Moon photography advice wanted.

Jock Elliott

Hall of Famer
Location
Troy, NY
I really need some advice on this. Maybe it's a dynamic range problem or perhaps a "difference between the human eye and the camera sensor problem, but here goes . . .

We're driving home last night, come around a corner start up a hill, and there's this absolutely HUGE full moon hanging just above the top of the hill. So I yank out the Canon G12 and start trying to capture it. When the camera does the exposure, the moon absolutely blows out . . . it looks like I'm trying to take a picture of the sun. When I try to get to control the focus and get some detail on the moon . . . the landscape disappears into total blackness.

I've tried this before with bigger and better cameras with very similar results. With a superzoom, I can zoom in the moon and get good exposure, but this results in what the spotter-in-chief says is a "scientific shot" of the moon. What she wants is a "romantic" shot of the moon . . . some detail on the moon and some detail of the landscape . . . the kind of thing your eye perceives when taking a moonlit stroll.

Is there any way to achieve this, short of a double exposure?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Cheers, Jock
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
Indeed moon is super bright actually. With older cameras or smaller sensors your only recourse is to bracket or play with gradient filters.

Another idea borrowed from mu43.com community is "live burning". Set up a tripod shot with say 8 second exposure. Start the exposure and now block the moon for a majority of the exposure and see if that would work.
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
Suppose I had a brand-new full-zoot fullframe camera, would that change things?

Cheers, Jock

Actually I imagine even the best Sonys would have difficulty providing a clean image. A moonlit scene is super dark and the moon itself is daylight-bright. You'd have to push the shadows a great deal. And those shadows would be lacking of light -- fundamentally "bad quality light" as it were.
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
I don't have any properly exposed moon shots on me right now but internets say ISO 100, 1/30 sec, f/8 would be somewhat okay for full moon.

At the same time the scenery would need something like 2 seconds, ISO 400, f/2.8.

Collecting these two meterings: +6 stop difference in shutter speed, +2 stops difference in ISO, +3 stops difference in aperture. All in all, 11 stops in difference!!

Can the best Sony or Hasselblad push darkly exposed shadows for ELEVEN stops? NO WAY.


edit: corrected my math
edit2: further corrected my math
 
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rayvonn

Hall of Famer
Suppose I had a brand-new full-zoot fullframe camera, would that change things?

Cheers, Jock
In terms of shooting, not really. Well, I've shot the moon with a FF 36 megapickled camera and stablisized 100-400mm zoom lens at the pointy end and yes, it was better than a smaller sensored camera but still the issues which you describe remain and you're reliant on PP. But then that's one of the reasons FF is used, not so much for getting a perfect shot first time but because the files rendered can dig you out of holes such as this in PP. So in that regard, I suppose, yes it could make a difference.
 
Location
Memphis, TN
Real Name
Brent
I don't think it is necessary to go down that path unless you have money burning a hole in your pocket. Your Rx10 IV has a decent HDR function and you can bracket if the HDR doesn't give you the results you want. On the other hand, if you are itching to jump into FF, then by all means knock yourself out. We have people on here who specialize in helping others spend money:biggrin:
 
Location
Milwaukee, WI USA
Real Name
Luke
I second Brent's recommendation.....HDR would get you close. Can you bracket exposure 2 stops apart?

I think to get the best possible results would be to do a composite using two different shots. A shot with the landscape exposed to your taste laid over a perfectly exposed moon. Then with a photo editing program, just "erase" the blown out moon and combine the layers.
 
Location
Milwaukee, WI USA
Real Name
Luke
there's a nice example of a composite moon/landscape shot here and some general good reading and info.

 
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rflove

Veteran
I really need some advice on this. Maybe it's a dynamic range problem or perhaps a "difference between the human eye and the camera sensor problem, but here goes . . .

We're driving home last night, come around a corner start up a hill, and there's this absolutely HUGE full moon hanging just above the top of the hill. So I yank out the Canon G12 and start trying to capture it. When the camera does the exposure, the moon absolutely blows out . . . it looks like I'm trying to take a picture of the sun. When I try to get to control the focus and get some detail on the moon . . . the landscape disappears into total blackness.

I've tried this before with bigger and better cameras with very similar results. With a superzoom, I can zoom in the moon and get good exposure, but this results in what the spotter-in-chief says is a "scientific shot" of the moon. What she wants is a "romantic" shot of the moon . . . some detail on the moon and some detail of the landscape . . . the kind of thing your eye perceives when taking a moonlit stroll.

Is there any way to achieve this, short of a double exposure?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Cheers, Jock
 

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