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12-29-2008, 08:42 PM   #1
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What Happened Here / What Did I Do?

Rode up to Blowing Rock, NC today since it was a nice day. I missed the sunset due to pizza but saw the crescent moon going down and took this...

There was literally no sunset left, an hour plus late for that. That light may have some afterglow, even some towns on the other side. It was very, very dark. This was a long exposure, 4-6 seconds. About what you would expect for a straay night. What is up with the lighted section of the moon? Is that what I can expect to happen given such a contrast and exposure? If I exposed for the bright section, all other effects were lost. Not surprisingly, no way to get both. Is this the result of flaring? How can I reduce? How would you approach this? Two identical shots and Photoshop?

I had the wrong lens, 28mm / 3.5 M series. I know. I also used a 50mm / 1.7 at the end, but forgot to focus. Duh.

I thought the moon would have been cleaner than this. Should I have tried the kit lens?

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12-29-2008, 09:07 PM   #2
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You know, it is very possible the wind was blowing the tripod during that exposure.

I don't see movement in the stars, it may have been more of a problem with the bright moon.
12-29-2008, 11:36 PM   #3
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Wouldnt such wind result in blurring in the trees in bottom right corner? They seem pretty sharp considering how close they are relative to the infinity focus point
12-30-2008, 04:01 AM   #4
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HI, to shoot the moon we need an exposure of around 1/250@f11 (good to bracket)
considering the moon actually moves very fast, at 4-5 seconds it is impossible to get a clear shot of the moon.
Actually the moon is also very bright and an exposure that long will also give you blown out exposure's on the reflecting part.
To get a nice long exposure shot like yours, but have the the moon clear, you would need to take the exposure you have, then take a separate exposure of the moon and add it in to the image PP.
Hope this helps
Taff

12-30-2008, 06:49 AM   #5
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in night shots it is impossible to expose both the moon and the rest of the scene properly. The moon is far too bright in comparison to the rest of the shot, and moves far too quickly in long exposure shots.

when i did this shot i took two exposures, one for the moon and one for the rest of the image, and then combined them using photoshop:


good luck if you decide to carry on night photography! I've had a lot of fun with it this winter, and done some exposures longer than 5 minutes.
12-30-2008, 08:32 AM   #6
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Thanks for the info. I thought I did something wrong as compared to what everyone else does.

I bet I could have done better earlier in the evening, when the sky was lighter.

Thanks.
12-30-2008, 08:47 AM   #7
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As IsaacEastgate says this is where a multi exposure works best. You can do it in camera or later in software. The idea is you are combining 2 images. The shot below is an example of this. The moon shot was a higher shutter speed and the lighthouse was a longer exposure (around 1 second).

The camera was set to do a 2 frame multi exposure. People have been doing this for decades on film as well.

I shot the moon first and then re-framed the shot to get the second shot for the lighthouse and sky. The moon was a bit higher than seen here. It was taken about 40 minutes before sunrise and was actually a lot darker than the image would appear. The longer exposure brought out more light. The camera will combine the exposures to keep things from being blown out. They were shot in manual mode to get the right exposures of both.

I think from your question, you didn't want to see the dark side of the moon but only the crescent.

In software you would have a bit more flexibility. You can adjust each picture separately and then combine them in layers.
12-30-2008, 12:22 PM   #8
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I'm going back out tonite, unless there is a complete new moon. I need to look that up. Great weather, better than yesterday.

I want to give multi-shot on the camera a try.

12-30-2008, 12:53 PM   #9
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According to what I read, we are just past new moon. The crescent will be a bit more tonite.

Do I have this correct for multi-exposure on the camera?

Set Record Mode to Multi Exposure / 2 Frames.
Set Drive Mode to Delay.
Set up on tripod.
Shoot the "bright" exposure of the moon.
Wait for moon to go down.
Shoot the "dark" exposure of the scenery.

What about battery and shutdown? Software sounds a lot easier...

I see you moved the scene between exposures. You then have to make sure you do not mix either the moon or the foreground in both shots. Easier with telephoto.

I'll try it tonite with a 35-105, zoom in so I can split out the subjects.

Last edited by jocko_nc; 12-30-2008 at 12:59 PM.
01-01-2009, 08:16 AM   #10
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If you think about it, why is the moon so bright? It's because it's far enough away from the Earth that it is still being lit by the sun. So the right exposure for the moon is the same as what you'd shoot something in full sunlight (or pretty close to that). If you want to try and get a moon/foreground shot with just one exposure, try shooting 2-3 days prior to the full moon. The moon will look full and it will come out while it's still light out. The next day, it comes out a little later...and the day after that, later still.
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