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The Moon's Life Cycle

Moon Collage Astrophotography

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#1 TrailEx

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 05:48 PM

This is my first photoshop project, and the product of 2 weeks of shooting.

Each image is the moon from one night between January 28 to February 10th. The first night was of the moon when it was less than 24 hours old. The final night was of the full moon, coincidentally during a rare but boring penumbral lunar eclipse.

Shot with my 6D attached to my Explore Scientific APO-refractor @700mm.

I had planned to do the entire lunar cycle from new moon to new moon, but the weather in the Southern US was not sympathetic to my plans and I got clouded out multiple days. You may have noticed that I also missed one day in this cycle, but oh well. I should consider myself lucky that I was able to get a good (or semi decent shot) shot for 13 out of 14 days here in the south.

What do you all think of my photoshop skills? How could I improve for future projects?

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#2 Meergrapher

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 11:15 PM

.



#3 rospondek

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 11:38 AM

I'm preparing to do the same thing but so far it's the fifth month I can barely see the moon at night. I saw it maybe 5 times... Of course the weather doesn't help either. Making photos at winter with -25 degrees Celsius isn't fun. Even if it is only 5 minutes ;)

 

Photos are really good :) As Meergrapher said you can make an arc showing the rotation as well but it is your project so you can do whatever you like.

 

What I can add from myself.

For me those shots near the full moon are a little overexposed. You've lost even the Tycho crater :) The biggest one on the brightest part of the Moon. So if it was done in RAW I'd put the exposure maybe 1 step down to equalize all of the photos.

 

The second thing, with 700mm on board it really begs for stacking and using RegiStax. You will be amazed by the final results. And it's like 15 photos each time enough for the big enhancement.

You've might seen somewhere one of my Moon stacks done with only 200mm.

e8613a36944775.582a050e8c703.jpg

 

Only 14 photos and a lot of details. Try it, you will love it :)

 

And the most important thing have fun! :)



#4 Roderick

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 11:49 AM

A great idea !

It has loads of possibilities - well done !



#5 TrailEx

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 12:09 PM

I'm thinking I will try again with this project after the next new moon in a few days, I'll definitely give image stacking a try for that. Also, thought I'd mention that I also used a 2x focal extender on the telescope right after I took these shots, in hopes of getting a better moon; but as it turned out those images were all inferior to the unmagnified images. Even though moon took up more of the sensor and thus needed to be cropped less, the images were considerably less sharp.

 

Also, as far as the moon being in a confusing orientation, I based it off of the angle of the moon on the first night, and just forced the same angle for all the other shots. If you rotate the image 90 degrees, you can see ye old man in the moon.



#6 rospondek

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 01:09 PM

Just a hint. When you will stack photos do not resign from using teleconverter. I don't know how much worse exactly the photos were (a two samples of 100% crop would be nice to see :) ) but stacking will ramp up the sharpness pretty high. But again hard to tell if it is worth when you will shrink them anyway. It could be a good move for a 100% crop of only the part of it though.



#7 TrailEx

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 07:11 PM

So I looked at the images again and i think the teleconverter is not reducing IQ, its simply not improving it (as all TCs do). I took a standard shot and a TC shot from the same night and cropped them down almost 1:1 so you can see for yourselves. When at 1:1 the TC image looks worse, but its the same effect as you would see if you took an image and increased its pixel count through post-processing.

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  • 1-1 Crop-1.jpg
  • 1-1 Crop-2.jpg


#8 David Pavlich

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 08:39 PM

Now that's a nice project!!

 

David


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#9 rospondek

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 10:26 AM

TrailEx this TC photo doesn't look that bad. It is not like you would resize it in postprocess. It is rather chromatic aberration caused by the extra glass that blurs it.

 

I'd try to get dozens of shots and stack them. Then you will see if it is really bad or it's actually really good and worth the 'effort'. Besides, the moon is always in grayscale so you can easy remove the extra colors and nobody would notice ;)





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