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SHOOTING THE MOONRISE


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#1 James Mann

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 11:20 AM

Here's a repost on a topic that recieved no response:

I am prepping a commercial to be shot over a period of four days in the southern california desert.
Fortunately we will be shooting during the four days of the full moon (in april). There are only two night exteriors but one requires a full moon (on the horizon).

Obviously, I could just go there the first nite and see where the moon comes up and then plan on shooting that direction the next nite BUT I would like to be a little more prepared than that.

I have been able to find plenty of data on moon rise times but I am yet to locate any source (like a SUNpath but for the moon) that can tell me exactly where that moon will show. We are going to scout next week and I would love to pick a location for the nite exterior that will work for the moonrise.

In addition, I thought that I would just pick your minds about shooting the moon. We will be shooting 35mm.
I am not trying to do a close up of the moon, we just want to have the moon in the shot and also a person.

I have also been thinking about trying to shoot the other nite exterior by the lite of the full moon. I thought maybe I could shoot at 3fps or less (and gain a few stops) and maybe then transfer at 3fps (...pros/cons...) and push a stop enabling me to rate (let's say) 5218 at 3200 iso. Crazy? Feasible? You make the call.

Thanks

James
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#2 Robert Edge

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 04:11 PM

I have been able to find plenty of data on moon rise times but I am yet to locate any source (like a SUNpath but for the moon) that can tell me exactly where that moon will show. We are going to scout next week and I would love to pick a location for the nite exterior that will work for the moonrise.


Sounds like you are shooting around April 13/14.

Go to http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/. You will find a calculator for times under the heading Rise/Set/Transit/Twilight Data and a calculator for position under the heading Positions of Selected Celestial Objects. You may find that some of the other data accessible from the page is also useful.
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#3 david west

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 04:31 PM

be sure to account for " oculomotor micropsia/macropsia "......

you may want to do the moonrise in post ....



http://facstaff.uww....eadd/intro9.htm




what you think you see and what the camera is going to see are not going to be the same....
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#4 Robert Edge

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 04:52 PM

Hello again,

There is a lot of information on the net about photographing the moon, both on photography and astronomy sites. For example, here are a couple of pages from photo.net:

http://www.photo.net..._id=00FICW&tag=
http://www.photo.net.../nature/sunmoon

As David West points out, the issue, especially if you also want a person in the shot, is whether you will get a scale that is adequte to your visual needs/expectations.
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#5 Robert Edge

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 06:21 PM

You may already know Ansel Adams's Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, but if not, you may find it worth looking at. Adams made it on the spur of the moment, on his 8x10, and it is one of his most popular photographs.

Also, Galen Rowell (who unfortunately died along with his wife in an accident four years ago) made some beautiful photographs that are not closeups of the moon, but include it as part of the composition.

I have a book in which Adams talked about how he made Moonrise, and I have one of Rowell's books. I'll have a look at them tonight to see if they contain any useful tips about shooting the moon.
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#6 dd3stp233

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Posted 14 March 2006 - 06:12 AM

..."I have also been thinking about trying to shoot the other nite exterior by the lite of the full moon. I thought maybe I could shoot at 3fps or less (and gain a few stops) and maybe then transfer at 3fps (...pros/cons...) and push a stop enabling me to rate (let's say) 5218 at 3200 iso. Crazy? Feasible? You make the call."...


I know from experience of shooting stills with just full moonlight that even at 3fps and 5218 pushed to 3200 would not nearly be enough light. Full moon light is roughly equilent to: if daytime is 1/100 second exposure then full moonlight would be like a 25 minute exposure. It would be much easier to use some type of lighting to simulate it.

Edited by dd3stp233, 14 March 2006 - 06:20 AM.

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#7 Mark Williams

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Posted 14 March 2006 - 06:27 AM

I was prompted by this post to shoot the moon last night with my video camera! The moon was full and bright so I zoomed in and filmed at f8 with gain set to zero and no filters.. Got some lovely footage with cloud passing by even blanking it out at one point QUITE Atmospheric.. I was surprised at how good and detailed it actually looked! :)
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#8 Robert Edge

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Posted 14 March 2006 - 07:28 AM

Got some lovely footage with cloud passing by even blanking it out at one point QUITE Atmospheric.. I was surprised at how good and detailed it actually looked! :)


Cool.

I had a look at Ansel Adams's Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs, his The Negative and Galen Rowell's Mountain Light.

In Examples, Adams talks about how he shot Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico (1941, 8x10) and Moon and Half Dome (1960, Hasselblad). The discussion is too detailed to repeat here, except to mention that he says that the luminence of the moon is approximately 250c/ft squared. He also talks about Moonrise, Hernandez in The Negative at p. 126-7.

Rowell, in Mountain Light, talks about several of his landscapes that feature a full or crescent moon. The index is not very good, so it helps to flip through the book for the photos and then read the accompanying text.

Both Adams and Rowell talk about how bright the moon is and the tradeoff/balance between detail in the moon and detail in the landscape. Rowell says that if you overexpose the moon to get detail in the landscape, it helps visually if there are clouds in the sky or if the moon is crescent, both of which ensure that the photo doesn't look like someone punched a circular hole in it with a paper punch.

James, I'd like to try this myself during a shoot this summer, so if you go ahead rather than elect to do a composite, I'd be very interested in reading any comments you have after your own shoot.
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#9 James Mann

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 11:14 AM

Thanks for the info everybody. I'll be heading out to the library today to do some research. I will also be going out on that tech scout this weekend (getting out of LA). I'll be bringing my light meter and still camera so we will see what we see.

Thanks again for the references. I'll keep you posted on the results.

James
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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS