December 22, 2014, 01:33:52 AM

Author Topic: Questions about Shooting the Supermoon  (Read 5722 times)

Frodo

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Re: Questions about Shooting the Supermoon
« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2014, 04:27:55 PM »
LOL, yes, and that was brave of you to post that!  I did the opposite when I first shot the moon.  I spot-metered the moon and then set the manual exposure.  Of course that turns white to middle gray, not really what you want, either.  I think spot meter +1 EV works well as a starting place if I remember from my last shot.

The Moon receives the same light from the Sun as we do on Earth.  So expose for a sunny day on Earth to expose the Moon correctly. 
In the days of film I used the "sunny 16" rule: f16 at the reciprocal of the ASA (ISO).  So 1/125 @ f16 for 125 ASA. 
You don't need f16 for depth of field and for a long tele, you need a higher shutter speed.  So f8 and 1/500 for 100 ISO or f8 and 1/2000 for 400 ISO.  I would bracket to be safe.
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Re: Questions about Shooting the Supermoon
« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2014, 04:27:55 PM »

jrista

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Re: Questions about Shooting the Supermoon
« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2014, 04:31:03 PM »
The biggest perigee moon of the year is happening this weekend and I'm planning to shoot it.  I've taken some simple shots of the moon in the past, but this time I'd like to do it right.  My plan is to incorporate the silhouetted  branches of a longleaf pine (the subject of an ongoing project of mine) in front of the moon.  I realize I need to be way back from the moon to get them even remotely close to the same focal plane (within the lens, not the universe!), but I have some questions:

1. Roughly how far from the tree do I need to be, assuming I'm shooting at 300 (for a wider shoot) or 600mm (300 f/2..8 IS II + 2xIII)?

2. Forgive my extreme ignorance on the subject, but I assume the so-called moon illusion that makes it appear larger near the horizon is just a psychological phenomenon, not something visible in-camera, right?

3. How much does humidity degrade this type of shot? It looks like it will be somewhere between 65-85% , which is actually a bit low for this time of year. 

Any advice you might have is appreciated :)

Without question, use the longer scope. The moon is only about 30 arcminutes in size, and even at 1200mm (600/4 II + 2x), it still doesn't fill the entire frame on my 7D (1200mm vertical AoV, the smallest AoV on a 1.6x APS-C sensor, is 43 arcminutes so still lager than the moon.) You want as many pixels as you can on subject so you can maximize detail.

Humidity is hardly a problem unless it fogs up your lens. If you can keep a very low power blow dryer on hand, you can combat fogging due to humidity.

The biggest issue is seeing, or atmospheric turbulence. That is going to be the single largest factor that will affect your ability to resolve good detail. Seeing ranges from extremely good (practically no turbulence at all, details from distant stars come through so well that you can clearly see the airy disk diffraction pattern under high enough magnification) to utterly horrible (you can't tell that a star is actually a round object, it looks like a boiling spotted blob that is about 5-10x larger than the star really is). This seeing affects the moon...if you zoom in really high in live view at your longest focal length (i.e. use the 600mm option for sure), you can actually see a rippling effect along the edge of the moon. That is atmospheric turbulence warping the edge.

With a long focal length, you can kind of "cut through" some seeing and resolve enough detail to be useful. The other option, which is what a lot of high res moon imagers use, is to take video frames of the moon, at a high frame rate, and stack them together. That averages out the turbulence, and you end up with mostly real detail. There is the potential for artifacts to occur from stacking like that, glows or halos around mountains (where the bright reflection of a mountain peak might be framed against deep shadow behind), but overall, using video allows you to get much better detail of well lit areas than a single frame (unless you have a LOT of focal length, and a lot of skill.)

Regarding the size of the moon at the horizon. There might be a very slight amount of refraction enlarging it, however overall the apparent size of the moon at the horizon, vs. when it is overhead, is primarily a perceptual thing. If your aiming for detail, you want to image when the moon is overhead...preferably at the Zenith, but within the overhead 45 degree angle of view where atmospheric thickness is thinnest (minimizes the impact of seeing.) Imaging the moon at the horizon is bound to greatly increase seeing issues, so it isn't good if you want to resolve detail.

If you want a nice, moody moon shot, the best time is when it's on the horizon...just rising, with a really long focal length, or shortly after it has risen with the moon partially obscured by clouds. The moon at sunset, with pink, red, and orange clouds around it, is nice as well. A crescent moon with foreground trees silhouetted against it is another nice moody shot. I've been photographing the moon for years, and have photographed it in almost every scenario possible. The biggest factor, really, is focal length. You want to get up to 1200mm if you can (for APS-C), or even 2000mm (FF) to really pack on the detail. At 300mm on APS-C, the moon is actually going to fill only about 1/50th the area of the frame...it's going to be pretty small. At 600mm on APS-C, the moon is going to fill about 1/12th of the frame.

lintoni

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Re: Questions about Shooting the Supermoon
« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2014, 04:34:55 PM »
1. You have time before Sunday to practice the shot, so I'd check where it's rising this evening, or Saturday and try some shots to gve you an idea of the best set up for you. I use Stellarium (freeware, excellent) if I'm planning pictures involving astral bodies other than the sun. There won't be enough size difference to mess up approximations of this sort.
+1 on Stellarium, too, it's a perfect companion to The Photographer's Ephemeris and I just bought the paid version for my Android.
Android - that reminds me, for your "how far away should I be?" bit, do you have Dof Calc on your phone/tablet?

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=jds.dofcalc
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mackguyver

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Re: Questions about Shooting the Supermoon
« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2014, 04:43:00 PM »
1. You have time before Sunday to practice the shot, so I'd check where it's rising this evening, or Saturday and try some shots to gve you an idea of the best set up for you. I use Stellarium (freeware, excellent) if I'm planning pictures involving astral bodies other than the sun. There won't be enough size difference to mess up approximations of this sort.
+1 on Stellarium, too, it's a perfect companion to The Photographer's Ephemeris and I just bought the paid version for my Android.
Android - that reminds me, for your "how far away should I be?" bit, do you have Dof Calc on your phone/tablet?

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=jds.dofcalc
Yes, and the ND Calc as well

lintoni

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Re: Questions about Shooting the Supermoon
« Reply #19 on: August 08, 2014, 05:12:33 PM »
There should be a sticky somewhere, essential apps for android/ios/windows!
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jrista

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Re: Questions about Shooting the Supermoon
« Reply #20 on: August 08, 2014, 07:27:33 PM »
1. You have time before Sunday to practice the shot, so I'd check where it's rising this evening, or Saturday and try some shots to gve you an idea of the best set up for you. I use Stellarium (freeware, excellent) if I'm planning pictures involving astral bodies other than the sun. There won't be enough size difference to mess up approximations of this sort.
+1 on Stellarium, too, it's a perfect companion to The Photographer's Ephemeris and I just bought the paid version for my Android.

Personally, I use WorldWide Telescope from Microsoft Research. Full color, high resolution sky survey (excellent for astrophotography), and some cool 3D mapping of the solar system:





« Last Edit: August 08, 2014, 07:32:15 PM by jrista »

mackguyver

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Re: Questions about Shooting the Supermoon
« Reply #21 on: August 08, 2014, 07:52:46 PM »
Jon, I was hoping our resident Starman would reply, so thank you for the additional details and I'm sure you'll blow us away with your photos if you shoot on Sunday!

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Re: Questions about Shooting the Supermoon
« Reply #21 on: August 08, 2014, 07:52:46 PM »

jrista

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Re: Questions about Shooting the Supermoon
« Reply #22 on: August 08, 2014, 08:06:30 PM »
Jon, I was hoping our resident Starman would reply, so thank you for the additional details and I'm sure you'll blow us away with your photos if you shoot on Sunday!

I hope I'll be able to. It's been pretty stormy here lately, so I don't know if the sky will be clear. I want to get a tracked 1200mm f/8 shot if I can. I've done 1200mm before, but it is a PITA to focus, so I don't have anything to show for it yet. Now that I have the mount and BackyardEOS, it should be a lot easier to focus, since I won't have to touch the camera or the lens (I control it all remotely from my computer right here in my house. :D)

I also recently picked up a QHY5L-II high speed, ultra high resolution 75% Q.E. planetary CCD and guide camera. I use it for guiding normally, but it can also be used for planetary imaging. I want to figure out a way to attach it to my 600mm lens, and do some high speed video imaging so I can use that stacking technique. With the size and resolution of this camera, it would basically be like zooming in with a very, very long telescope at just one area of the moon's surface.

BTW, just a word of warning. The moon is going to be full at perigee, so there will be no shadow play on the surface. That actually doesn't make for the best moon photos. Full moon is a good time for "moody" photos, but not detail photos. You really want gibbous or smaller moons for detail photos, as then you have plenty of shadow on the surface to bring out detail and relief.

jrista

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Re: Questions about Shooting the Supermoon
« Reply #23 on: August 09, 2014, 03:31:51 AM »
I did some moon imaging tonight at 1200mm, with the 5D III and 7D. Here is a high res (superresolution or "drizzle") of the last bit of shaded moon detail along the eastern edge. This was integrated in AutoStakkert! 2, from a 1000-frame video taken with my 7D at 1/100s f/8 ISO 200:




I could have probably gotten even more detail, but I had BackyardEOS configured incorrectly. It was only doing 5x zoom in the planetary imaging mode, when it can actually do up to 10x zoom. I ran out of time, the moon slipped behind the trees. I'll try again once the moon is in more of a waning gibbous phase, when it should have a lot more interesting detail with some shading.

Here are some full frames, comparing the resolving power of the 7D and 5D III:




mackguyver

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Re: Questions about Shooting the Supermoon
« Reply #24 on: August 10, 2014, 12:55:01 AM »
Awesome shots, Jon!  I wish I could say my night went the same way...but when I walked outside, the humidity was so high ~90% that my headlamp beam looked like it was cutting through smoke.  The moon was blurry and the sky was partly cloudy.  I wasn't able to get very far from the tree I was planning to silhouette as there are other trees in the way so the focus differences are way too much.  I also tried a plain astophotograph and it came out awful.

I'd like to thank lintoni for the idea to do a practice run tonight.  Tomorrow's set up (weather permitting) will be 100% different!

applecider

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Re: Questions about Shooting the Supermoon
« Reply #25 on: August 10, 2014, 10:47:42 PM »
Supermoon all kinds of extenders and big white.  I'm quite pleased with the resolution given that two 2x extenders were used.  Eyeballing them I'd say they are comparable to jrista's  thousand points of moon light with the 7D.

5Diii 2xii>2xiii>600EF ii moon f20.0 1/6sec iso 100 no cropping adjustments done in adobe bridge. So essentially this was a 2400mm moonshot, maybe tonite I'll try a 7D but at 2400mm it is hard to get the moon within the frame, so the 7D should overfill the moon.  And I'll try to up the iso to 500 or so and shutter to 1/30 sec.
Also on Flikr https://www.flickr.com/photos/56580542@N05/14695787710/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/56580542@N05/14695823009/in/photostream/

« Last Edit: August 10, 2014, 10:54:06 PM by applecider »
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mackguyver

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Re: Questions about Shooting the Supermoon
« Reply #26 on: August 11, 2014, 12:08:50 AM »
Supermoon all kinds of extenders and big white.  I'm quite pleased with the resolution given that two 2x extenders were used.  Eyeballing them I'd say they are comparable to jrista's  thousand points of moon light with the 7D.

5Diii 2xii>2xiii>600EF ii moon f20.0 1/6sec iso 100 no cropping adjustments done in adobe bridge. So essentially this was a 2400mm moonshot, maybe tonite I'll try a 7D but at 2400mm it is hard to get the moon within the frame, so the 7D should overfill the moon.  And I'll try to up the iso to 500 or so and shutter to 1/30 sec.
Also on Flikr https://www.flickr.com/photos/56580542@N05/14695787710/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/56580542@N05/14695823009/in/photostream/
Nice work as well, applecider.  It was cloudy and 95% humidity tonight here in Florida, so no dice on either night.  Maybe next month's supermoon (though not as spectacular) will work out better.

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Re: Questions about Shooting the Supermoon
« Reply #27 on: August 11, 2014, 02:21:00 AM »
Nice work as well, applecider.  It was cloudy and 95% humidity tonight here in Florida, so no dice on either night.  Maybe next month's supermoon (though not as spectacular) will work out better.
Sorry to hear that mackguyver.
This one was capture tonight from California - 5D III + 400mm f2.8 IS II + 2x TC III

I think this one is little better than my 1st  :P
« Last Edit: August 11, 2014, 11:21:38 PM by Dylan777 »
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Re: Questions about Shooting the Supermoon
« Reply #27 on: August 11, 2014, 02:21:00 AM »

serendipidy

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Re: Questions about Shooting the Supermoon
« Reply #28 on: August 11, 2014, 05:08:07 AM »
Reading this thread made me go out and try with my 7D and 100-400L handheld. This is my result after heavy cropping and some pp in DPP. 1/800s, F 5.6, ISO 160.

Supermoon Aug 10, 2014 by EricJ777, on Flickr
« Last Edit: August 11, 2014, 05:11:31 AM by serendipidy »
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Mr Bean

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Re: Questions about Shooting the Supermoon
« Reply #29 on: August 11, 2014, 09:20:08 AM »
Between winter rain showers last night, I managed to get off a few shots.
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Re: Questions about Shooting the Supermoon
« Reply #29 on: August 11, 2014, 09:20:08 AM »