An Artists Communion Through A Lens

Frost Moon

Frost MoonAlso known as Snow Moon.  This is Waxing Gibbous, about 20 hours before it was completely full.  It rose bright and big the next day but there were light clouds so this was a clear sky.

Since it was a clear night, I knew the base exposure would be minus 1 stop from Sunny 16.  F11 and 1/100 with ISO 100 would do.

My lens is sharpest around f8 so by opening up aperture 1 stop, I could increase my shutter speed 1 stop to 1/200.  From experience, I wanted at least that shutter speed. The relative motion from Earths rotation can blur the exposure with a very long lens.

One last exposure variable came into play.  I added a 1.5x teleconvertor to make my 300mm lens a 450mm lens.  But that comes at the cost of 1 stop so I increased my ISO to 200 to compensate.

In sum, I set my exposure before I went outside to photograph and never used a meter.  Its not magic, its just a well understood exposure.  And of course, after making a an exposure or two, just look at your histogram and adjust.  That’s how I compensate as the exposure changes through an eclipse.  It’s really how I shoot everything.  Simply use Sunny16 as a base ( EV15 at ISO 100) and adjust from there.

Lastly is mounting to a tripod, a careful focus ( auto or manual or try both) and if possible, use a delayed shutter with a Mirror Lockup and a remote shutter release.  Make enough exposures so you’re confident you have very good focus on a few.

The final step is editing and preparation for presentation.  Its my habit to record RAW images so I can make all decisions vs the camera manufacturer’s built-in JPEG algorithms.  This image was mostly edited in Adobe Camera Raw aka the Develop Module in Lightroom.  I did open it up in Photoshop to add text, then used the Image Processor in Bridge to make the JPEG the size I wanted ( 720). Finally I sharpened it with the Pixel Genius plugin and an PS Action I wrote long ago.

Gear used in this post: Pentax K5IIs camera, Sigma 100-300/4 lens,  Kenko 1.5x TC, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with Manfrotto 488RC2 Ball Head and Vello Wired Remote

Editing Tools used in this post: Adobe CC2015, Nik Collection, Pixel Genius Photokit, Wacom Intuos Pro Tablet, Pantone Huey Pro

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