the moon and....

Kenneth Walker

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Oct 13, 2014
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Burghfield Common, near Reading, Berkshire, UK
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Elements 14. Does anyone know what haze reduction actually does to achieve its effect? Tried it out this evening on our celestial companion. Just quite pleased with the result. the sky appeared clear, but after a day or so of fine weather (high pressure and still air) there must have been a fair amount of stuff in the air.
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The "how" is unclear to me but the "what" is undeniable: great shot!
According to exif: Nikon D7000 with a 150-500 lens at 500mm.

Is that a sigma? Whatever it is- it captured a good one for you!
Great Shot!

Yes....built like a tank is that lens; and heavy to match! I have issues with it on auto focus, but was using manual here, on a tripod of course and with a remote shutter release.
I used to have the same Sigma 150-500 lens.
I searched for moon shots but I couldn't find any with that lens. I had that lens for a short time before I replaced it with a 150-600 Tamron that I got a good deal on.

Before I take moon shots I look at the edge of craters in binoculars to see if I can see deep ridges. I think I normally look at the top right of the Sea of Tranquility. If I don't see the ridge detail that I like then I know my moon shot is just a "normal" moon shot. From my location it is very few and far between when I actually get a really good photo. Yes it's clear a lot, no clouds that one can see but it's all the stuff that you can't see that is the problem.

It's normally best (around here) after a storm front has pushed through. And the occasional blackout from school & street lights which are various colors.
Looking through a telescope you can actually see all the movement of stuff in the sky which steals away detail. The more off of a 12 o'clock position you get, the less detail you get (of course, the higher in the atmosphere you are the better it will be).

I also pick a time of night when the moon is directly up. This will have the thinnest atmosphere and minimal light atmospheric refraction. The refraction is how one gets a red moon, etc. Of course when it's large or red it has no detail.

Then on to the camera.
Pick a nice sturdy concrete pad for the camera. NOTE: I've found even concrete pads vibrate. When taking a photo do not move at all or with a remote take the shot about 10 feet away (and don't move).
1 - a very sturdy tripod. yes, even more sturdy than what you think is sturdy. Be careful of windy nights. Stand in a position to block the wind if needed. Connect the tripod to the lens on the lens mount (for the Sigma).
2 - use MUP (on Nikon) which first release the shutter is brought up, 2nd release the photo is taken. Wait about 5 seconds between releases.
3 - use Manual exposure mode. The moon actually is moving fairly quickly. Don't let the camera decide aperture or shutter as you may lose detail just from too slow a shutter.
4 - Aperture - Pick the sharpest aperture for your lens. For the Sigma 150-500 and Tamron 150-600 that is f/8.
5- Manual focus to infinity, though my camera focuses just fine on the moon (to infinity) on my Tamron - the Sigma as fine too (on d7000 and d600).

then take your shot
81WN Waning Gibbous 20140814 Illumination: 81% by Steve Sklar, on Flickr
Moon_20150607-03 by Steve Sklar, on Flickr
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oh, I guess I should more directly answer the haze question.
It's all in the photo tips above.
Take the photo when the moon is at it's highest, then everything else in my above tips. You'll get a lot of haze if you take a shot of the moon when it is far down in the horizon .. it's the atmospheric issues.
then after all that you'll know you'll have the detail then you can sharpen etc. and whatever else you want to do.

It is hard to evaluate a photo, in this case, without knowing (and being there to see for myself ) all the other factors involved.

For instance, here's one of my better Red Moon photos, when it's low on the horizon. But it doesn't have much detail.
20150831_RedMoon_v2-01 by Steve Sklar, on Flickr
and here's one with visible clouds streaks across it
MoonColors_20150603-14 by Steve Sklar, on Flickr
and here's one that is better but still atmospheric issues
97WX Waxing Gibbous 20150630 _Moon-01 by Steve Sklar, on Flickr
being able to get the clearest sky possible is the first issue. And to do that simply use your own eyes and binoculars to evaluate.
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Thanks for all that...working my way to pretty much most of what you advise. Of course this shot of mine taken on more or less a whim. Next time I'll drive out with my gear into the countryside away from as much light pollution as possible. I have a location in mind; there's a car park on top of Watership down. On this occasion, I took the image from my back garden, across the fence of which is a streetlight. All the local ones have just had the old sodiums replaced with industrial strength LEDs, but at least they are much more directional...I was curious to see if they'd make life difficult (I had a lens hood on anyway). I had thought of mirror up but didn't get round to it...I'll give that a try.

The moon was fairly high up...common sense of course to wait until it's at least half way towards the zenith. Fairly early in the evening; approx 1645 GMT and not quite completely dark.

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