Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tech Talk Tuesday

Discussion on Previous Post and the Comments
On the last post I presented the technical challenges I had to overcome to create a photo that realistically represented what I saw.  I wanted the foreground and the background and the moon to be in focus.  I wanted to show some of the detail I saw in the landscape.  I wanted to show how beautiful and bright and clear the moon was as well.  I started with a wide angle lens and was able to get the best focus on all elements, but it made the moon look really tiny.  A telephoto did the best job with the moon and that's the main subject, so I started at 1/8 sec., f/22 with a focal length of 200mm and focused on the moon.  Then I distanced myself far enough away so I was able to get the jet ski and mountains in one shot, and focused a third of the way into the scene (hyperfocal distance), and took some more shots.   Then I took more shots, varying the exposure, because I knew that the camera could never record the bright moon and the dark landscape.  I had some shots where the landscape was almost black in order to maintain detail in the moon, and other shots where I got detail in the landscape, but the moon was totally blown out.  And yes, as you've probably guessed, I used Photoshop with layers and masks to combine various parts of different exposures to come close to what I actually saw.   I like this image at a glance, but in reality it is not a really great shot technically.   I forgot to up my ISO and all the images are at 400.  There is a lot of noise and other strange aberrations, especially noticeable in the sky.  (Scott, the white balance was the same on all the shots and I did not alter it during editing.  Ginny, if you find the center of the sky, then look down about 1/4 to 1/2 inch you'll see what really looks like a dust spot.  It is blurred and barely visible, but that's the bat.  He shows up much clearer on the full resolution version.)