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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Exposure help Needed
Mike Jones, Photographer
Magnolia | AR | USA | Posted: 9:14 PM on 11.10.11
->> I need some help with exposure.........I saw the most beautiful moon set this morning about 6:15 AM. The sky was a deep blue and the moon a golden globe. When I set up my tripod and took the photo the moon was white and the sky was a dull blue-grey. I shot AWB and AV of 6.3 ISO 5000. Anyone have a sugestion, I would like to try again in the morning when the moon is officially full. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
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Nina Zhito, Photographer
Bay Area | CA | | Posted: 9:29 PM on 11.10.11
->> just shoot it like at "sunny sixteen"...
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Geoffrey Bolte, Photographer, Assistant
Thompson | CT | USA | Posted: 9:39 PM on 11.10.11
->> Sounds like an exposure and white balance issue. I would have shot in manual, as nina says "sunny sixteen". You can also change the exposure to taste, the meter isn't going to be even, it will say you are underexposing...

Also with AWB the camera was trying to find 18% gray and couldn't.
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Preston Mack, Photographer
Orlando | FL | | Posted: 9:40 PM on 11.10.11
->> How is the moon lit? By the sun.
What is exposure for a full, sun lit surface on Earth?
That is a good starting point for this photo.

It could be a multiple exposure, composite type photo.

Shoot manual. Not AV mode. You can chimp and go from there.
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Jon Cunningham, Photographer
Lisle | IL | USA | Posted: 9:50 PM on 11.10.11
->> The moon is nothing more than a big white sandy beach. I would start with the "sunny 16 rule" minus one stop for the beach environment.
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Mike Jones, Photographer
Magnolia | AR | USA | Posted: 9:57 PM on 11.10.11
->> Thanks to all for your insight. I really do appreciate the advice.
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Alan Look, Photographer
Bloomington/Normal | IL | United States | Posted: 10:20 PM on 11.10.11
->> Maybe try to bracket or HDR as Preston suggests. I've had some fairly good luck with some middle of the day landscape shots with HDR, but just some simple bracketing may get you real close to what you want with a single frame.
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Mike Jones, Photographer
Magnolia | AR | USA | Posted: 10:40 PM on 11.10.11
->> Thanks Alan, still learning could you expand on HDR?
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 11:06 PM on 11.10.11
->> I would shoot the scene RAW and also bracket several exposures. AWB for scenes where you don't really have an element for the AWB algorithm to lock onto is just an exercise in frustration. In your case the moon really is the only thing that the camera may have to guesstimate a white point.
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Clay Begrin, Photographer
Petaluma | Ca | USA | Posted: 4:43 AM on 11.11.11
->> Mike, just to start off, I have little exoerience at shooting the moon, however I have found some consistent material here on SS regarding images of the moon and they have seemed to work fairly well. I've heard the Sunny 16 rule like already mentioned in the above threads. For me, what I have heard,tested and what worked for me was to start with F11 and an ISO of 400 or 800. Your shutter speed will be 1/X ISO. Meaning if your ISO is 400, your shutter speed will be 1/400th. If your ISO were 800, your shutter speed would be 1/800th. Just keep the aperture at f11 and then your shutter is 1/X your ISO. This procedure will usually get you really close.
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Gregory Greene, Photographer
Durham | NH | USA | Posted: 7:34 AM on 11.11.11
->> Sounds like a scene that is going to be beyond the dynamic range of a digital camera. Use a tripod, shoot RAW, and bracket the exposures +2 +1 0 -1 -2, then run it through an HDR enabled program (ex. CS5, Photomatix) to combine all the photos into one exposure. It's amazing what the process can produce but you have to be careful not to overdue it. I've seen way too many HDR images that look awful because it's over done.
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Alan Look, Photographer
Bloomington/Normal | IL | United States | Posted: 8:44 AM on 11.11.11
->> What Gregory just posted, but if you shoot with a Canon it will only bracket 3 settings and not 5. To get 5, you have to do it manually. That may not be true with anything newer than IIn's. I'm only familar with so many bodies.

The blues really come out when you under expose, but doing that with the moon will make it anything but the bright white you actually saw. That's why the HDR is a good option. Combining the 3 to 5 frames of varying exposures helps you to keep the good elements of each in one final frame.

Overdoing it or even using some of the more edgy HDR software can produce some really stunning things if that is what you are looking for. But just using the PhotoShop CS merge function will allow you to create what you saw.

If you search the board, you will find a lot on HDR and also a lot of discussion on the pros and cons of using them editorially if that is your intention. Editorial issues aside, it's a pretty fun and interesting method.
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Scott Serio, Photo Editor, Photographer
Colora | MD | USA | Posted: 9:06 AM on 11.11.11
->> I just have to respond....

"How is the moon lit?"

Really? That is a joke right?

As for the actual photo...RAW, bracket, find the best. RAW is wonderful.

How is HDR going to work? The moon is moving, even if ever so slightly. Or, and maybe this is where I learn something, is HDR software good enough to layer the images accounting for the movement? You also don't need an F-stop of 6.3. The moon is like 220,000 miles from Earth. Pretty much infinity on everything except maybe a telescope.

Another option...look at Flickr -
http://www.flickr.com/groups/moonshots/

Find some you like and look at the EXIF data.
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Jack Howard, Photographer, Photo Editor
Central Jersey | NJ | USA | Posted: 10:10 AM on 11.11.11
->> At morning and evening twilight, you can get usually get good information in one frame, but bracketing is definitely the way to go to ensure you've got at least one good frame.

For HDRI, The motion of the moon is amplified at longer focal lengths, so if you're shooting telephoto, you'll definitely have motion between frames in a bracket sequence.

If there are clouds, these also introduce motion, and ghosting issues, between source frames, which can be a problem...

But if it just a detail of the moon against a bald sky, you can align your different source frames in a program like Photomatix that will throw a threshold mask at the source frames, align them all, then either crop to the smallest dimensions possible or give you some rows and columns of dead space.

But if you want earth elements in the frame, aligning for the moon will shake the ground out of alignment (and vice-versa)

If you're interested in more about HDRI, I highly recommend this book on the topic:
http://www.amazon.com/Practical-HDRI-2nd-Dynamic-Photoshop/dp/1933952636/re...

I'm not out to sell a set of actions or presets, or fill seats in a seminar, or get your workflow to mirror my numbers by getting you to work up a bunch of my supplied images. I wrote this to teach photographers how to really wrap their heads around the potentials and possibilities of 32-bit imaging, with hands-on advice for making the most of HDRI programs to fit their needs at price points from $59 to $999 dollars.



Alan: Apart from the 1D series, Canon cameras generally only bracketed 3 shots at 2EV spacings through the 5D2 (the 7D does up to +/-3 AEB for 3 shots), They jazzed up their menu a bit to make it easier and more intuitive to combine AEB with EV comp, but this doesn't truly expand the 1-touch AEB d-range capture. 1D series cameras can bracket up to 7 shots at up to 3 EV spacings via CF menus, which is a overall combined dynamic range wide enough in theory to capture the light from a single glowworm in a dark cave to the hottest, brightest equatorial sandscape lit by noontime direct sun, and a daylight-visible supernova.

A much cheaper method for getting wider bracket sequences with a Canon SLR that isn't 1D series is the Promote Control:
http://www.promotesystems.com/products/Promote-Control.html . This works with many SLRs, and can give even a Rebel XTi a one-touch bracket sequence option as wide as the 1DIV for a heck of a lot less. Throw in that it is also an intervalometer that can do single or HDR-sequence timer shots for Time Lapse photography, and it's a pretty amazing gadget in my bag...

If anyone needs more info on HDRI, feel free to drop me a line if you've got more questions on 32-bit imaging. I can usually talk all day on this topic...
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Gregory Greene, Photographer
Durham | NH | USA | Posted: 10:35 AM on 11.11.11
->> That Promote Control unit looks nice. I wish I had known about it before I bought a TC80n3.
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Delane B. Rouse, Photographer, Photo Editor
Washington | DC | US | Posted: 12:06 PM on 11.11.11
->> Scott-

The moon is lit by the sun...so Sunny 16 is a great start and will get you in the ballpark (for exposure).
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Scott Serio, Photo Editor, Photographer
Colora | MD | USA | Posted: 12:23 PM on 11.11.11
->> Yeah...I get that Delane!!! Note the quotation marks. Not sure the person who asked the original question does. Which is, well...SCARY.
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Jon Blacker, Photographer
Toronto | ON | Canada | Posted: 1:51 PM on 11.11.11
->> Scott, go back up to the 4th post. It was Preston Mack who asked the original question about how the moon is lit...and he answered it himself.

Really not so scary.
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Nina Zhito, Photographer
Bay Area | CA | | Posted: 7:45 AM on 12.10.11
->> Wanted to return to this thread with a helpful link for evaluating the moon as a light source with variables for phase, iso, etc...


http://mkaz.com/photo/tools/expcalc.html
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Thread Title: Exposure help Needed
Thread Started By: Mike Jones
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