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Spot metering on full moon = black sky
Hello all,.

I used my Canon PowerShot S3 IS to shoot the full moon last night and I used spot metering in P mode (with full zoom - 12x) to get as much detail as possible from the moon, but the sky comes out black and it wasn't... In order not to get blown highlights on the moon, I know I could have dialed exposure compensation, but wouldn't that darken the sky also? Is there a way to get the real sky colours (early evening dusky sky, in this case) and not have the moon blown out when photographed this up-close?... I always find the moon too bright when I use evaluative metering....

Thanks in advance for any help....

Http://photo.accuweather.com/...ssizes.aspx?pid=31597&partner=accuweather..

Comments (30)

There are two ways around this: One is to shoot raw (don't know if your camera has that option) and develop two versions. one with the sky the way you like it and one for the moon. Then layer them in photoshop, moon on top, and erase/delete the sky around the moon to show the layer with the correct sky. This is ofcourse assuming that you can shoot the details on the moon and the correct sky within the limits of your sensor..

The other way is to use a tripod and take two shots of the same scene. One exposed for the sky and one for the moon and again layer them in photoshop.And show your results!..

Rob..

'Life is funny but not Ha Ha funny. Peculiar I guess'. (Mr. E.)..

Comment #1

Use +1.33 EV or +1.66 EV. I would bracket the shots at +1.33 EV wit a 1/3 EV step.VictorBucuresti, Romaniahttp://s106.photobucket.com/albums/m268/victor_petcu/..

Comment #2

Thanks for your solutions Rob! My camera does not shoot RAW (I'm looking to upgrade to the Canon 40D when I can afford it  and, from your answer, am I right to assume that there's no way to get the result I'm looking for unless I post-process the photo?... Oh well, I guess the human eye is still the most accurate camera around... .

Can't wait to be able to shoot RAW and make my photos look more like the picture my brain took when I pressed the shutter...Thanks again...

Comment #3

Thanks, I'll have to try bracketing the shots next time.....

Comment #4

The Moon is a sunlit scene, so start with the "Sunny 16 rule"shutter speed of 1/your ISO at aperture f/16, and you can trade one off against the other. For example, at ISO 100, the "rule" gives 1/100 sec at f/16; you can use 1/200 (or whatever your camera has that's close) at f/11, 1/400 at f/8, etc..

Tweak as necessary for correct exposure...

Comment #5

Thank you so much, I'll definitely have to try this one out... I've read about the Sunny 16 rule before, I have some documentation on it. Thanks. Btw, my S3's aperture ranges from f/3.5 to f/8 at the telephoto end of the lens. And I'll have to remember to up my ISO to 100 to apply this rule, since I shoot mostly at ISO 80 to keep the photos as noise-free as possible...

Comment #6

To take a picture of the moon you need-.

Long lens 1000mm(35mm equivelent) about.high iso(800?) to force afaster shutter speed..

Exposure-the moon, odd as it sounds is hign noon sunlit. just like noon on earth. we are 240000 miles to moon, BUT earth or moon is 93000000 miles to sun. that determines exposure. as other replyer stated use sunny 16 rule. that is for a full moon 1/iso at f16.

Shoot a very hign shutter speed to start, take more than 1 shot at each shutter speed(3) then go down to about 1/30sec.use stong tripod..

Use cable shutter release or self timer. if self timer this will take a while, and you will have to keep adjusting moon in viewfinder..

DO NOT TRUST LIGHT METER IN CAMERA. it is being fooled by all the black sky. even spot meter, if available will not help, it won't go small enough to get moon only. moon is only 1/2degree wide, smaller than any spot meter.get away from city. turbulance and lights are bad news.if 1000mm or so not available, use biggest available. crop in post-processing.not as good as big lens but will work.shoot many pics, you can always delete later..

Happy moon pics. good luck.also-sunny 16 rule-i/iso is shutter speed. if iso is 100 then shutter speed is 1/100about.fstop is 16.0..

The f stop is f16. this a starting point. any lens is not at max sharpness at f16, so adjust fstop to f8 or f11, and move shutter acccordingly..

Check moonrise times in your area. you want about 3 hours after moonrise to start your pic taking. this gives the moon time to get far enough above the horizon to clear the horizontal atmosphere and turbelance..

You also need crystal clear skys. NO rpt NO haze, clouds, or humidity. humidity is noticable if you have corana around the moon, this could also be haze. in which case shoot on another night.happy moon pics..

Garysecond reply-on the subject of lenses-.

I use the bigma(sigma50-500+1.4converter). a smaller lenses will work, you just have to crop. but, if cropping heavily do not expect a lot of detail, you just won't get it. though remember any lens is multiplied by the crop factor. so your 135 becomes about 200-205mm..

I shoot at iso800 and at f8.0 end up at about200th-400th of a sec. when start taking the shot I start at 1/1000 and go down to about a 1/30. I also should three shots at each shutter speed, thus increasing the odds of getting a good one somewhere in the bunch. I expect to hit the good shots as stated at about 200th-400th..

Do not shoot if high humidity or haze or any kind of atmosspheric turbelence. it just is a waste of memory and time. I shot originally in a park in Detroit michigan on what I thought was a clear night, forget it. I actually got some good pics 200 miles north on the shore of Lake Huron. much better..

0ne thought, if available you can try putting a 2X converter on the lens, that would get to over 400mm. there are also several moon pic takers that use more than I converter. 2 2Xs or a 2X and a 1.4. it sound odd but the results are worth it. they are better than the crop heavy method..

Do not underestimate how bright a 3/4 or just under full is in terms of brightness. it equal to highnoon on a cloudless day in the summer.focus-.

Put lens on manual focus. then put it on infinity(assuming lens does not focus past infinity,some do) or manual focus..

F16.0 comes from the rule of 16. it is the starting point. if you want f8.0, as I use, then you move the shutter speed accordingly to get back to the EV. it is 1/iso for shutter speed under rule of 16. for f8.0 and iso500, for example, you move 2stops or 1/125. at iso500 the shutter speed is 1/500..

By the way, the above set of instructions work, I just got back from oscoda michigan, I live in detroit, used the same instructions, it worked..

Also, with my setup: pentax *istD, bigma50-500 at 500, 2x converter, this gives 35mm equiv of 1500mm. the moon's size is almost exactly 1/2 of the short side of the frame. in other words, you need all the telephoto power you can get...

Comment #7

... for a great tutorial. Once I get my first DSLR I'll make sure to follow these instructions...

Comment #8

ISO 800 is crazy. are you looking for noise or detail? The moon is bright as heck, even at ISO 100 you can use shutters in the 100ths of a second..

Here's mine with the fuji s6000fd...http://www.flickr.com/photos/jehather/sets/72157601315210648/.

Full moon works between 1/200th-1/250th and 1/320th (bit underexposed).the other phases posted were 1/100th or 1/125th..

Comment #9

I took this shot (one of many) last night with a D40x at 200mm, 1/400, f/8 ISO 100 and Spot Metering. It's a 100% crop, not resized..

I don't understand why someone would need ISO 800?? The moon is not dashing across the sky (well, not in relation to the earth anyway , so a very fast shutter speed is not required. Please correct me if I'm wrong someone. I can try it, but I would think you're just introducing the possibility of noise in the picture..

Anyway, this picture could have been crisper, but I had VR turned on on my lens (Vibration Reduction) while using a tripod. I will try again tonight without VR..

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Albert-O.

Http://www.berto.zenfolio.com.

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Comment #10

I have the pentax *istD iso 800 is no problem I also use iso1600 for other occasions like macro stuff. I use noise inija when needed..

The following was shot at iso1600..

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Comment #11

The purpose of the iso 800 is to force a faster shutter speed.try the following on moon movement..

Yes it is going that fast..

Here is why. there is 360degrees in a circle and 24hrs in a day. 360/24=15degrees/hr. or 1 degree every 4 minutes. the moon is 1/2degree wide. therefore the moon covers 1/2degree, it's own width in 2 minutes.

It is the earth that is spinning and moving, but to the observer on earth the moon is tracking across the sky..

Why do you think it moves in the viewfinder and you have to keep adjusting which way the camera/telephoto is pointing? the moon moves..

The following were taken during 2006. iso 800..

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Comment #12

GaryDeM wrote:.

The purpose of the iso 800 is to force a faster shutter speed.try the following on moon movement..

Yes it is going that fast..

Here is why. there is 360degrees in a circle and 24hrs in a day.360/24=15degrees/hr. or 1 degree every 4 minutes. the moon is1/2degree wide. therefore the moon covers 1/2degree, it's own width in2 minutes. which is what I said ealier.



That seems a bit fast. Here is a reference that describes the motions of the moon,.

Http://cseligman.com/text/sky/moonmotion.htm.

The rotation of the earth will not impact the apparent motion of the moon, the moon;s apparent motion is dictated by it's orbital speed in it's orbit around the earth. Since the moon is orbiting the earth, the motion of the moon is based upon a combination of it orbital motion, and it takes the moon 27+ days to cover the 360 degree of it's circular orbit around the sun. Thuis the apparent motion of the moon across the sky each day is about 13 degrees per day which works out to an apparent motion across the sky of about a half degree an hour..

You also really do not need a very fast shutter speed to freeze the moon:.

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This was taken at 1/30th of a second with a Canon A75, shot through a 100mm refractor, afocally, probably at about 30x magnifaction. At this magnifation, the scope would have magnifed the moon's apparent motion by a factor of 30 times, and a shutter speed of 1.30th of a second was still enough to get a sharp image..

JohnPentax *ist-D, K100D, Fuji F20/31fd, Oly Stylushttp://www.pbase.com/jglover..

Comment #13

Try ISO 100 at f2 or f2.4 for 2 or 4 secs. Adjust for whatever f-stop you're using. That should give you colour and moon detail...

Comment #14

The moon moves it's image in 2minutes. see the following under exposure.http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/moon/index.html.

Also there is a big of a picture shot through a telescope and one shot througha telephoto lens. 100m refractor has the full 4inches of wid all the way through, meanwhile the telephoto shrinks as it ends up at the end of the lens. there is a lot more lightgathereing power in a telescope...

Comment #15

The problem with a 4sec exposure is that the moon as seen from earth moves about 36miles. that means blur and why a faster shutter speed is needed to help stop blur...

Comment #16

GaryDeM wrote:.

The problem with a 4sec exposure is that the moon as seen from earthmoves about 36miles. that means blur and why a faster shutter speedis needed to help stop blur..

I agree that the moon will move. With a 1000mm lens (if you've got one that long) set a 2 or 4 seconds you won't see it...

Comment #17

I use a bigma with my pentax *istD and 1.4 converter, that equals 1050mm(35mm equiv). you can actually see the moon move across the viewfinder. and when I switch to my 2.0 converter, or 1500mm equiv, there is no doubt about how fast the moon is moveing. it will move it's own diameter in 2 minutes. it is 2160miles diameter..

This is why and astronomical telescopes for serious observing use a clock drive so the scope track with sky at the same speed the object move. that is how observatories get the many hour exposure they sometimes make. since we do not have a clock drive the only alternative is to shoot at a fast shutter speed. to do that at f8.0(the max sharpness for most lenses(max sharpness is 2-3fstops closed from wideopen or f8.0. I just use f8.0. it is simpler)).

I use iso800. I end up getting the right exposure somewher between 1/200 and 1/125sec...

Comment #18

John Glover wrote:.

GaryDeM wrote:.

The purpose of the iso 800 is to force a faster shutter speed.try the following on moon movement..

Yes it is going that fast..

Here is why. there is 360degrees in a circle and 24hrs in a day.360/24=15degrees/hr. or 1 degree every 4 minutes. the moon is1/2degree wide. therefore the moon covers 1/2degree, it's own width in2 minutes. which is what I said ealier.



The rotation of the earth will not impact the apparent motion of themoon,.

?? Of course it does..

The moon;s apparent motion is dictated by it's orbital speed init's orbit around the earth. Since the moon is orbiting the earth,the motion of the moon is based upon a combination of it orbitalmotion, and it takes the moon 27+ days to cover the 360 degree of itscircular orbit around the sun. Thuis the apparent motion of the moonacross the sky each day is about 13 degrees per day which works outto an apparent motion across the sky of about a half degree an hour..

Sorry but this is complete nonsense. It's hard to believe there is anyone who hasn't noticed that the moon travels right across the sky in a few hours!.

However, Gary is mistaken too - horizon to horizon in a few hours is practically motionless in terms of daylight photography, which is what photographing the moon is. Camera shake would be a problem without a tripod, but subject motion is not...

Comment #19

GaryDeM wrote:.

I use a bigma with my pentax *istD and 1.4 converter, that equals1050mm(35mm equiv). you can actually see the moon move across theviewfinder. and when I switch to my 2.0 converter, or 1500mm equiv,there is no doubt about how fast the moon is moveing. it will moveits own diameter in 2 minutes. it is 2160miles diameter..

This is why and astronomical telescopes for serious observing use aclock drive so the scope track with sky at the same speed the objectmove. that is how observatories get the many hour exposure theysometimes make. since we do not have a clock drive the onlyalternative is to shoot at a fast shutter speed. to do that atf8.0(the max sharpness for most lenses(max sharpness is 2-3fstopsclosed from wideopen or f8.0. I just use f8.0. it is simpler)).

I use iso800. I end up getting the right exposure somewherbetween 1/200 and 1/125sec..

You're getting very mixed up somewhere Gary. Yes, the moon travels it's own width in a couple of minutes, but that is several thousand times times the shutter speed. Even a fairly 'slow' shutter speed of, say, 1/50 will show no discernible subject movement..

Also, you can't be using f/8 because the Bigma is f/6.3 at 500 mm (although it lies to the camera, reporting f/5.6) and the TC takes one stop so we have f/9 - and that's before stopping down for sharpness..

Finally, all the references say that the full moon is close to 'Sunny 16' and my own experience confirms that. A likely exposure at your suggested ISO 800 and f/8 would be around 1/2000! But hey, who needs theory - I've just been outside to meter the moon for myself. At ISO 100, 1/200 or 1/250 at f/8...

Comment #20

"Also, you can't be using f/8 because the Bigma is f/6.3 at 500 mm (although it lies to the camera, reporting f/5.6) and the TC takes one stop so we have f/9 - and that's before stopping down for sharpness..

Finally, all the references say that the full moon is close to 'Sunny 16' and my own experience confirms that. A likely exposure at your suggested ISO 800 and f/8 would be around 1/2000! But hey, who needs theory - I've just been outside to meter the moon for myself. At ISO 100, 1/200 or 1/250 at f/8.".

Why can't I be using f8.0. I simply turn the aperature control wheel on the camera and put it on f8.0..

My exposure wrong? I suppose this shot taken last yr, does not exist. they were done in exactly the method described and at the settings mentioned..

The shot exif data: tiff 3/4 moon f8.0 1/250 iso800 WB auto. was shot jpeg save as a tiff..

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Comment #21

GaryDeM wrote:.

The moon moves it's image in 2minutes. see the following under exposure.http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/moon/index.html.

Also there is a big of a picture shot through a telescope and oneshot througha telephoto lens. 100m refractor has the full 4inches ofwid all the way through, meanwhile the telephoto shrinks as it endsup at the end of the lens. there is a lot more lightgathereing powerin a telescope..

You've lost me here.......I'm not sure what you mean by the full 4 inches of width all the way through. Yes, the scope has a 100mm objective and a focal length of 1000mm, which makes this an f/10 refractor, quite slow optically.....basically what I have is 1000mm, f/10 telephoto lens if I were shooting at prime focus..

JohnPentax *ist-D, K100D, Fuji F20/31fd, Oly Stylushttp://www.pbase.com/jglover..

Comment #22

GaryDeM wrote:.

Why can't I be using f8.0. I simply turn the aperature control wheelon the camera and put it on f8.0..

My exposure wrong? I suppose this shot taken last yr, does not exist.they were done in exactly the method described and at the settingsmentioned.the shot exif data: tiff 3/4 moon f8.0 1/250 iso800 WB auto. was shot.

If you are using your telelconverter for this shot, then your effective aperture at f/8 would be f/11 as the teleconverter eats a stop of light for a 1.4x converter. Your camera and the exif data will continue to report it as f/8..

JohnPentax *ist-D, K100D, Fuji F20/31fd, Oly Stylushttp://www.pbase.com/jglover..

Comment #23

I was spealing of the objective at the front of the refractor. you ever notice that in observatories nobody talks about fstops or magnifiction; it is all about light gathering power. the phtotgraphic lens simply cannot compete...

Comment #24

Of course the converter eats a stop. but the bigma lens itself is set at max sharpness of f8.0. it is the converter that is eating the stop not the lens..

Set the lens to max sharpness usually about f8.0 and go from there that way the lens is operating at it's best, converter or no converter...

Comment #25

Steve Balcombe wrote:.

Finally, all the references say that the full moon is close to 'Sunny16' and my own experience confirms that. A likely exposure at yoursuggested ISO 800 and f/8 would be around 1/2000! But hey, who needstheory - I've just been outside to meter the moon for myself. At ISO100, 1/200 or 1/250 at f/8..

I don't have a suitable lens for moon shots so I won't be posting the results of last night's tinkering. But here's another poster's nice effort - note his exposure:.

Http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1019&message=24990584..

Comment #26

Well, I don't have the best equipment for moon-shooting either, but here is my attempt from last night....

D40x, 55-200VR, 1/250 @ f16, ISO 100.

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Albert-OPlease visit me athttp://www.berto.zenfolio.com.

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Comment #27

Reason is in extreme contrasts. Moon is very bright subject and shows perfect detail at exposures like f/8 and 1/125 sec at ISO 100..

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Night sky is very dim subject that shows stars at f/2.8 and 15 sec..

Stars of Orion:.

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At f/2.8 and 15 sec moon and area around will be completelly overexposed, will look like supernova blast in universe...  whish is beautiful result too..

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Stan.

Http://www.stan-pustylnik.smugmug.com..

Comment #28

People point to the fact that moon photos show no stars as being evidence of a faked moon landing. I am saddened by the lack of critical thinking and simple experimentation..

[ e d @ h a l l e yc c ] http://www.halley.cc/pix/..

Comment #29

I am with you..

It is all about exposure. any shot that will show the moon right will not show stars, they are just to dim. any shot that show the stars will not show the moon as anything other than an overexposed blob of white. the exposures are just too different...

Comment #30

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