot in long exposure shot?
Lens: DA* 16-50 Camera: K5 Photo Location: Jersey city ISO: 100 Shutter Speed: >6s Aperture: F8 
Posted By: LFLee, 09-23-2011, 12:23 PM

Hi all,

Not sure if this is the right place to post, but I shot this photo last weekend:


I would like to know how can I get a shot with a clear moon (where you can see the details and not wash out like this one), in a long exposure shot like this?

Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

Lee

Last edited by LFLee; 09-24-2011 at 07:52 PM.
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09-23-2011, 12:30 PM   #2
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I'm not a pro but I don't think you can get a clear shot with long exposure (>6 sec) as the moon is a moving subject.
09-23-2011, 12:52 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by ducdao Quote
I'm not a pro but I don't think you can get a clear shot with long exposure (>6 sec) as the moon is a moving subject.
True. Form what I recall, if you're shooting just the moon to (mostly) fill the frame, you want to keep the shutter speed at 1/60s (maybe 1/30s) or faster. If the moon is only a small part of the frame, as it is in the OP's picture, you can probably get away with a slightly longer exposure without getting blur to the moon's motion.
09-23-2011, 01:05 PM   #4
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you need a graduated filter to restrict the light level from the moon and also bracket your shots exposing for the moon. - as once blown there's little you can do to recover. In PP you could posssibly up the exposure on the landscape if necessary. The moon is the moving object in the shot, so don't try anything below 1/30 sec

09-23-2011, 01:35 PM   #5
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Thanks for the responses, according to this I will need a shutter speed faster than 1/125 and f11.... to shoot the moon.
How to Photograph the Moon
... and he combine in photoshop (I would like to avoid). To do it with Gradual ND filter... I just got my 2x gradual ND filter today but I think is not enough.

Lee
09-23-2011, 01:56 PM   #6
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Yep, the moon is a sunlit object. Therefore the tried and true rule of thumb applies, expose at f16 and the reciprocal of the film speed for terrestrial scenes between 10 AM and 2PM on a sunny day.

It's ALWAYS a sunny day on the moon! So, for an EI of 200, try f16 and 1/200 sec. Now, if the moon is near the horizon the extra atmosphere will dim things a bit, but chimp it.

This would be a good time to haul out that cheap 500mm mirror lens....Slap that baby on a tripod and have at it!
09-23-2011, 02:27 PM - 1 Like   #7
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Try this it's simple.I've done it and it works.Just hand hold a black piece of paper just where the moon is and pull it out of the way at the end of your exposure.It takes a little practice but it will work if the area around you is really dark.--charliezap
09-23-2011, 06:42 PM   #8
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I like Charliezap idea, simple but the best I've heard.

LFLee, the moon aside, thats a really nice shot.

09-24-2011, 11:59 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by charliezap Quote
Try this it's simple.I've done it and it works.Just hand hold a black piece of paper just where the moon is and pull it out of the way at the end of your exposure.It takes a little practice but it will work if the area around you is really dark.--charliezap
Hm... pretty neat idea, have you tried it?

Thanks! will try it out next time I get a chance again.

Lee
09-24-2011, 03:05 PM   #10
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The numbers say...

QuoteOriginally posted by LFLee Quote
...
I would like to know how can I get a shot with a clear moon (where you can see the details and not wash out like this one), in a long exposure shot like this?....

Lee
Your shot was ISO 100 at maybe 8sec, f/8. Others have said the moon should be exposed for 1/30 sec to freeze it - let's call it 1/16 sec because it is small in your photo.

So we have to move from an 8 sec exposure to a 1/16 sec exposure. In speed stops that is:

8-4-2-1-1/2-1/4-1/8-1/16 minus seven stops total decrease. These 7 decreased stops must be compensated by increased stops elsewhere;

ISO can be increased maybe 5 stops 100-200-400-800-1600-3200 without too much noise.

The remaining 2 stops can be gained by f-stops: 8-5.6-4.

An ISO 3200, f:4, 1/16sec exposure of the city and will be the same as in your original photo because there is no net stop change. But the moon will still be as overexposed as it was in the original, just not blurred. The moon's proper ISO 100 exposure is about 1/100 at f:16.& the number of stops needed for a neutral filter to dim it can be calculated by counting stops from the original exposure 8 at f/8 to 1/00 at f/16.

8sec at f:16 is the same as 4sec at f:8 so the number of stops from 4sec to 1/00sec is found by counting the sequence of divides by two:

4-2-1-1/2-1/4/-1/8-1/16-1/32-1/64-1/128 (9 stops)

So you'll need to have about a 9 stop ND filter in front of the moon during the exposure to dim its image enough to see detail.
09-24-2011, 03:13 PM   #11
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Charliezap variation...

QuoteOriginally posted by charliezap Quote
Try this it's simple.I've done it and it works.Just hand hold a black piece of paper just where the moon is and pull it out of the way at the end of your exposure.It takes a little practice but it will work if the area around you is really dark.--charliezap
A variation of Chaliezap's method requiring less luck is to set up as you did earlier:
1) Block out the moon for the first shot.
2) Take another photo at 1/30 for second shot. -

That should give you a properly exposed moon to paste into shot #1 Probably you can just merge the two shots because everything but the moon will be black in shot #2.
09-26-2011, 08:04 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by newarts Quote

8sec at f:16 is the same as 4sec at f:8 so the number of stops from 4sec to 1/00sec is found by counting the sequence of divides by two:

4-2-1-1/2-1/4/-1/8-1/16-1/32-1/64-1/128 (9 stops)

So you'll need to have about a 9 stop ND filter in front of the moon during the exposure to dim its image enough to see detail.
Thats some serious calculation there!


Lee
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