Images of a Big Island

Full Moon Rising

Full Moon RisingThis is an image I shot at moonrise last night. I actually saw this image the night before during that brief period when the eastern sky gets a beautiful magenta glow and you can actually see the earth’s shadow.

Couldn’t do much about it at the time as I was on the road, but I returned the next night knowing I would probably need to take a range of images and blend them together to re-create what I had seen the night before.

Remember that the moon rises approx. 50 mins later each night, so I knew that the moon would be too low in the sky during the 10min of Magenta glow.

Following, are the 3 images I took to get to the final image you see above.

_MG_0006September 19, 2013_MG_0007September 19, 2013_MG_0015September 19, 2013The first image was taken to get the best exposure for the foreground, the second image was exposed for the sky, you can see that colour happening in the sky! Notice that the moon hasn’t even appeared yet, now I just need to wait for it and shoot with a 200mm lens.

By the time it is high enough in the sky which is about 20mins later everything else is getting pretty dark but that is ok, all I need is an exposure to get detail in the moon.

After a little work in Lightroom to get each image where I want them, I import the first 2 images into Photoshop where I can exchange the sky in the first image with the darker sky in the second image using a Quick Selection and a Layer Mask

After flattening the image I apply a curves adjustment which as a side effect saturates the sky a little bit more, but I don’t mind that.

Next, I import the moon image and and reduce it’s size by 25% so it fits the image better. Select All, Copy and then Paste it on top of the blended foreground image. Using the Move tool I can then put  the moon wherever I like, in this case I put it a little bit higher in the sky to better balance the image

I then change the blend mode of the Moon layer to Screen and voila, the black sky disappears leaving that moon just hanging in the sky about where it was in reality. It is a little bright so I drop the Opacity to about 70% and flatten the image.

This is what Full Moonrise actually looked like.

Full MoonShot with a TS-E 24mm.


8 responses

  1. Well done and enjoyed reading your process.

    September 20, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    • Thanks Evelyn, hope it was useful to someone!

      September 21, 2013 at 6:15 pm

  2. Great result! Isn’t it annoying though when you see a fabulous image but aren’t in a position to do anything about it 😦

    September 22, 2013 at 2:20 am

  3. The story of my life sometimes Noeline! Cheers!

    September 22, 2013 at 2:51 pm

  4. Great shot Tim and I like that you’ve told the story as to how you captured it.

    September 22, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    • Thanks Jamie, who would have thought I would write a ‘tutorial’!

      September 22, 2013 at 10:28 pm

  5. Wonderful work! Thanks for sharing the details of such an artistic approach. I would love to capture something like this.

    October 5, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    • Thanks Lou, hopefully my info will help you out!

      October 6, 2013 at 9:09 am

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