Anatomy of a Shoot: Supermoon

Like everyone else in the world, I stepped outside to take a picture of the moon on Saturday night as it came closer to the earth than it had in quite some time.

I’ve shot the moon pretty regularly in the years since I picked up a DSLR.  (I still plan on shooting all its phases over a couple or three months someday.) My first pictures were with a measly Canon 28-135mm lens during an eclipse.  It was an awful lens choice, but it was all I had.  Since then, I’ve upgraded to a Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6, which is a work horse of a lens that doesn’t get the credit it deserves.

Paired with the Canon 60D, it’s a handy (and economical) way of shooting the moon.  The live view coupled with the swing arm articulated view screen on the back of the camera make for the most comfortable experience shooting the moon I’ve ever had.

But, like I said at the top, I’ve done this shot before. I know to manually adjust my focus, manually adjust all the other settings, and experiment a bunch until you get something you like.  It was a quick process on Saturday night.

Still, as big as the moon was, it’s still tiny in frame.  Here’s the original still out of the camera:

The original frame of the supermoon

Out of the camera, the moon is very tiny in the frame.

With an 18 megapixel camera, a very tight crop can still give you a final image with a respectable size, at least for blog usage. 😉

Supermoon at full size

Supermoon cropped tightly

And, just as an experiment, I ran Lightroom 3’s noise reduction against the image, cranking it all the way up to 100, just as a test. Here’s the moon pictured as a marble:

Supermoon with noise reduction

Supermoon with Lightroom 3 noise reduction

I’m sure there’s an artistic implication for noise reduction here.  We already know NR is good for smoothing skin in a portrait, but now we know that it can turn rocky surfaces into something straight out of a marble.

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