Flat Moon – 308/365

There are those who believe the earth is flat, and those that believe its round, well spherical to be precise. I believe there is enough scientific evidence to convince me personally, that its spherical.

However, is it a matter of perspecive? You maybe forgiven for thinking the moon is flat, should you view it from a certain angle, at certain times of the year. Maybe.

IMG_8636

So tonights photograph isn’t my most technically acomplished, but I’m not overly concerned about that, becasue I wanted to try something. I wanted to try and capture the moon with some cloud formation, and I wanted to use a long exposure.

On the face of it, that sounds easy, but the difficulty comes in the dynamic range and low light. You see the moon is actually really bright, and the night sky is actually really, well, dark. That poses a problem, as the two are opposite ends of the light spectrum. Using a single point for the light metering is useful, to correctly expose the moon itself, but that pretty much renders the clouds undetectable by the camera sensor.

So tonight I had to not only run in manual mode, which is no problem at all now I’ve been doing that for months, but I also had to ignore the light and exposure meter! That was weird!

Eventually, for todays main photograph I settled on these settings: 119mm focal length, f/11, 4 second shutter and ISO400.

IMG_8616-HDR

In contrast, the image here where I exposed the image just for the moon, I used 300mm focal length, f/11, 1/20th of a second shutter and ISO100. As you can see, the moon is much cleaner, but the clouds are non existant!

The other difficulty with trying to capture the moon using a long exposure (so I could get that sweeping effect in the clouds) is that the moon moves, either along the earth or around it, depending on your belief about its shape…….. and at 4 seconds you’d be amazed at how fast and how far it moves. Try it, you’ll see.

Learnings – It was very tempting to photoshop some images together for this shot, to merge a cean shot of the moon with a long exposure of the clouds, but that wouldn’t have pushed my photography skills, so I didn’t. I’m thankful of that, becasue being fluid with the exposure and ignoring the light meter was a really interesting thing to have a go at, and unless you just try it I’m not sure there is any other way to experiance and learn from things like that!


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