Sunday, January 31, 2010

How not to photograph the moon

My2Fish was kind enough to credit me with the previous picture of the moon, which alas came from Wikipedia.

He wasn't wrong though in imagining I'd try, which I did, but unfortunately my effort was less than inspiring, as can be seen above.

Despite using a tripod, time exposure, fiddling with ISO settings and a 300mm zoom lens, even with photo editing software no details could be seen. The problem is clearly over-exposure and if I'd had a bit more time would have had another go but the phone rang and then the moon went out of sight.

There are very good instructions here as to how to do it, so next time will hopefully be more successful.


Carol Anne said...

My dad used to point out that, if you think about it, the moon is an object in bright sunlight. Unless you set your camera to take a picture of something in bright sunlight, you're going to miss out on the details of the lunar surface.

O Docker said...

I wouldn't be discouraged, JP.

This is a strong example of minimalism in lunar photography. You've reduced your subject to elemental values and iconic forms, and have, in the process, made a poignant statement about life and the cosmos.

I find your spare use of color Dadaesque, but, wonderfully, without any negative nihilistic overtones. I see joy and affirmation, not despair.


my2fish said...

JP, I was making a late run for groceries tonite, and saw the moon rising beautifully over the trees at the horizon - one of those times where the size of the moon seems twice as large, and it was glowing with a light orange color. I figured it was still too low to photograph from standing in the yard at my house, so I kept on task to get groceries. by the time I got home, it was much higher in the sky, no longer glowing orange, and just not as impressive.
still, I thought I'd use your post as inspiration, and snap a few shots. I hooked up the tripod, got my little remote for the camera, and took a few photos.
apparently in my haste, I forgot to read your linked instructions, because the 10 or 12 shots I took were downright horrible.
I do have the gear to hook my DSLR up to a telescope, but don't have a telescope myself. my father does, but I haven't gotten it worked out to use when I'm visiting him.

maybe I'll have to make it more of a priority.

cheers, my2fish

JP said...

Carol Anne: maybe if I'd shone a light into the light sensor it would have worked better!

O Docker: well spotted - it is indeed a deeply spiritual piece of conceptual art, signifying yin and yang through the geometric construct of a circle of light which is the wholeness within each one of us. I will submit it for the Turner Prize as "Accidental Construct #5"

my2fish: alas the moon is usually not visible from where I live but will keep looking out for it.