Photographic Holy Grail!

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by dpolston, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. dpolston

    dpolston TPF Noob!

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    I have a photo that I can not capture!

    Tonight I was taking photo’s of my daughters softball game and the moon was bright in a beautiful blue, starless, dusky sky. I pointed my monopod mounted Nikon D200 up and shot the Moon with my 70-200, 2.8 Nikkor lens and I saw on my monitor a big, bright white ball on a blue background... DANG-IT!

    Taking a photo of the Moon is my “Holy Grail”. I have been taking photos for years and years and I don’t know if I just can’t grasp the concept of this photo or I need to hang my camera up. The best shot I ever got of the moon was during an eclipse and I know I have tried a dozen times over the past 20 years. I guess I don't stress out enough about not getting the photo taken until now! "I want to shoot the moon!"

    What am I missing? How do I meter this? Can you shoot it either... hummm?

    By the way… sound engineers (the guys that record sound for movies and such) say that the sound of thunder without the sound of rain is their holy grail… what is your “photographic holy grail”?

    David
     
  2. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    My holy grail has something to do with an African swallow. Regarding the moon stuff, you might look around online for some astrophotography resources...there are plenty of them out there.
     
  3. Deadeye008

    Deadeye008 TPF Noob!

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    One thing that you need to remember when shooting the moon is that even though its dark out you need to use a fast shutter speed in order to capture any detail at all of the moon because the moon is actually really bright...
     
  4. fightheheathens

    fightheheathens TPF Noob!

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    the moon is the second brightest object in the sky and i have read that its about 1/8th as bright as the sun. so something around f8 1/250th would be a good place to start and bracket heavly until you find what you want


    my grail would be the northern lights in full swing or possibly a rainbow caused by moonlight....either or...
     
  5. Mohain

    Mohain TPF Noob!

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    Rule of thumb for exposure is like the 'Sunny 16' rule but at f11 (the 'Moony 11' rule ;)) F11 at a shutter speed equal to ISO rating. Start there and braket around those settings :thumbup:
     
  6. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Interesting I have never really thought of a holy grail for my photography. I do all sorts of varied stuff so my idea of a photo I NEED to get changes constantly. My current goal is a shot of the night sky with stars falling from a lookout at a mountain in the middle of the night. The result would be (especially if there are a few villages around) a landscape which appears to be getting bombed by stars. However the last time I finally managed to successfully get the exposure right, clouds covered up the stars and my battery died :(
     
  7. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    i tried getting shots of the recent eclipse in the UK.

    any shutter speed longer than a few seconds is blurred and i found that you have to spot meter.
    On my 200mm lens the moon was too small to use partial or average weighted metering and was overexposed because the dark sky tricked the camera into thinking it was a dark image.
    Spot metering on the moon gave me better results but the 200mm lens on a full frame camera just isn't long enough.
     
  8. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  9. j_mcquillen

    j_mcquillen TPF Noob!

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    You sure it wasn't a European Swallow? I assume you'll be trying to capture it gripping a coconut?

    :mrgreen: :lol: :mrgreen:
     
  10. shorty6049

    shorty6049 TPF Noob!

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    hope nobody has answered this fully already, but if they have, sorry, the way i photograph the moon, is by just setting the exposure so that the moon is properly exposed, then if you want the sky blue, just increase the exposure, and basically post process it to make an HDR. I've posted this before, but it might help you a little. I had to process it with three different exposures. One for Venus (upper left), one for the moon, and one for the pleades star cluster/nebula.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Other have given good advice on how to do it. As for what you are missing...you have to understand what the camera's meter is seeing and what it's trying to do.

    The meter will take an area (depends on the metering mode) and adjust (suggest) the exposure to make it 18% grey. It will average the values that it reads. So the average of a bright moon and a dark sky...will leave you with a kind of dark sky and a blown out white moon.

    The moon is a very bright spot in a usually dark sky. The difference in tones is too much for the camera to capture.

    By using the settings suggested...you can get a good exposure of the moon...but the sky will be very dark...which is usually OK. This theory can be applied to all photography. The camera's meter will always give suggestions to make an 18% (mid tone) exposure. It's up to you to decide what you want to be exposed properly and adjust accordingly.
     
  12. Antarctican

    Antarctican TPF Noob!

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    [​IMG]
     

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