June 23, 2013 - 11 went


10-22-10 - On a lark, I shot last night's full moon, using a camera with higher MP than what I used in '07 (Canon 7D 18MP vs. 30D 8.3MP) and a higher-quality lens (Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS with 1.4x extender vs. 75-300 f/4-5.6). See comments for more

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Added by A former member
on Oct 23, 2010.


  • A former member

    This, again, is a crop (to 908 x 703) of a larger frame. In my rush, I neglected to zoom to maximum focal length (a regretful oversight). This was shot at 195mm, the default position on the lens when I started shooting; if I'd had my thinking cap on, I could have gone to 280mm with the 1.4x extender. Oh well. However, I wanted to note that I experimented a bit in post-processing and by radically reducing the shadow attribute in my lighting controls, I got a good amount more detail in the final image, which I mention because that could be useful to anyone who might slightly overexpose (which ... believe it or not ... is very possible when shooting moon pics). When shooting, short of using high-end equipment designed for astrological photography, I do think it's best to try and use as small of an aperture as possible (to improve intrinsic sharpness) and as fast of a shutter speed as possible (yes, the moon -- er, or is the earth? -- does move, believe it or not). If it means boosting your ISO to levels you'd normally try to avoid, so be it. You can correct that with noise-reduction software in post-processing, if it's really horrific. The specs on this image, by the way, were: f/8, 1/250, ISO-1600 . And yes, I did experiment with a tad of noise-reduction in post-processing on one copy of this image, but the copy I uploaded here was unfiltered by noise-reduction software. I thought that would be more useful for everyone so you can judge for yourselves whether it was really needed. The 7D actually is pretty decent in muting noise up to about ISO 2500-3200, so I probably didn't need to use it.

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  • Carol T

    Hey Joe! Still, having left that magic cap off, a fantastically great shot! Makes me wonder just how much better it would be if you had that cap on...as I, for one, think this is way beyond my expectations!!! I like your affects from post-processing...almost makes it look as if there is a translucency to the sphere.

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  • A former member

    Carol, your T2i delivers a maximum 18MP -- same as the 7D; that's a nice buffer (advantage) to play with when you have to do a radical crop of an image (like I did) in hopes of enlarging a subject that is so far away like the moon. You have a 55-250mm lens. So you CAN do this. If it makes you feel more comfortable, use a tripod. But if you use a fast enough shutter speed (1/80 or faster), you could pull this off hand-held (which is what I did last night). Set your lens to its maximum focal length (250mm). Ideally, you should shoot in RAW mode -- you'll find that in post-processing in Photoshop or any good-quality photo editing software, it will be so much easier to manipulate such things as exposure and coloring when first editing a RAW format image (vs. JPEG). You can always convert a copy of the RAW image to the more familiar (and MUCH smaller sized) JPEG once you're done editing the RAW file. Set your ISO to 800 for starters (you can go higher later if you need to avoid giving ground on the f/stop and/or shutter). Use your camera's aperture priority mode and set the f/stop to f/8 (an optimum setting for most normal shots of any kind, by the way). Experiment with different shutter speeds, starting with 1/100 and go either direction (although hopefully more toward the faster end than the slower), depending on your results. If you reach a point where you don't want to go any slower on the shutter speed, then boost the ISO a little. After a shot, when you pull it up on your LCD screen, it's a good thing if you see ANY detail of the moon; it means exposure was somewhere in the correct vicinity. But it's not too good if you see almost total whiteness -- it means you overexposed. In post-processing, find your lighting/exposure controls in whatever editing software you use. If your image(s) appears to be dark or underexposed, just boost the midtones a bit till you get the illumination you like. If the image appears overexposed (i.e., almost all white and very little detail), then lower the shadows area of those same lighting/exposure controls. That will help you recover some detail, depending on how overexposed it was to begin with.

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  • A former member

    A sidebar observation after comparing my 2007 shot of the full moon to the one I took last night. If you would, closely compare the landscapes of those full moon images. This supports astrological contention that because of the moon's synchronous rotation (it takes the moon 27.3 days to rotate on its axis, the same amount of time it takes to revolve around Earth). That's why, consequently, it always appears to be showing the same side of its face toward Earth. Indeed, the "face" of the moon in my 2007 image appears to be the same as the one I shot last night. True, the positioning of some key elements of those landscapes have shifted, but only slightly.

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  • Carol T

    Joe, If I'm looking at the corect picture, that was taken 1/3/07? The one last night would be 10/22/10. The fact this is about 2 months difference could account for the slight change too...as the placement of the moon's axis to the earth's axis...as that shifts...northern hemisphee to southern hemisphere... BUT, yes...definitely...

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