I have a new Nikon D80 and not real famillar with the best settings for taking a photo of the full moon & stars, (with the trees in the foreground). Like a sillouette.
Then as the moon comes up over the trees, probably around 7.30pm, I would like to take a photo of the milky way with the full moon in full view.
I know I could read the book, but I've been too busy lately. So anyone with some simple settings for my camera, Nikon D80, would be great.
I also have photoshop elements 6.0 on windows xp.
Thankyou, from Debbie.
Ramón G Castañeda, Feb 21, 2008 11:38 PM
You're going to need multiple images to get a well exposed picture of the Moon and the Milky Way in a frame.
The Moon is the second brightest object in the sky, after the Sun. It's like shooting a well-lit white wall on a bright sunny day. Otherwise, you'll get an image of a boring white disk. There is some color on the surface of the Moon, which you will want to preserve, and plenty of detail.
This image of the Moon was shot at 1/200s. It's an uncropped image, but at low resolution for the web, hence the artifacts:
The effective opening was appx. f/18. I used a 1,100mm f/11 catadioptric lens with a 1.7X teleconverter.
At that speed, you won't even get a hint of the Milky Way. To get a good image of the Milky Way, you'll need longer exposures, for which an equatorial lens is necessary. The Milky Way is not even visible from many urban areas because of light pollution.
The reason for multiple exposures for celestial bodies like the Milky Way as opposed to one extremely long exposure is that digital sensors overheat during very long exposures, thereby generating overwhelming digital chroma noise and sensor-blooming artifacts.
The next image consists of multiple, equatorial-mount, multiple-exposure composite shots of Andromeda with a 300mm lens:
Noise is to digital capture what grain used to be to film. Noise reduction is just what it says: an attempt to reduce digital noise in the recorded image through software, either in the camera or in post-processing.
Ramón was the eclipse last night visible in the foothills where you live? It was spectacular in Truckee. The first time I ever watched a full eclipse with perfect weather conditions start to end and very low light pollution.
Debbie if you photo'd the eclipse and got what seem like mediocre results do not feel bad, good astro pix are a challenge. I did not try to photo it, choosing instead to leave that to folks like Ramón with the skills and the appropriate hardware.
The moon without stars as part of a scene, however, is much more doable.