Rodney Campbell's Blog

By the Light of the Silvery Moon…

by on Sep.28, 2010, under Life, Photography

I looked out my bedroom window (which looks over a bit of a valley and forest of trees across to the Wiloughby City skyline) the other night early in the evening (around 7PM) and saw this fantastic full moon just above the horizon and decided to try and capture the image.

In this case I actually had to merge two different exposures to more accurately reflect what the scene looked like to our human vision.

I took one exposure just purely for the moon – the reason for doing this is because whilst it may not look so much like it to our eyes, the moon is incredibly bright and when exposed against a large area of black (like the night sky) the camera will give an average metering of the scene and massively overexpose the moon (so it will appear like this huge indistinct white blob with lots of halo’d fringing around it). In this case I used -5EV of exposure compensation (1/6 sec at f/16) even with spot focusing on the moon itself.

The second exposure is a base exposure for the scene itself without the moon (25 sec at f/5.6) and this lets the moonlight and the building lights provide diffused misty lighting of the ambient scene.

In merging the two exposures I get a nicely exposed moon AND a nicely exposed background scene which shows a sort of misty silhouette of the layers of foreground trees lit by the moon and street lights and the brightly lit cityscape of the buildings on the horizon and lastly the sky is awash in the silvery glow from the full moon.

Nikon D90 + Nikon AF-S 70-300mm @ 140mm, 25 sec at f/5.6, ISO 200

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1 Comment for this entry

  • Bryan Forsythe

    What really good work this is. Thanks for sharing real knowledge. I’m a recent D90 owner, and truly find myself swimming in all of it’s possibilities.

    Thanks again.


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