Angela Chan  

HALF MOON by Angela Chan

September 2020 - HALF MOON

September 2020 - Angela Chan


About the Image(s)

Visited my friend in the country and took a shot of the half moon in a nice clear sky.
Usually if the moon is the only subject the camera will try to overexpose it.
It is better to set the exposure on something else such as a tree or a small hill before the shot. Dialling down the exposure using exposure compensation , or to use manual mode also works . I used back button focusing and set the exposure to my liking .
Upon viewing the image I noticed that it has spread out all across the histogram so decided to make it BW . ( The tiny bit of light yellow should only yield a fairly light tone in BWwith no major impact of any major change )
Basic editing in Lightroom . Small amount of burning on some parts of the moon to increase contrast.
Sony RX10
f 8
1/125 sec

11 comments posted

Haru Nagasaki   Haru Nagasaki
Hi Angela,

This is nice! Simple and clear. Adequate sharpness to show texture of the moon.
Personally, I felt you increased clarity and contrast more than expected in my view. I prefer to see smooth transition of tones and smooth texture of the moon. I am not sure which is better to erase stars in the original.
I would love B&W version without seeing the original, but once I see the original, my eyes are attracted on the original. It catches my heart!
  Posted: 09/01/2020 23:38:15

Ata Kemal Sahin   Ata Kemal Sahin
Astro & Milkway photography is already in my agenda; but there's a problem to find a dark area in my city and because of light pollution, I have to drive hundreds of miles to find a rural area and it's not safe to travel alone! I know today, some compact cameras -smartphones as well- have "Moon Scene Mode." Regarding your exif values, you could increase aperture to 11 and up. You didn't mention ISO, but I guess it is minimum. As Haru also said, original version with stars shows us the real power of the picture and catches viewers' attention. Thanks for sharing Angela.   Posted: 09/03/2020 02:07:41
Angela Chan   Angela Chan
Thank you very much for you suggestion , Ata.
Just wondering why you like f11 and up ?
I am the kind of person who like to know the reasoning of each choice.
Everybody have a different approach and I think of f8 to 11 as the golden aperture for landscape. Any higher aperture will create diffraction and make the image softer. I use higher number of aperture in macro because of the shallow depth of field but If possible I would prefer to shoot at f8 and stack the images.
In Landscape the aim is to focus at 1/3 into the field because 1/3 in front of your focal plane and 2/3 behind the plane are in focus. With the moon so far away and nothing in between, I can only focus right on the moon so I do not need the increase depth of field that the higher aperture number might bring. I think that the camera would had focused on infinity with the distance anyway.
In hind sight, next time I should try a much shallower depth of field to see the difference .
In my portrait group there was a guy who always open his aperture to 1.4 and make the lighting so low that the rest of the group need to use high ISO. We finally asked him why he does that...he said that he was told to use the shallowest depth of field to blur the background. However, with our solid background there is nothing to blur...why worry about the background which is not a distraction and risk having the nose blurry when the eyes are sharp ?
At the time, I was shooting at campfire and I had the camera in manual mode. When we noticed the moon I just changed the speed, not the aperture.
My ISO was at auto...with a maximum limit of 2000 . In the early days I had a camera that always shoot at the highest limit when it is in auto. Since then, all the new cameras do fine in auto ISO. as long as the ISO is below 1000 and I use the histogram to expose to the right I never have any problem.
This is only my opinion and I respect that everybody have different and valid points .   Posted: 09/03/2020 14:57:38
Ata Kemal Sahin   Ata Kemal Sahin
Answer is easy: Sharpness is the name of the game when photographing the moon:) Thanks for your detailed explanation Angela.   Posted: 09/04/2020 08:08:16

Ying Shi   Ying Shi
Very good attempt.
The image is not too clear. The shutter speed should be too low. For a 600mm lens, the shutter speed should be above 1/500.   Posted: 09/03/2020 21:01:08
Angela Chan   Angela Chan
Thank you very much for reminding me of the reciprocal rule .
This a a fundamental rule that was very very useful to me.
This camera ( Sony RX10) only has a fixed lens...24-600mm Raw and 1200 for Jpeg . After full extension the lens is not long at all.
When I first got this I tried different shutter speed vs focal length and find that there is minimal difference in clarity due to the camera's great stability and my personal habit.
Since then I find it OK to disregard the reciprocal rule with this camera when shooting RAW.
I do not shoot beyond 600 mm because Optical zoom with jpeg
..and not being able to use spot focusing...made me lean towards processing the RAW file myself.
I have a 100 to 400 mm Fuji lens.
1.4 convertor made the power around 1000 mm.
After factoring in the 1.6 crop sensor factor, the final power can be around 1600 mm.
When I go to Africa I can rest the camera on the vehicle I shall use the Fuji.
If I have to walk with the camera or to hand hold it this Sony RX10 always come first....
Another major point is : I am not a bird or wild=life photographer. LOL ! ! !   Posted: 09/04/2020 09:38:10

Arne Skinlo   Arne Skinlo
Interesting shot. You have succeeded well in getting out the texture in the surface. As you say, it is not easy to get the exposure right in moon shots, the only way is to try and err until you get the result you want. You did not say anything about using a
tripod or not, but I guess you have used one since it is so sharp at 1/125 sec.   Posted: 09/04/2020 00:28:07
Angela Chan   Angela Chan
Thank you very much for your kind words, Arne.
This is a hand held image.
New cameras are leaps and bounds better in stabilization than traditional ones.
Another factor is proper camera posture.
Quote from "The Human Tripod"a article :,arms%20tight%20against%20your%20body.
When hand holding your camera (not using a tripod), your body becomes the camera's support system and you need that to be a good sturdy base.

To achieve this, stand with your legs shoulder width apart. Bring your elbows into your ribs, with your arms tight against your body. This will provide more support.

If you have a lens that extends out from your camera (as is the case for SLR - Single Lens Reflect cameras), place the lens in the cup of your left hand.
Bring the eye piece to your eye .
Take a breath in… start to exhale… then stop and hold your breath just for a second while you click the shutter. ."
I know that this is fundamental but it never hurt to re-visit from time to I appreciate being reminded of the reciprocal rule too .   Posted: 09/04/2020 09:50:30
Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
(Group 32)
Lovely shot, and an interesting discussion about being a human tripod. I shoot entirely hand-held and started paying attention to it long ago when I met another photographer in an art museum shooting at 1/8, and he said he could get the shots. In my reading on the subject, one writer claimed that during that "hold your breath" moment, you can feel the right moment to shoot, and can do it between heartbeats. I am not sure about that, but I pretend to myself that I do that sometimes.   Posted: 09/14/2020 12:24:37

Bill Foy   Bill Foy
I like conversion and the texture you show. I have always liked moon shots but have not been very successful in getting any that I like. Tried about a week ago when the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn were in a nice triangle but deleted all of them. I'm going to use some of your suggestions next time - Thanks!   Posted: 09/05/2020 15:20:35

David Henderson   David Henderson
Hi Angela
Nice minimal image, you have captured the moon well and it is the only thing in the image so your eyes are drawn to the craters that you have darken. I like the mono conversion and it looks pretty sharp to me as well.   Posted: 09/23/2020 03:18:22


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