How to Photograph the Moon?

Let’s take a picture of about you, don’t actually need any fancy gear, you really don’t even need a tripod. It’S helpful for some things just going to zoom all the way in – and this is my kit lens – goes to 135 autofocus on the moon and take a shot now with the default settings, which you’ll see is probably a completely blown out bright, glowing kind of sphere And that’s because your camera tries to auto-expose the whole scene. So it looks at all the black night sky and then sees just one white dot, and it tries to make that black kind of grey. So it’s going to overexpose the most important part of the picture, so this is one of those times where you really need to put your camera in manual, so I’ll put the camera into manual mode, and I’ll set the shutter speed to one sixtieth.

If you have image stabilization on your lens, that should be fine, and I’ll set the f-stop to f/8. Now for the ISO, I’m going to choose my camera’s base ISO. This camera has a base ISO of 100, so I’m at one-sixtieth f/8 and ISO 100. We’Ll take another picture of the moon, and that looks much better because now I can see all the little detail of the moon. No part of the moon is overexposed, and that’s what you want to look for. You want to make sure that no part of the histogram is touching the right side. You can always make it brighter or darker and post so long as you capture everything and that’s actually all you need to do, though I will give you some more advanced tips in just a second.

The rest of getting a good moon shot is really about planning. You want to wait for a night when you have really clear skies and in fact, cold night like tonight with low humidity is way better, because, no matter what kind of lens you have, the atmosphere is going to make your picture much softer. And if it’s warm and if it’s humid well all that humidity is going to move your light rays around a little bit and make your picture less soft if you’re at a high altitude. Of course, that helps. But you don’t have to be.

You also don’t have to be out in the middle of nowhere, I’m just in a neighborhood at pretty close to sea level, and I can get pretty good pictures of the moon. Now you’re never going to get a telephoto shot of the moon in a landscape. You just use its kind of impossible to focus on the landscape and get it nice and sharp and to focus on the moon and get it nice and sharp, because the moon is really far away. So what happens is either. You can shoot very wide angle, in which case the moon will appear to be a tiny, tiny spot or if you shoot telephoto, either the landscape or the moon is going to be way out of focus. All those landscape pictures where the moon is big and huge.

They’Re, probably faked in Photoshop and that’s okay, because if it can more accurately represent the way your eye sees it, because sometimes the moon actually looks huge, especially when it’s near the horizon. But it’s actually not that big in your camera I’ll show you how to take that picture. We just took and Photoshop it into a landscape picture. It’S straightforward. First, open the two pictures as layers in Photoshop with the moon picture on top set the moon’s layer mode to screen then use free, transform, while holding down the shift-key to adjust the size of the moon. Lower the opacity of bed, maybe to 90 %, drop it in place, and you’re done. Of course, you can get even better pictures with more telephoto lens I’ll switch from 135 millimeters to a full 400 millimeters. This is my image stabilized 100 to 400, so zoom in all the way to 400 millimeters and take another shot.

That time I took several shots and I’ll do that anytime, I’m taking a challenging photo, because now I can go back into Photoshop and flip through all of them and pick the very sharpest one, and I bet, if you take ten pictures, they won’t all be exactly The same sharpness because I’ll just use this technique anytime, I have a challenging photo, also breathe kind of slowly, since I am hand-holding it now. As long as you’re taking multiple shots to go ahead and take more than ten take twenty or a hundred shots, because when you get a lot of shots like that, just go through and pick out the sharp ones. But you can then combine them in post-processing to get a picture that is mine, numbing Li sharp that has just great amounts of detail that you’ve, probably never ever seen with the naked eye.

So let’s take a look at how to do that with software first I’ll. Look at every image at four to one and delete any pictures that aren’t razor sharp if you’re using Lightroom export all the sharp pictures as high-quality JPEG files to a new folder visit SCP-1000 slash, ready stacks to install register acts and make sure you get the latest. Six points: one point: zero points: eight updates: if you’re using mac visit st p, io slash, read a stack smack and follow the instructions, it’s a freeware tool, and it’s a few years old, and it’s primarily designed for astronomy nerds. So the user interface might not be as refined as other apps you used, but it’s the best app I’ve found next launch. Register x click selects to choose all the sharp moon pictures by clicking the first picture and then shift-clicking the last picture.

The first time you do this, you might want to select a smaller number of pictures like ten, so that it’s faster and more reliable. Now, click set aligned points align and limit to process the pictures with their default settings basically click the button with the green line under it. The set a line points page finds landmarks on the picture that the software can use to line up the different images. Even if you used a tripod, the moon moves around the earth so the images won’t be lined up. The aligned page performs the actual alignment, and it often fails if it does fail, try selecting fewer pictures. The limit page removes lower quality pictures such as pictures with motion blur. It often fails for me too, which is why I recommend sorting through all your pictures manually beforehand, now click the stack button.

This lines up your pictures, if it prompts you to optimize your cores, just click. Yes, this is where the magic happens, the wavelet page. You need to select a scheme to sharpen the stacked images. No one scheme will work for all images, but you can use my starting point for moon pictures by clicking the load scheme button and then typing HTTP colon, slash, slash, SDIO, slash moon scheme that will automatically download and apply my moon scheme. But you can adjust the sliders to increase or decrease the sharpening to speed everything up. Reg attack only applies to sharpen to a small part of the picture to sharpen the entire image.

Click do all when you’re happy with your picture. Click save the image, that’s it! What, if you try this and it doesn’t work for you? Sometimes registers won’t align properly or will simply freeze, try stacking fewer images or stacking a different set of images from your sequence. Here’s the before and after it’s a remarkable difference, isn’t it here’s a sequence of stacked images I created during our last lunar eclipse each showing far more detail than I could have seen with my eye or gotten without stacking thanks so much.

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