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Old Feb 6, 2004, 5:24 AM   #1
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Default Moon over Sagamiko

Just playing around with the new C-755, and lots more to learn. With my previous digicam, (Oly D-620), things were pretty simple, and more like "regular" photography--very few controls beyond exposure compensation. But with the camera controls available on the new camera, I realize it's more like hauling a darkroom around with you. Everything from white balance to contrast, sharpness, hue impact and so on--you can make all those decisions in the field, so I'm finding it's much more time consuming--not to mention hard to see in the fading light :shock: .

Anyway, I could have never taken these photos without the manual controls, obviously. I was using a tripod, so not sure if the fuzziness is a result of deficient technique, or if this is just the 755's way of telling me it doesn't like low light . If anyone has any tips for taking under this kind of situation, I'm all ears.

--Also, shooting through the branches wasn't a choice, but the trail on the mountain behind my house just doesn't have any good clear places. I took these about 90 minutes ago, this the last night of the full moon. Manual focus on infinity, reduced contrast by 2 steps.



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Old Feb 6, 2004, 8:01 AM   #2
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Photographing the moon is definitely not the easiest thing to do. The branches in the third photo worked for you, not against you, by framing the moon. These are really nice photos. The last time I photographed the moon, I had to work my tail off in Photoshop with the results, so my hat's off to you.

If your camera has RAW mode (and you've got Photoshop CS or a plugin for converting such photos), you end up not having to fiddle with as many settings in the camera, altering those settings in post-processing instead. It's easier and it lends you more control.
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Old Feb 6, 2004, 8:28 AM   #3
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I agree with Barbara and like the third photo the best. Nice work.
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Old Feb 6, 2004, 10:49 AM   #4
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I also lilked the third one best. Almost monochromatic. In fact, I made some B/W versions as well, but I liked that yellow moon.

I figured out before starting that with the general low latitude of the digital medium, one key would be to reduce contrast in the camera, since trying to expose for the dark land would cause the moon to be blocked out white, and exposing for detail in the moon would, etc., etc.

Anyway, I was surprised that I got as much moon surface detail with simultaneous detail on the ground, so I'll definitely have to fool around with the contrast setting a bit more for future shots.

. . . and my dog Sandy was whining all the time: "what the hay are you doing out here after dark??!!.
A bit more light on the subject:


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Old Feb 6, 2004, 11:22 AM   #5
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With moon photos, it is often easier to get a shot of the moon by itself and shoot the landscape separately. Then paste the moon into the landscape photo. One advantage of this is that you can change the size of the moon in the final picture.
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Old Feb 6, 2004, 11:27 AM   #6
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I just spent time going back and forth between the two versions, trying to decide which I liked more. Finally, I decided on the second one.

I don't know if it's just a product of JPEG compression, but if it's not, you can get rid of the darker edging around the moon with some (very careful) cloning. You might try selecting just the brighter part of the moon, feather the selection by 1 pixel, then invert the selection so that, when you clone, you won't drive yourself nuts by constantly misfiring and making inroads to the yellow part.
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Old Feb 6, 2004, 11:37 AM   #7
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Cal:
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With moon photos, it is often easier to get a shot of the moon by itself and shoot the landscape separately.
Hey, that's cheating! I know, but I was trying to see what the camera could do this time, since it's still a new toy for me.

Barb:
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I just spent time going back and forth between the two versions, trying to decide which I liked more. Finally, I decided on the second one.
Actually, Barb, they're different photos. As well, I spent a bit more time in PSP tuning the high-mid-low tones on the latter one, lightening it up in the midtones, and it's a bit larger as well, which might have thrown off your impression somewhat.

I do appreciate all the comments. I really want to improve the resolution--my goal is "Moonrise Hernandez," needless to say :?
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Old Feb 6, 2004, 11:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
it is often easier to get a shot of the moon by itself and shoot the landscape separately
I'm tucking that one away so I can find it when I need it. Great tip.
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Old Feb 6, 2004, 11:47 AM   #9
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If your exposure was slightly longish(technical term) the fuzziness of the branches was probably caused by their motion.
Trees have a annoying habit of fidgeting and moving around in the breeze.
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Old Feb 6, 2004, 12:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
If your exposure was slightly longish(technical term) the fuzziness of the branches
Actually, it wasn't the branches that bothered me so much; perhaps I should've explained a bit more: it was a bit windy, and I didn't use as small a f-stop as I should have, so the branches have adequate reason to be fuzzy in any event, but it wasn't the foreground I was so worried about--it was the overall "softness" of the image that seemed out of place. I wanted a bit sharper focus, I guess.

As I continue to work with some of the many shots I took, I find that adding a bit of "sharpen" does improve things somewhat. Still a bit of fringing about the moon's perimeter, but that may be impossible to avoid.
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