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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 2:58 am 
I just wanted to know what number aperture and shutter speed to take pictures of the moon kind of clear?


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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 4:31 am 
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Hi Kriss, great question!

The thing about the moon is that it's very bright and if you're taking a photo of it at night, the background is very dark. So most cameras over-expose it so you just get a white circle with no markings in it.

Since the moon appears quite small, I would first fit your most powerful lens and zoom it to the maximum focal length. If your camera is having problem focusing, you may need to manually focus. I would also recommend using a tripod.

Next put your camera to manual mode, M, and set the aperture to its smallest f-number. I would also set the ISO sensitivity to 100 and the white balance to daylight. Remember to put the white balance back to Auto (AWB) after takeing the moon photos though.

Now you need to experiment with shutter speeds until you get a good-looking result. Try starting with 1/100. If the result is too bright, use a faster shutter speed (a bigger number like 1/200), and if it's too dark, use a slower shutter speed (a smaller number like 1/50).

Zoom-in on your photos in playback to check your focus and the amount of detail on them.

After a few goes you'll get a good result.

If you're taking a photo of the moon during daytime, it's much easier - just use the auto settings and use exposure compensation to make it a bit brighter or darker as desired.

Gordon


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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 6:53 pm 
Is F4 a good aperture?


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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 9:05 pm 
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Yes that's fine - as I said above I'd use the smallest f-number that your lens offers when it's fully zoomed-in. Depending on your lens, this could be anything from, say, f2.8 to f5.6.

Gordon


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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 10:25 pm 
What about shooting shots at night,for an example: lets say your at an airport and there are some planes parked not moving at all, and there are some lights there. how would i get a still shot?


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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 12:56 am 
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That's the toughie Kriss. If you expose for the planes at night, then the moon will be grossly over-exposed. If you expose to record detail on the moon, then everything else will be too dark.

You therefore either have to accept some compromise, or cheat and take two photos, one optimised for the ground and the other for the moon and combine them on your computer later.

Gordon


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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 2:40 am 
here is the example
www.airliners.net/open.file?id=1188956

and how do the photographers get the picture like this

www.airliners.net/open.file?id=1188237

I want to know how do they make the sun so big?


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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 3:45 am 
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The sun looks so big becuase they used a very powerful lens.

If you wanted it to appear that big without cropping the image you'd really need 300-500mm focal length.

Have you tried asking the photographers who posted those photos about their equipment and settings - they'll be able to tell you rather than us just guessing!

Gordon


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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 1:22 am 
Ok i'll ask them.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:31 pm 
Hi Gordon,
your tips about photographing the moon were very helpfull, but i have a question though.

I set the white balance of my Nikon D80 to Direct sunlight (equal to daylight that you said above) and i took this shot:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/constantinoup/633543737/

Then i set the WB to Auto and took this one:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/constantinoup/633543749/

So I wonder which one has the correct colour? don't celestial objects like the moon appear gray in space? both seem good though :lol:

Both photos were taken using 18-200 Nikor VR lens at max focal lenght, iso 100, 1/125 s and f5.6


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:57 pm 
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That's a great question Constaninou!

First things first: the moon you see from the surface of the Earth is viewed through our atmosphere, so this will have an impact on the colour we observe. And atmospheric variations will result in some changes in colour.

I use daylight WB for astrophotography because it tends to give a more accurate representation of the colour I'm seeing at that time, although this may not be an accurate representation of the actual object's colour when viewed from space. AWB can just be a bit of a gamble for this kind of work.

There's also a subjective aspect here. While the brownish moon may be more accurate, I personally prefer a monochrome moon which looks grey. So I normally thow away any colour information later. Same for The Sun, which most people prefer to look yellow. When shooting the Sun, you have to use a filter which can give a false colour or a monochrome effect. Since this isn't normally that pleasing to look at, I tend to give it a yellow tint afterwards...

Which do you prefer?

As for whether the moon has any colour, check out this interesting article:

http://www.mikeoates.org/mas/projects/m ... /intro.htm

Gordon


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 5:20 am 
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Interesting article, Gordon!
Though personally, when I look at the moon at night (and it's not standing somewhere near the horizon!) I feel it's more a cold grey-white.
So I'd prefer the shot with auto-WB, not the direct sunlight setting :)

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 9:57 am 
hmm... thanks for the advice, i don't know which one i prefer. Both are equal good to my eyes.

If i come up with something i'll post it later.

BTW your site made my life easier by helping me decide which camera to buy. D80 was the perfect solution but not without the 18-200VR. Perfect combo. The remote control is also a brilliant accessory.

Thanks everyone for your help
Hope to see you around :wink:

More to come with astrophotos... :wink:


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 10:06 am 
Gordon Laing wrote:
As for whether the moon has any colour, check out this interesting article:

http://www.mikeoates.org/mas/projects/m ... /intro.htm



VERY interesting article. Worth reading. the links was very interesting too.

Thanks a lot


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 9:24 pm 
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Looky here: http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=5069
for some facts, tests and answers...

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