composite moon

Going Home Moon


Our eyes are amazing instruments. They can see a wide range of shades of light at the same time. The term used to describe the shades of light that you can see is Dynamic Range. Unfortunately, cameras do not have the ability to see the same dynamic range that your eyes can. You may have noticed this the last time you decided to take a picture of a clear moon and when you got it home, all you had was a bright sphere in a dark background. The features of the moon were missing.

 I this image, I wanted to show the clear blue twilight sky, the deep black of the tree's silhouette and the moon with all of its details intact. The limited dynamic range of my camera's sensor meant that I needed to shoot this image as two separate photos and then combine them in Photoshop.

The first image photo was exposed to show the moon's surface details while the second was exposed to get the blue and black in the rest of the image. With both images loaded into Photoshop, I cut the moon out of the first image and composited it into the second. The resulting image has the full dynamic range that I needed to achieve. Now the resulting photo looks just like the scene that I saw with my naked eye.

 That is one fine looking moon.



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