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Author Topic: Shooting a moonrise - Need advice  (Read 3408 times)

Promature

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Shooting a moonrise - Need advice
« on: November 09, 2012, 02:40:17 AM »
I figured I'd take the opportunity on night shift to get a few shots of a moonrise along the beach.  Does anyone have any advice on when the best lighting would be for reflections on the ocean (i.e., how long after the offical moonrise)?  Any other advice that you could offer too would be appreciated (besides bringing a tripod) such as color temperature settings, wide or narrow aperature, etc.  I know it's going to be a waining crescent, so light is going to be minimal.  Camera and lenses are limited to what is listed below (no high ISOs for me).
70D, 10-22mm, 24-105mm f4, 50mm f1.8, 85mm f1.8, 70-200 f2.8, 430EXII

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Shooting a moonrise - Need advice
« on: November 09, 2012, 02:40:17 AM »

Hector1970

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Re: Shooting a moonrise - Need advice
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2012, 03:33:08 AM »
Hi ,
I'm not an expert on shooting the moon.
It's a relatively small object compared to the width of the sky (although it's the largest object in the sky).
They recommend shooting at around F11.
If possible set the ISO to 100.
Shutter speed would want to be at least 1/125 ~  1/1250 as the moon is a moving object
Manual would be the way to go.
A steady tripod and a remote if you have it or the timer on your camera to steady the camera.
If you have mirror lockup, use this to stop and mirror slap shake.
You'd have to use your longest lens. 70-200mm at 200mm the moon wouldn't be very big.
You could bracket shots as well to get the best exposure +2,+1, -1,-2.

I tend to focus manually with Liveview (if your camera has it).

Any best of luck with it. I'm not an expert but I have tried.
This link might give better advice http://photographylife.com/how-to-photograph-moon
This is a recent moon shot I did. It's not spectacularily sharp (I didn't do everything I suggest above - I was messing with an extender to see how good it was)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/fergalocallaghan/8162548104/#in/photostream

Promature

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Re: Shooting a moonrise - Need advice
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2012, 04:46:04 AM »
They recommend shooting at around F11.
If possible set the ISO to 100.
Shutter speed would want to be at least 1/125 ~  1/1250 as the moon is a moving object

LOL, seriously?  I thought you were joking until I read the article, and then I realized you weren't kidding.  I'm going to be shooting near some rocks, so I am hoping to get a little flash to still a wave crash and then a longer shutter speed to get the moon and the ocean reflection.  I'll have to try and experiment.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2012, 04:50:40 AM by Promature »
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SwissBear

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Re: Shooting a moonrise - Need advice
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2012, 05:54:20 AM »
It vatly depends on wether you want to photograph the moon for "scientific" reasons, menaing that you can make out details in it, or it is only an "artistic" source of light.

For the latter: on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exposure_value#Tabulated_exposure_values you find a table with approximative values to start experimenting. (these values are for the landscape, not the moon, so the moon will be totally overexposed)

For rocks, wave-crashes and so on, id go bulb (experiment on aperture) and light the scene with the flash (handheld) starting the experiment with half power or less. it's possible to walk around and iluminate a rock from several sides ;)

Shoot in RAW, as white balance is rather impossible set on field.


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Hillsilly

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Re: Shooting a moonrise - Need advice
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2012, 06:41:15 AM »
You'll get the best outcome when the moon is very low.  Typically within an hour or so of moon rise.  If you're there when the moon starts rising, you can't go wrong.  One standard classic shot has the moon half risen on the horizon.

This is a useful program for working out where the moon will appear...

http://photoephemeris.com/moonrise-photography-the-moon-in-the-landscape

Google Sky is also very useful, too.  Along with another app - Sundroid.

Its good that you're taking the flash.  As mentioned, the moon is surprisingly bright.  The shutter / aperture combination that you'll need to keep detail in the moon won't give you enough exposure for rocks and waves and well lit reflections.  But if you bracket a few exposures, then you can always manipulate the images later.

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Ryan708

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Re: Shooting a moonrise - Need advice
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2012, 07:30:35 AM »
The moon is very bright, to get a proper exposure of the moon, where you will see details, the rest of your scene will be black.  If you could combine exposures in an HDR program you might end up with a pretty cool effect. get the moon exposure in one shot, then the rest of the shot exposed properly in another shot.

Here are 2 examples of moon shots. The first is 1/250th, f/6.3, iso 100  to give an idea how bright it is!
the second is a 10 second exposure, f/3.5 iso 320 to show how dark the rest of the world can be.

If you dont end up combining exposures I'd say to get the rest of the scene correct and let the moon be blown out, it will be the best you can do. Good luck and have fun!
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drummstikk

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Re: Shooting a moonrise - Need advice
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2012, 10:38:03 AM »
Photographing the moon by itself is actually pretty easy. If you think about it, it is lit by noonday sun, even though we view it at nighttime. You can apply the "sunny 16" rule and shoot it handheld with a 300/400mm lens with very respectable results. But getting the moon with a landscape or architecture or any other element in the same photo is usually quite a difficult challenge. I'd venture that most photos that include a detailed image of the moon along with other elements are to at least a small degree the product of Photoshop trickery.

Here are two images I have done with an eye toward being as "authentic" as possible, but which still required some photoshopping.

Below is an image of the Indiana University Law Library reading room (Indianapolis/IUPUI campus) with the moon visible over the skyline. The moon is shown in its actual position in the sky that night, but was actually another image shot with a longer lens on the same night. This is an HDR Pano stitched from several vertical images shot with a 40D and 24-105 4.0 at about 40mm. The actual image of the moon was little more than a white dot in the image. The moon I placed in the image is enlarged about 3x life size. My aim was to make it more visible, but not to exaggerate.


090904_inlowreadingroom_3 by Progeny of Light, on Flickr

The image below is of the "Super Moon" last May and was an attempt to capture the tones in the moon and the tones of the building in the foreground in one image using the HDR process. It *mostly* worked (with about 9 exposures at 1.5 stop intervals), but the problem was that even when I did the brackets as fast as I could (all 9 images captured in about 40 seconds) moon actually moved enough that the combined images blended into a "jittery" image. I had to replace the moon in the final image with the bracketed image that got the least exposure. Lens was a 400mm 5.6L. In this case, the moon was *NOT* enlarged or repositioned.


SuperMoon_5-5-2-12 by Progeny of Light, on Flickr
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Re: Shooting a moonrise - Need advice
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2012, 10:38:03 AM »

PackLight

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Re: Shooting a moonrise - Need advice
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2012, 11:54:18 AM »
They recommend shooting at around F11.
If possible set the ISO to 100.
Shutter speed would want to be at least 1/125 ~  1/1250 as the moon is a moving object

LOL, seriously?  I thought you were joking until I read the article, and then I realized you weren't kidding.  I'm going to be shooting near some rocks, so I am hoping to get a little flash to still a wave crash and then a longer shutter speed to get the moon and the ocean reflection.  I'll have to try and experiment.

From memory when we had the total eclipse a while back, about 1/2 second is the slowest you will be able to go on the shutter speed before you start seeing noticable motion blur with the moon.  :-\ Or maybe it was a second and a half I have slept a few days since, but the point is you can go much slower than 1/125 if you need to get some motion blur out of your waves. ISO only matters for you as noise goes, so set accordingly. I think the problem you will face is dynamic range, the light of the moon will be overpowering and getting a decent exposrue on moon and dark waves will not be easy.

Hector1970

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Re: Shooting a moonrise - Need advice
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2012, 03:42:45 PM »
Glad I was able to convince someone the moon is a moving object.
Even though I see it all the time I still find it a fascinating object.
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crasher8

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Re: Shooting a moonrise - Need advice
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2012, 05:48:31 PM »
We've been playing with Moon Writing lately.
Longest lens, tripod, ball head. Early morning blue sky moon works best. Bulb, live view and a loose ball head to swivel the camera and 'write' with the moon being your cursor. Pretty fun.

Promature

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Re: Shooting a moonrise - Need advice
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2012, 12:43:42 AM »
Thank you everyone for the replies.  Unfortunatley (or fortunately for my wallet), I'm going to be at work for the whole night, so I'll have to hold off on moon shooting for a few more nights now.  However, the clouds are looking quite wonderful for a spectacular sunrise.  I'll be sure to post them tomorrow morning.
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Re: Shooting a moonrise - Need advice
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2012, 12:43:42 AM »