Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Waxing gibbous, April 28, 2015

I've had my new camera for over a year now and still don't know how to use most of the features on the darned thing. Today I was inspired to try something new - play with the exposure control. One of the problems with photographing the Moon is that it's so bright -  even at its crescent phases, the brightness washes out a lot of detail. I've been getting around that by using a high shutter speed feature, which takes a burst of images of very short exposure time at a much lower resolution than normal. I wondered if, by using the exposure control I could get high-resolution images that also had more detail than my usual images.

My first attempt was taken at 8:06 PM, shortly after sunset. The sky was still fairly bright. I cranked the exposure control all the way down to -2.0, and did some processing to the resulting image - brightness and contrast adjustments and unsharp masking. I was very happy with the result.
Waxing gibbous, April 28, 2015, 8:06 PM.
 I wanted to see what would happen when the sky was fully dark, so I took another photo at 9:26 PM. With this one I only applied unsharp masking; any attempts to adjust brightness or contrast resulted in undesirable results. The processed image has less contrast in the maria, but shows more detail along the terminator.

Waxing gibbous, April 28, 2015, 9:26 PM.
I'm glad that I tried this trick, and look forward to testing its effectiveness at other phases. Maybe I should go through the whole manual sometime...