Moon again

Started 3 months ago | Questions
LillyLo Junior Member • Posts: 26
Moon again

Hello, here I am back to the fullmoon subject. Theory says to get the moon surface you need a high speed and a low ISO. Well if I have that with manual setting,  it's impossible to catch even lightly the objects (ie buildings, tree branches etc) of the foreground. A detailed moon is possible only alone, for what I understand. What am I doing wrong?

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petrochemist Veteran Member • Posts: 3,186
Re: Moon again
2

LillyLo wrote:

Hello, here I am back to the fullmoon subject. Theory says to get the moon surface you need a high speed and a low ISO. Well if I have that with manual setting, it's impossible to catch even lightly the objects (ie buildings, tree branches etc) of the foreground. A detailed moon is possible only alone, for what I understand. What am I doing wrong?

Nothing, the moon is very bright compared to most night scenes, To stand any chance of capturing foreground detail you need to add quite a bit of light, or merge multiple shots at different exposures.

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Quarkcharmed
Quarkcharmed Senior Member • Posts: 1,659
Re: Moon again
1

LillyLo wrote:

Hello, here I am back to the fullmoon subject. Theory says to get the moon surface you need a high speed and a low ISO. Well if I have that with manual setting, it's impossible to catch even lightly the objects (ie buildings, tree branches etc) of the foreground. A detailed moon is possible only alone, for what I understand. What am I doing wrong?

The full clear moon at night creates a very high contrast scene; it's not the sun but still very bright compared to the foreground objects.

Getting exposure right in such conditions is tricky, I'd suggest to expose by histogram so that the moon is almost blown out (but not yet). Then you'll see, by the shadows in the histogram, if the foreground is recoverable. If not, you may resort to HDR/exposure blending.

(The above implies you shoot raw.)

The moon is easier to work with when it's behind some light clouds and/or sits low at the horizon.

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Mika Y.
Mika Y. Senior Member • Posts: 1,827
Re: Moon again

LillyLo wrote:

Hello, here I am back to the fullmoon subject. Theory says to get the moon surface you need a high speed and a low ISO. Well if I have that with manual setting, it's impossible to catch even lightly the objects (ie buildings, tree branches etc) of the foreground. A detailed moon is possible only alone, for what I understand. What am I doing wrong?

If you want to capture the moon and other scenery together in single photo, your best bet is to take the photo when there's still some residual light from the sun, i.e. shortly after the sunset or before the sunrise. That may be sufficient to reduce the contrast between foreground objects and the moon into a manageable range. In time of full moon, the moon will also be fairly low on the sky, which probably will make compositing it with foreground scenery easier.

Even if the foreground still looks too dark, you may be able to lift the shadows in post-processing to achieve the desired result, especially if the image has been show as raw.

The other option is to take multiple exposures, one correctly exposed for the moon and one or more for the foreground scenery and combine them together in post-processing.

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Klaus dk
Klaus dk Veteran Member • Posts: 8,104
Re: Moon again
1

Apart from the difference in lightness, which to some extent can be helped by choosing the time for the shot just before sunrise or just after sunset, the foreground needs to be within the depth of field.

One usually wants to use a telephoto lens to shoot the moon, and they have shallow DoF, so the get the foreground sharp, it can't be too close to your shooting position. The moon is (for optical purposes) at infinity, so the forground needs to be within or close to your DoF.

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Mark Scott Abeln
Mark Scott Abeln Forum Pro • Posts: 17,897
Re: Moon again
2

LillyLo wrote:

Hello, here I am back to the fullmoon subject. Theory says to get the moon surface you need a high speed and a low ISO. Well if I have that with manual setting, it's impossible to catch even lightly the objects (ie buildings, tree branches etc) of the foreground. A detailed moon is possible only alone, for what I understand. What am I doing wrong?

Take a look at this again:

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/65428573

There both needs to be enough light from the sky to illumine the foreground, and the moon has to be low enough on the horizon to be substantially dimmed by the atmosphere.

This takes planning, knowing the needed date and time to get a good photo. Your next full moon opportunity will be October 19th at moonrise and October 20th at moonset.

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Mark Scott Abeln
Mark Scott Abeln Forum Pro • Posts: 17,897
Re: Moon again

LillyLo wrote:

Hello, here I am back to the fullmoon subject. Theory says to get the moon surface you need a high speed and a low ISO. Well if I have that with manual setting, it's impossible to catch even lightly the objects (ie buildings, tree branches etc) of the foreground. A detailed moon is possible only alone, for what I understand. What am I doing wrong?

Can you share some of your disappointing photos for us to look at?

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OP LillyLo Junior Member • Posts: 26
Re: Moon again

Thank you for your answer. You say that the foreground needs to be within the DoF. Well I wonder how it can;t be. Sorry for my ignorance, but when shooting to infinity -moon- DoF is large, right?

petrochemist Veteran Member • Posts: 3,186
Re: Moon again

LillyLo wrote:

Thank you for your answer. You say that the foreground needs to be within the DoF. Well I wonder how it can;t be. Sorry for my ignorance, but when shooting to infinity -moon- DoF is large, right?

DOF gets longer at greater distances, shorter focal lengths & smaller apertures.

Even with focus at the hyperfocal point (which gives maximum DOF, more than focus at infinity) longer lenses will not have the DOF extend as far as many would want, especially if the aperture is wide to get in as much light as practical. I know I have lenses that when focused to infinity will show severe blur on items hundreds of metres away.

DOF is not so bad with wide angles but the moon is left looking tiny and even with these it's quite easy to get a blurred foreground.

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Klaus dk
Klaus dk Veteran Member • Posts: 8,104
Re: Moon again
1

LillyLo wrote:

Thank you for your answer. You say that the foreground needs to be within the DoF. Well I wonder how it can;t be. Sorry for my ignorance, but when shooting to infinity -moon- DoF is large, right?

I just checked a DoF calculator. You should download one to your phone, it's a very useful tool, and you can learn a lot by playing around with it.

On a full frame camera, with a 300mm lens at f/5.6 set to infinity, the DoF near limit is 530m, which is also the hyperfocal distance. With the lens set to 530m, your near limit is 265m and the far limit is infinite.

So yes, the DoF is large, but the tree across the street isn't in it, not even at f/16.

Good luck and good light.

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