Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Giving "Old Mother" a Facelift

If you caught yesterday's post featuring the image "Lunar Assist", you may have thought the title referred to the moon providing a helping hand to the lighthouse in illuminating the rocky shallows - and you'd be correct - at least in part.

For those readers who appreciate the technical aspects of photography, you may have already surmised that there is more to this image than meets the eye.  In the interest of full disclosure, here are the technical stats for the image - 10mm, ISO 100, f/20, 30.0 sec. 

If you've ever tried to "shoot the moon" (or any other bright glowing orb), you can appreciate what effect a 30 second exposure will have.  As a result, "Lunar Assist" also refers to my post-processing intervention.  Below is the original image.
THIS is what the moon looks like at 10mm after a 30 second exposure.  I still like the shot, but I wanted for the viewer to be able to identify that star burst as the actual moon.  That being said, I pulled out the other camera, zoomed out to 200mm and took another shot of the moon which I later overlaid on top of the "star burst" using PhotoShop.

Then I started to scrutinize the composite image.  Does the reflection of the moon still match up with the "upsized" version?  Do the wayward "beams" around the moon raise suspicion?  In my opinion, the scene still seems natural and, while maybe a little more exaggerated than "actual size", a more accurate representation of the scene I was shooting that morning.

The ultimate test is with you, the viewer, however.  What do you think? 


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