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Moon hack

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moon hack

I've been longing to shoot a good scenery with a big moon. Some reasons make this difficult:

  1. the moon has to be near the horizon;
  2. the moon has to be at the same direction as the scenery;
  3. I have to be far away from the scenery and use a telephoto lens to magnify the moon in the photo; (note that the moon looking big when it's near the horizon is a total pychological effect (thank Mike for teaching me this))
  4. the moon is much brighter than most sceneries at night, which makes correct exposure difficult.

However, such an effect can be achieved in post-processing. R. Burden did this using Photoshop[1]. I repeated the procedure in GIMP, which is a free alternative of Photoshop:

  1. open a scenery photo and a moon photo in GIMP;
  2. drag the moon layer into the scenery photo;
  3. in the layers panel, click the "Mode" pull-down menu, and choose "Screen";
    Choose "Screen" in "Mode" menu
  4. adjust "Levels" ("Colors" menu -> "Levels") and "Opacity".

Tips: if the foreground is lit by direct sunlight, the foreground should be brighter than the moon. Otherwise the moon should be brighter than the foreground.

More hacks:


[1] R. Burden, Outdoor Photographer 2008-8, 92 (2008)

Last edited by Wen at 2008-10-26 21:44:23

Posted at 2008-10-26 21:43:24

Comment: Re: Moon hack

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windswalk Send a message to windswalk Send an email to windswalk
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Posted at 2008-11-25 21:17:43

Comment: Re: Moon hack

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angel (guest)

sooooooo nice
really loved it

Posted at 2012-02-28 10:34:21
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