How’d You Do That? A Nuts And Bolts Post. By Request.

Back in the beginning of July I posted a photo of a nearly full moon.

155/365 v2.0 (by Pat Glennon)

It was my best attempt at shooting the moon since I started shooting I thought. My friend JT agreed and when he saw it he emailed me saying:

Just got back from vacation late last night, in awe of your shot of the moon from earlier in the week.
Settings, filter, etc. anything… it is so well done, I must know more!

I told him that I would post all the details in a post in the near future as I though that others might find the information useful. Now that I have kept him waiting for over a month I though I would put this post together.

First here is the original image straight from the camera, no post processing.

year2day155 016unedited (by Pat Glennon)

Same image, I swear. Much less impressive, no?

First the camera settings:

  • White Balance: Tungsten
  • Shutter Speed: 1/6th second
  • Aperture: f45 (was overkill probably)
  • Focal Length: 300mm (on my Nikkor 70-300mm lens)
  • ISO 800 (on auto ISO mode)
  • Shot with a tripod mount on timer mode (I don’t have a remote release) so the camera wouldn’t shake

As you can see I can’t get too tight in on the moon even with the longest lens I have so I knew I was going to crop. Along with the crop I took the following actions in Photoshop.

  • Exposure: -.20
  • Contrast: +100
  • Recovery: +100
  • Clarity: +40
  • Vibrance: -80
  • Saturation: -80

This was all done in Photoshop CS3 in the Camera RAW settings (This is where Photoshop prepares a RAW image for editing in Photoshop).

I have been shooting in uncompressed, RAW, format since I got my hands on my Nikon D80 and if you are shooting a DSLR I would highly recommend it. It provides a greater level of flexibility in post processing.

Probably more than many of you wanted to know or even understand. Much of it I don’t still fully understand. Honestly, for the most part, I just adjust to what looks good to my eye.

I am the first to say that I am no expert when it comes to the technical side of photography, I’m still a novice in that regard, but I thought this post might be helpful anyway.

I’m glad to answer any questions on any shots from the past or going forward. Just don’t expect an instant answer!

Now, I have just one more promised (long overdue) post to get out there. I hope to get that one published this week too.

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