Need help with Camera Settings

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by pristinephoto, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. pristinephoto

    pristinephoto TPF Noob!

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    I have been asked to do a photoshoot with the full moon in the background. I have been playing around with my camera and I can't figure out what settings I need to get the people in focus under just moon light. Any suggestions? Thank you in advance. :)
     
  2. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    That's going to be tough. You want a depth of field that ranges from eight feet to a quarter of a million miles. That requires an extremely small lens opening, which is the exact opposite of what you need for the lighting conditions. I would do a double exposure.
     
  3. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    My immediate idea would be "flash". I really wouldn't know how else you could possibly light up your near subjects, but still maintain the necessary darkness in the night sky to show the full moon nicely.

    I would not recommend the on-camera flash, though, but an external one, if possible pointed at your subjects from an angle.

    I must admit that your assignment is one I have never tried, let alone DONE, myself before. Intriguing!
     
  4. Tiberius47

    Tiberius47 TPF Noob!

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    The moon is brighter than you think, particularly if it is full. So it's very easy to get the moon opver exposed.

    To shoot the moon showing any detail on you will need a fairly short shutter speed, as well as a long lens on the camera, otherwise you'll end up with a white dot instead of a moon.

    if you can get such a lens, you'll have to stand quite a distance from the people, meaning flash will be useless unless you can trigger it via radio.

    My suggestion is to ignore the moon and just take a shot of the people. Then use photoshop or something and add the moon in later.
     
  5. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    The moon itself is about as bright as a sunlit landscape - no surprise, because it is a sunlit landscape and when you see it during the day it is similar in brightness to the sky. A moonlit landscape is, on the other hand, much much darker. There's about 18 stops difference, so it's going to mean that you will need at least two exposures if you want the moon and the local landscape to be correctly exposed.

    The people are going to have to stay in one place for a while, unless you use a very fast film or ISO setting and a very wide aperture. Once someone is positioned comfortably enough for a 30 second exposure you can usually take it out further, so a small enough aperture to keep everything in focus should be possible. The people may not be perfectly sharp, because of slight movement.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  6. passerby

    passerby TPF Noob!

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    Many times here from my place I saw a full moon in the late afternoon to just before sunset - positioned few degrees above the ground - and it is so huge because earth atmosphere magnifying effect. Find the timing of it's path on the moon calendar for your area, and just be ready for it. It should make an awesome and spectacular backround scenery - and you still utilize the available sunlight cunningly. What do you think?
     
  7. pristinephoto

    pristinephoto TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all of your advice everyone. I am getting nervous about trying this out.

    That is a good idea, this couple wants to do it at 8pm though so I don't know if that would work.
     

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