First time shooting the moon

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Skyclad, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. Skyclad
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    Skyclad New Member

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    Taken standing and freehanded with the full 12x Optical zoom. No photoshop other than a crop for both moon photos.

    Taken with my Canon SX130IS
    Manual Mode / Auto white balance / Shutter speed 1/160 / F5.6 / ISO 80

    1.
    [​IMG]





    2.
    [​IMG]

    I guess the 10 mins between this and the first one was enough for the lighting to change and give it a grayish glow instead of the blueish glow seen in first shot
  2. Drake
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    Drake New Member

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    Great shots. I wouldn't crop them that much though, it makes them kind of blurry. As for the color change, could be 2 things. Either your auto white balance changed it's mind about how the moon should look, or the moon really has changed it's position that much. When the moon gets lower above the horizon, you shoot through a much thicker layer of atmosphere, resulting in a warmer tint and less details in general.
  3. Skyclad
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    Skyclad New Member

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    I'm not so sure about the white balance changing its mind as I let the camera pre-focus just before snapping. Getting lower to the atmosphere is a good possibility though as the elevation here is 3400ft and it was 3am when I took the first picture.

    I will make another post here with a re-crop of the originals and see if that helps. Thank you for the advice.
  4. Skyclad
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    Skyclad New Member

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    Re-cropped

    1.
    [​IMG]


    2.
    [​IMG]
  5. Drake
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    Drake New Member

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    Now they seem to be much more detailed ;)
  6. Tight Knot
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    Tight Knot Well-Known Member

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    Nice shot, I would highly recommend trying this with a tripod, it will give you much better clarity.
  7. Miladymimi
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    Miladymimi New Member

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    Moon shots are always so much fun. These are very nice. One of my favorites is a shot just as the moon is setting when the sun is about to rise. It isn't quite as crisp, but you get a dark blue sky in the background.
  8. Cmoorephoto
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    Cmoorephoto New Member

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    Nice shots!
    Iev been trying this and I can get some okay shots.
    I'm waiting for the right night.
  9. enzodm
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    enzodm Well-Known Member

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    Good first attempt. To maximize detail , try to use a slightly smaller aperture (like f/8), because lenses are better around that value. To stay with a sufficiently quick shutter, I would also go ISO200 (although I do not know how a P&S behaves at that value).
    Some sharpening done in PP does not harm to your images: it's just matter to extract what is present in the best way. Ideally, as you do not have RAW, choose the most quality JPEG possible.
  10. LivinMoore
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    LivinMoore New Member

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    I like them!!
  11. Skyclad
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    Skyclad New Member

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    Thanks. Once I have a tripod, I'll definitely give it a try.


    Unfortunately, that was the smallest my aperture goes. I'll give another try at another time with different ISO speeds and see what happens. My JPEG setting was set at the highest quality.

    Thanks everyone else for the comments. If anyone else has any other critiques or suggestions, id love to hear them.
  12. enzodm
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    enzodm Well-Known Member

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    smaller aperture=higher Fnumber ;) . You did it f/5.6, try f/8 or so.
  13. Skyclad
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    Skyclad New Member

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    That I do know. I thought f/5.6 was the smallest aperture value it would let me at full zoom. I just now checked it, and I guess I was wrong. It did let me raise it up to an f/8. So I will have to give that a try as well along with a different ISO value.
  14. Tight Knot
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    Tight Knot Well-Known Member

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    If you don't have a tripod, try to figure out a way to brace the camera as securely as you can, place on a bean bag, or a cardboard box cut and shaped to allow the camera to sit at the angle you need to see the moon through the viewfinder, or the LCD display, or even hold the camera tight to a fence or tree, you will find you should have much better clarity in the photo.

    If you use a higher F number, you will have a slower shutter speed (although from f5.6 to f8, if you could raise the ISO from 100 to 200 as mentioned previously, you will have the same shutter speed).
    Best of luck, these are great fun to do.
  15. enzodm
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    enzodm Well-Known Member

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    do not expect much difference, but adding that to a tripod or so, and some sharpening in PP (I tried on you first picture and it is worth it), you might end with something even more impressive.
  16. Drake
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    Drake New Member

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    In most P&S cameras there's no need to stop down, as the lens are usually sharp enough wide open. There's not much benefit from closing the aperture. Also remember, that the aperture scale in P&S is a little bit different than in DSLR world. f8 is usually as slow as it gets, only some P&S cameras go to f11. I also wouldn't advise raising the ISO, as you have already cropped the shot close to 100%. When viewed at 100%, even photos taken with the best P&S cameras show quality degradation at ISO 200.

    You could try a tripod, but I don't think there'll be a visible difference. Shutter speed of 1/160 is usually fast enough to hand hold an image stabilized P&S, even at the telephoto end around ~400 mm equiv.

    A few years ago I was doing the same thing with my Panasonic FZ7. Holding it at 432mm equiv with 1/160 shutter speed was not a problem, so my moon shots looked exactly the same from a tripod and hand held.

    I don't think there's much to improve here. ;)

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