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Subject: "How to get the silhouetted trees AND the moon's detail" Previous topic | Next topic
jmesseder2 Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Aug 2011Tue 20-Aug-13 04:46 PM
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"How to get the silhouetted trees AND the moon's detail"


Gettysburg, US
          

I've tried on and off to get this shot, always with "almost" results. I need to keep the trees in silhouette but, like last night, I can see more detail in the Man in the Moon than I can get in the image.

But I think it would be more dramatic if Earth's satellite were a mite more detailed.

I'd appreciate any suggestions to get me going in the right direction.

John Messeder, JAFPR, MBS
Freelance environmental journalist
Gettysburg, PA, USA
Follow me on:</font></i><br>
= www.johnmesseder.com
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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: How to get the silhouetted trees AND the moon's det...
Chris Platt Silver Member
20th Aug 2013
1
Reply message RE: How to get the silhouetted trees AND the moon's det...
mvlow1974
20th Aug 2013
2
Reply message RE: How to get the silhouetted trees AND the moon's det...
JosephK Silver Member
20th Aug 2013
3
Reply message RE: How to get the silhouetted trees AND the moon's det...
RLDubbya Silver Member
20th Aug 2013
4
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ndtking Gold Member
21st Aug 2013
5
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jbloom Gold Member
21st Aug 2013
6
Reply message RE: How to get the silhouetted trees AND the moon's det...
jmesseder2 Silver Member
21st Aug 2013
7
     Reply message RE: How to get the silhouetted trees AND the moon's det...
sduck409 Silver Member
22nd Aug 2013
8
Reply message RE: How to get the silhouetted trees AND the moon's det...
RLDubbya Silver Member
22nd Aug 2013
9
Reply message RE: How to get the silhouetted trees AND the moon's det...
Chris Platt Silver Member
22nd Aug 2013
10
     Reply message RE: How to get the silhouetted trees AND the moon's det...
jmesseder2 Silver Member
22nd Aug 2013
11
          Reply message RE: How to get the silhouetted trees AND the moon's det...
Elrique64a Gold Member
23rd Aug 2013
12
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elec164 Silver Member
23rd Aug 2013
13
               Reply message RE: How to get the silhouetted trees AND the moon's det...
Chris Platt Silver Member
23rd Aug 2013
14

Chris Platt Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Sep 2012Tue 20-Aug-13 05:06 PM
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#1. "RE: How to get the silhouetted trees AND the moon's detail"
In response to Reply # 0
Tue 20-Aug-13 05:07 PM by Chris Platt

Newburg, US
          

I'm wondering about a graduated neutral density filter, or several quick shots to bracket the exposure and combine into an HDR, or possibly two shots with a wider bracket and layer mask in PS.

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mvlow1974 Registered since 03rd Dec 2012Tue 20-Aug-13 05:13 PM
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#2. "RE: How to get the silhouetted trees AND the moon's detail"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

John,

the moon is always going to be much brighter than it's surroundings at night. If you place your focus point right on the moon and use spot metering, you will get the detail you want in the moon and everything surrounding it will be dark. If the surroundings are too dark you can dial in a little exposure compensation, but then stand the risk of blowing out the moon again.

If you want to get detail in the moon (properly exposed) and also want to get detail in your foreground, I find the best time to take a picture of the moon is when it is setting right after sunrise. Because the sun has just risen causing soft light and the moon is getting low to the horizon you have a better chance of evening out the light between the moon and the foreground. I would still suggest spot metering the moon in that circumstance and then adjusting the foreground shadows in Lightroom (or similar program) if they are still too dark.

Malcolm

  

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JosephK Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Nikonian since 17th Apr 2006Tue 20-Aug-13 09:16 PM
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#3. "RE: How to get the silhouetted trees AND the moon's detail"
In response to Reply # 2


Seattle, WA, US
          

Without layering two exposures for the moon and for the trees, this would be the correct way/time to get the single exposure.

---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+
Joseph K
Seattle, WA, USA

D700, D200, D70S, 24-70mm f/2.8, VR 70-200mm f/2.8 II,
50mm f/1.4 D, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR, 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 DX

  

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RLDubbya Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Dec 2011Tue 20-Aug-13 10:45 PM
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#4. "RE: How to get the silhouetted trees AND the moon's detail"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

This is one place the D7000 shines, I think.

Spot meter on the moon. That's going to leave the trees underexposed. That's OK. In Lightroom, or whatever, bring up the shadows by 3-4 stops. It ends up looking fine.




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ndtking Gold Member Nikonian since 16th Jun 2008Wed 21-Aug-13 10:34 AM
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#5. "RE: How to get the silhouetted trees AND the moon's detail"
In response to Reply # 0


Kitchener, CA
          

I agree the best way to get this in one "shot" is to take several exposures and combine in HDR. Unless you are using a tlephoto lens, however, the moon is going to be diappointingly small in the resultant photo.

Alternatively, you can take one shot of the moon with a telephoto, take another shot of the trees (mid or wide), and combine in layers in Photoshop. I've done this with reasonably good success.

Gerry King
Ontarian Nikonian
Flickr Gallery:www.flickr.com/photos/ndtking

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Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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jbloom Gold Member Awarded for the continuous and generous sharing of his high level expertise and his always encouraging comments in several forums. Nikonian since 15th Jul 2004Wed 21-Aug-13 05:36 PM
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#6. "RE: How to get the silhouetted trees AND the moon's detail"
In response to Reply # 0


Wethersfield, US
          

The problem with doing this as an HDR shot is that the moon moves. You need a long exposure like the one originally posted here, plus a short exposure that gets the moon properly exposed and everything else in shadow, pretty much. Since the moon moves during that long exposure, the two images won't combine well. You'll get scalloped parts where the edges don't overlap. Here's a severe example shot with a long lens:



Some Photoshop work can be done to improve things. I did a quick-and-dirty fix-up:



It may be more effective to fix up the individual images before combining them in HDR. Or just use multiple layers and mask.

(This image was more or less an experiment. I really wanted to shoot it the night before the full moon, when the moon would have been rising over the tower just before sunset, allowing me to get both moon and foreground exposed pretty well. But clouds prevented that.)

-- Jon
Wethersfield, CT, USA
Connecticut High School Sports Photos

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jmesseder2 Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Aug 2011Wed 21-Aug-13 11:02 PM
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#7. "RE: How to get the silhouetted trees AND the moon's detail"
In response to Reply # 6


Gettysburg, US
          

Couple good suggestions. Thanks to all. I have LR5, as well as PhotoMatix and HDR Efex. I thought of trying HDR, but it seemed there might be a better way, since what I want is the drama of the trees in silhouette. I have another night or two, I think. I'll give it another go tonight.



John Messeder, JAFPR, MBS
Freelance environmental journalist
Gettysburg, PA, USA
Follow me on:</font></i><br>
= www.johnmesseder.com
= my Nikonians gallery

  

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sduck409 Silver Member Nikonian since 14th Feb 2013Thu 22-Aug-13 03:22 AM
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#8. "RE: How to get the silhouetted trees AND the moon's detail"
In response to Reply # 7


Nashville, US
          

You might try running your existing image through HDR Efex Pro, or maybe Color Efex Pro if you have it. Nik's stuff is great for balancing things like this - get everything else right, then drop a control point on the moon, and adjust it to taste.

And if you go the HDR route, with long exposures, enough so the moon moves, HDR Efex Pro's ghost reduction tool can work wonders - just experiment with which image to use as the ghost removal basis, and the strength of the reduction.

  

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RLDubbya Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Dec 2011Thu 22-Aug-13 11:29 AM
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#9. "RE: How to get the silhouetted trees AND the moon's detail"
In response to Reply # 0
Thu 22-Aug-13 11:30 AM by RLDubbya

US
          

Take a look at the thread I started about High ISO here:

http://www.nikonians.org/forums/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=329&topic_id=29392&mesg_id=29392&page=

Scroll down to the experiment posted by Pete, where he intentionally underexposed an image by 6 stops and then brought it up in post. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding something, but it seems to me that if he can recover that level of detail, that would be more than sufficient for recovering the silhouttes of trees (which don't have much detail). Again, maybe I'm missing the plot, but I simply don't see the need for multiple exposures and HDR in this case.

  

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Chris Platt Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Sep 2012Thu 22-Aug-13 07:46 PM
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#10. "RE: How to get the silhouetted trees AND the moon's detail"
In response to Reply # 9


Newburg, US
          

I think the ev range of a full moon against a moonlit sky is close to 18ev - 15 for the moon and -2 or -3 for the moonlight. A 12ev range camera just won't be able to catch enough range in one shot to allow that kind of adjustment. I don't think six stops will get you there.

I was thinking of using the HDR software in a way that would not overly expose the trees which you want left in dark shadow, just as an easier way to combine the exposures than attempting to do it manually in PS. However, I just tried it with a series I took the other night and it was a disaster

In the picture below, there are trees barely visible in the lower right foreground but they were actually nicely silhouetted by the bright moon. I took another couple of shots exposing long enough to get the trees in silhouette but the images just blew up when I tried to combine in Photmatix.

Trying to combine the images manually was frustrating as well. The sky around the moon was also overexposed in a wide and graduated radius around the moon - that made it very difficult to combine the images without overworking them and making it look contrived.

Looks like we're stuck with the close to sunset or sunrise rule although I'm now imagining a disk to block out the moon itself in a second shot - an artificial eclipse.


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jmesseder2 Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Aug 2011Thu 22-Aug-13 09:04 PM
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#11. "RE: How to get the silhouetted trees AND the moon's detail"
In response to Reply # 10
Thu 22-Aug-13 10:09 PM by jmesseder2

Gettysburg, US
          

Chris, that was the moon I thought I was after. Still am, though I'm beginning to believe I may need to shoot two and replace one background with the other. I think I read that LR5 had ability to mark out an area, allowing, for instance, replacing a section of sky.

Can't do it at sunrise or sunset because the moon isn't where I want it until about midnight. Shot a couple more last night and got closer. I love the moon-surrounding color in this one. And I've another night or three, if the weather holds, so I'll keep experimenting.

(I guess I could have made that smaller. I'll remember next time.)

John Messeder, JAFPR, MBS
Freelance environmental journalist
Gettysburg, PA, USA
Follow me on:</font></i><br>
= www.johnmesseder.com
= my Nikonians gallery


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Elrique64a Gold Member Nikonian since 19th Feb 2012Fri 23-Aug-13 03:25 PM
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#12. "RE: How to get the silhouetted trees AND the moon's detail"
In response to Reply # 11
Fri 23-Aug-13 03:27 PM by Elrique64a

Lake Stevens, US
          

I'm a little confused by what you are doing and wanting to do. Your photos are showing the moon as blown out, and the camera looks to be trying to get an exposure of the whole scene. You replied to Chris that you wanted the moon more like what he had, so this might help.

To get the full details of the moon with visible craters, etc. then you need to remember the shooting the moon has the same starting point as the Sunny 16 rule.

This rule comes from the old, old film days, when most cameras didn't have meters and photographers had to carry a meter or guess at starting exposure. The rule states: ISO = 1/ISO @ F16. So if you are shooting at 100 ISO your shutter speed needs to be 1/100's @ F16.

This will give you a starting point for the details of the moon. And since you are shooting in digital and not film you have the advantage of chimping to see if you got the exposure you are looking for. From there you can adjust as needed to get what you want. I have to stress this is a STARTING point for shooting the moon, you ARE going to have to play a bit to see what looks good to you.

Also, since the shutter speed will be fairly fast and the trees are going to be fairly dark, guess what? They should be silhouetted! You might have to move aperture/shutter speed to get the look you want, but this should get you close.

HTH

Mike G.

  

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elec164 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jan 2009Fri 23-Aug-13 04:02 PM
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#13. "RE: How to get the silhouetted trees AND the moon's detail"
In response to Reply # 12


US
          

>
>To get the full details of the moon with visible craters, etc.
>then you need to remember the shooting the moon has the same
>starting point as the Sunny 16 rule.
>

Actually, a good rule of thumb starting point for a full moon is the 'Looney 11 Rule' (moons version of sunny 16).

But again, that is only for a full moon. Less than that and you will need to increase exposure.

Pete

Pete

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Chris Platt Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Sep 2012Fri 23-Aug-13 05:19 PM
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#14. "RE: How to get the silhouetted trees AND the moon's detail"
In response to Reply # 12


Newburg, US
          

"Also, since the shutter speed will be fairly fast and the trees are going to be fairly dark, guess what? They should be silhouetted! You might have to move aperture/shutter speed to get the look you want, but this should get you close."

Those are good points for shooting the moon (though I used 1/125 at f/11) but unfortunately, as I indicated in my post above, unless it's done close to sunset or sunrise, the trees won't be in silhouette; the sky and trees will be almost completely dark as they are in my photo above. The camera just won't have the dynamic range to accomplish both objectives in one shot. The scene, just to get the moon properly exposed and the trees silhouetted against the moonlight will have to cover an exposure value (ev) range of about 18. At best, our cameras have an ev range of about 12 ev. They won't be able to capture enough data on the dark side of the range to achieve a compelling silhouette. That's why we have been discussing how to do it in multiple exposures.

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