My first attemp with the Moon

Started Mar 11, 2020 | Discussions thread
Sailor Blue
Sailor Blue Forum Pro • Posts: 15,528
Re: My first attemp with the Moon

Do you know the Sunny 16 Rule? It says that an object in direct sunlight will have an exposure of ISO 100, 1/100 sec, and f/16.

The moon is in direct sunlight.

You used a 500mm lens so you want a shutter speed of 1/500 sec or shorter. Starting with a shutter speed of 1/500sec and the Sunny 16 rule would give you an exposure of ISO 100, 1/500sec, and f/7.1

The moons optimum exposure may be less depending on the phase of the moon and how much crap is in the air - dirt, smoke, humidity, clouds, etc. Because of the crap in the air expect the color of the moon to be something other than gray. Light pollution reflecting off the crap in the air can also cause a change in the sky and moon color.

Use a tripod and use a 2 second shutter delay so shake caused by pressing the shutter button has a chance to die out. A 10 second shutter delay is even better. Protect the tripod from the wind.

The camera's meter is worthless for astrophotogphy.

If you want to find the optimum exposure of the moon turn on your camera's Highlight Alert so that anything that is overexposed will blink on the image displayed on the camera's LCD. Find the exposure that causes the moon to blink then reduce the exposure in 1/3 stops until the moon stops blinking. That is the Optimum Exposure (OE) that will capture all the details in the brightest highlights and the maximum amount of shadow details possible in a single exposure. This is also know as the Expose To The Right (ETTR) exposure.

Note that the OE/ETTR exposure is the exposure that captures as much of the dynamic range of the subject as possible. It frequently doesn't give you the image you want when you open the image in your post processor - tone mapping is usually needed to achieve a final image.

When the moon is less than full the dark area is lit by Earth shine, but that basically impossible to capture well in a single exposure.

For more details on the dark area of the moon when it is less than full bracket at OE, OE+2 stops, OE + 4, etc. stops for HDR or Luminosity Masking. As above, the OE captures all the highlight details so don't waste time capturing any lower exposures. The higher exposures will capture more details on the area of the moon lit only by Earth shine.

You may get lens flare from the bright moon, which will show up more in the higher exposures. Filters increase lens flare so don't use any on your lens and make sure the front and rear lens elements are clean.

You can combine the exposures with HDR or Luminosity Masking. Using a mask to get rid of lens flare may be necessary.

Greg Benz - What the @*&$ are "Luminosity Masks" ??? - YouTube

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