The New Moon

OK, for starters these are pictures of a full moon- sorry for false advertising… and bad puns…

tweaked moonI recently took a quick shot at the moon with my 300mm, it was a quick handheld shot  and this is heavily cropped so I’m pretty happy with it but if you zoom in you can quickly see there is room for improvement.  But there’s actually been a fair bit of improvement alread

This is how the shot looked after a simple crop, pretty good but nothing special.  So I used Lightroom to make a few changes.

starter moon

Firstly I used the shadows slider to make the blue of the sky a bit blacker.  Now this is a complete fiction, the sky really is blue at night but in pictures it just looks a bit wrong at time so I’m using a bit of artistic license.  Secondly I used the noise reduction and sharpening tools to get as much detail out of the craters on the moon’s surface as I could.  This comes at a cost when you zoom in and see grainy horribleness but at this level of viewing the effects are dramatic.  The downside of the internet is the fact you can do that, in a magazine people get away with this all the time!   And finally, another lie about the colour, when I made the sky black it revealed how brown the moon actually appears through the lens, so I reduced the orange saturation to get a more monotone look and was left with my tweaked moon!

This all took me about 5 minutes, and I just wanted to put this up to show how unrealistic photos can be whilst still appearing “nice”.  I try to tweak my photos as little as possible but from time to time I have a dim image, one that caught some glare, or I just left the camera in the wrong setting.  A lot of these mistakes can be rescued these days with some nice software that is offered as a free 30 day trial, or other completely free downloads.  I still can’t decide if this is a good thing- it makes me and a lot of other people lazy photographers and it means everybody is a “photographer” these days, but it also lets me take some images like the first one on a whim!

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