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Jbird87 Feb 27, 2012 7:32 PM

What to do?
I have wanted to do a shot of the worlds largest 8 ball and the full moon for many years but never had the right camera. Now that I have it I have a few questions. Should I take two shots of each object in focus and Photoshop them together or can it be pulled off with one shot?

BillDrew Feb 27, 2012 10:11 PM

Photoshop will work and is much simpler.

I think it is worth trying to figure out how to do it. Likely times to work is near sunrise or sunset near a full moon. That will put the moon near the horizon and there will be light on the water tower.

It will be a mater of finding the right place to stand, the right time of day, and the right time of the month. Start by looking for the right place to stand - it might be that the "8" will not show from there and pretty much doom the project. (Though you could photoshop the "8" back in)

Don't give up to soon: the moon's orbit precesses every 18.6 years so check back every few years if it doesn't look good on the first try.

TCav Feb 27, 2012 10:35 PM

Yeah, which way does the "8" face? To do it in one shot, if the "8" faces West, you can do it just after moonrise (just before sunset), and if it faces East, you can do it just before moonset (just after sunrise. If it faces North or South, you'll have to do it in post processing.

BTW, you can generally get better shots of the Full Moon when it's high in the sky, not near the horizon. Then you can just use the image of the Moon as a layer, position it where you want it, and then put the 8 ball wherever you want on another layer. PSE can do it too, but LR can't.

peripatetic Feb 28, 2012 3:36 AM

Check this out: (for iPhone and iPad) (for Desktop)

It will tell you exactly how and when to do this without photoshop trickery, you need to supply the co-ordinates for where.

Jbird87 Feb 28, 2012 8:58 AM

The 8 faces both east and west. Finding a place to take the photo is no problem. The tower sits on the edge of our small town. I would prefer the shot not be edited I don’t care for anything faked. But if it is the only way I will. If my calculations are right it should be possible in a few more days.

VTphotog Feb 28, 2012 9:23 AM

Is the tower lighted at night? If not, you will probably have difficulty getting an exposure that has any detail in both the moon and the "8 ball". Several exposures merged into an HDR image may not work too well either, as the moon moves rather faster than one would expect. (though you can mask it out of all but one shot, in some HDR software). An evening exposure without the moon, followed by a shot of the moon itself, from the same position, angle, and focal length, could be merged to form a reasonably accurate rendition.


Jbird87 Feb 28, 2012 9:51 AM

Tower is not lit but I am guessing a few spot lights would do the trick. The shot will be posted on the town’s website and the mayor lives next door so permission won’t be a problem. It sounds like this will have to be a heavily edited shot, so I might as well get started on the tower shot this weekend. THX for the help everyone.

TCav Feb 28, 2012 10:28 AM

I don't think a few spotlights will help you take a photo of something black at night.

TCav Feb 28, 2012 10:36 AM

In order for this to work in one shot, you need to capture the Full Moon before the Sun has set. Unfortuantely, if you take a picture of the Moon while the Sun is still up, the Moon won't be absolutely Full. One side will be sharp, but the other side will still have some shadow. The only time the Moon is Full is when it's on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun, and that doesn't happen while the sky is still blue (or any other color except black.)

If you want a blue sky, and black ball, and a Moon that's really Full, you'll have to do it in post processing.

TCav Feb 28, 2012 10:48 AM

You might be able to do it in the very few minutes between when the Sun has set and when the sky turns black. During that time, you'll be in the dark, but the Sun will still be shining on the black ball and the sky, and the Full Moon will have risen.

Would you please post the result here, whatever it is?

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