May Landscape II - Super Moon

May 06, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

April Moon 036 Yesterday I wrote about your best camera being the one you had with you, even a phone camera. But this photo can't be taken with a phone camera - at least not yet. I have wanted to do a rising moon shot for awhile and last night's "super moon" provided the opportunity. It almost did not happen as the afternoon was cloudy and when the moon first arose it was hidden by the clouds. Luckily, 45 minutes after moonrise the clouds parted enough for a picture. Because the moon reflects sunlight, most moon shots have the moon overexposed as the camera attempts to expose for the overall scene which is much darker. Secondly, the moon moves surprisingly fast, so shutter speeds less than 1/30 of a second yield a blurry moon. So this image is actually a double exposure which can be done on my D300. With the camera set for a double exposure and my 18-200mm lens mounted, I first shot a wider angle shot (56mm) with the moon just out of the picture (f22, 30sec, noise reduction on). I then zoomed into 180mm and recomposed the picture with only moon and sky, and the moon in the frame where it should appear in the composite picture. The exposure was set to 1/30 sec, f5.6.

And now a plug for a great piece of photography related software - The Photographer's Ephemeris (TPE). The building is our Sports Pavilion and has a nice lake in front. I had decided I wanted to shoot the moon over the Sports Pavilion and across the lake if possible. This is easy to do using TPE. Using the map in the software you can set a location and the direction from which both the moon and the sun rise and set is shown on the map along with the time. From home I was able to determine exactly where to go. TPE is available in desktop, iOS, and android versions. If you really like to shoot during the golden hour, the TPE is a great tool.

 


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