Near Moon - Second attempt


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Photo

Title     Near Moon - Second attempt
Photographer     alank287/Alan (3,529) Send mail to this user
Portfolio     Landscapes
F-stop     f/6.3
Shutter speed     1/250 sec
Categories     Sky
Astrophotography
Lens     Nikkor AF-S DX VR 18-200/3.5-5.6G ED
Camera     D700/D300
Format     Nikon NEF Raw
Content advisory     G (general audiences)
Submitted     March 19, 2011 11:25:03 PM CDT
Views     478
Rating     4 Thumb-up

I've replaced the justifiably heavily critiqued version of this "near moon" with this shot taken later when the moon was higher and above much of the city haze. Also reduced the ISO back to 100, and set the exposure area t the smallest possible to expose for a mix of light and dark on this full moon. Adjusted exposure using the PS raw panel, converted to grey tones, and sharpened. The 400 mm zoom represents 600 on a full frame DSLR. I estimate the crop is about 1/20th of the frame in area.

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Thumb-up Thumb-up    from grandpalarry/Larry (7,428) Send mail to this user on March 20, 2011 9:40:35 AM CDT (2) Early critique

I like the detail shown in shadow areas and near the edge of the moon, but the whiter areas are a tad burnt out. Perhaps if you had used spot metering and metered on the brightest areas, you'd have gotten a nice alternative version, a bit darker to be sure. It's also possible to burn areas, but burning often leaves a dull result. One great feature in Photoshop is the Fade command, and you can reduce the effects of burning with a slider, to find your 'sweet spot.' Use the Fade command after each stroke of the Burn tool. I'd suggest using a large, feathered brush set to no more than 10% opacity.

A good alternative method is to use Shadows/Highlights. : )

BTW, overexposure often leads to focus appear less than perfect in brighter areas, a possibility in this case.

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From alank287/Alan (3,529) Send mail to this user on March 20, 2011 10:42:24 AM CDT

This is post replaces my earlier effort. Here I turned down the ISO to 100 to get as little pixelation as possible. The crop is probably about 1/20th of the entire frame's area.Also made sure to set the exposure area as small as possible and tried to get it to cover about 50% dark, 50% light area to get the best exposure possible. In RAW mode, adjusted levels, then sharpened.

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Thumb-up Thumb-up    from bwfilmuser/Barry (9,317) Send mail to this user on March 20, 2011 1:59:54 AM CDT (2) Early critique

Greetings, Alan. This is much better. It still shows some slight softness from urban atmospheric interference, but the moon's features are clearly seen and recognizable. What small amount of noise that is still there is due to the extreme crop rather than the combination of extreme crop and extreme ISO. In fact, this 1/20th section of the image file shows off the capabilities of the D700 pretty dramatically.

For those who are interested in this rare phenomenon which has been given a Twenty-first Century nickname "Super Moon", HERE is an article I linked in a forum post on this subject, and HERE is another article with some different details.

I am a frustrated stargazer tonight. I just stepped outside to take a look, and the even gray overcast that has completely blocked the sky all day is still there. Damn! I am missing this. Thank you for sharing it so that I can at least participate vicariously.

~Best wishes, Barry

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