Yesterday the sun – today the moon!
I knew that it was full moon tonight, but I didn’t hear any of the “suuuuuuuper mooooon” hype on any of the national or local media outlets until late this afternoon. They must have moved on to another marginally accurate and completely overblown piece of fluff to push as “BREAKING NEWS!!!”
Nonetheless, as we were coming home we just happened to be coming around the corner and off of a little hill just as the moon was rising right in front of us.
It. Was. Spectacular!
So I pulled into the driveway and parked, let the dog out, got dinner and the groceries in, grabbed a camera, and hustled back up the street.
The bad news was that in order to get the shot I wanted, the perfect place to stand was right in the middle of the street. It’s “interesting” trying to frame and expose and focus to get the perfect image, all while keeping one eye on traffic in front of me coming up past our house and, more importantly, another eye on traffic that might be coming around the corner right behind me. Good thing I was dressed in dark clothing…
The good news is that I got these pictures:
Remember when I was talking about High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography the other day? Bright objects mixed with dim objects – expose for bright and leave all the detail in the dim areas in the dark, expose for the dim areas and the bright gets totally overexposed? The solution is to take two (or more) photographs and then put them together into a composite picture that has the best of them both.
This is a textbook case and that’s the technique I’ve used here. Last Wednesday I talked about using an app on the iPhone. For these pictures, using my Canon DSLR, I used Photoshop.
The top picture above comes from these two original images:
Essentially the exact same scene, taken just a few seconds apart, but the top photo is a 1/30 second exposure and the bottom is a 1/500 second exposure. Combine them, align them to overlap, adjust the brightness and contrast a little so they match better, and voilà!
Ditto for the second composite photo:
Again, a 1/30 second exposure for the trees, a 1/4000 second exposure for the moon (remember, it’s BRIGHT!), mix and match in the computer, and you have an image that not only is fantastic looking, but also much more accurately represents what the human eye sees.
This is a technique that I intend to use a lot more as I get practice and some skills. I won’t be going through a demonstration of the “magic behind the curtain” work every time, but simply sharing the end result.
I think I’ll talk about the “reality” of these pictures more in the next day or two. It’s something I’ve given some considerable thought to for quite a while.
In the meantime, enjoy the photos!