The full moon rises, again


full_moon_clouds.jpgIt’s full moon, again, and I hobbled out in the sudden fall chill that now grips Northern California to snap a photo for an InMenlo assignment.

There were pretty clouds that periodically covered and/or framed the moon, but it wasn’t possible to set the exposure to capture detail in the moon’s surface (above) and the clouds (left). The exposure spread was more than 7 stops in photog lingo (translation: very bright moon, very dim clouds.)

This was a perfect time to use the technique of HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography, which friend Scott has rather expertly mastered. The process involves taking multiple frames at differing exposures and then merging them in HDR software to produce an image that captures both the brightest highlights and detail in the darkest shadows. Most modern cameras will automatically shoot a burst of appropriately-exposed frames, but I had come unprepared, and, fumbling in the dark and cold, couldn’t get the Nikon into that mode.

This was exactly the exposure problem that Ansel Adams solved in his famous ‘Moonrise over Hernandez‘ photo, which is probably my most favorite picture – and Ansel did it the hard way by setting exposure ever-so carefully, adjusting negative development and manipulating the print. Maybe, by next full moon, with Scott’s help, we’ll figure this out… pray for clouds next month…


About Chris Gulker

Chris Gulker, a self-described Infuential Blogger, lived in Menlo Park, California with spouse Linda. He passed away in late October 2010.
This entry was posted in All, Photos, Weblogging. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The full moon rises, again

  1. Anonymous says:

    Don’t think you’ve ever done a night time walk on this blog. That would be an interesting twist.

  2. cg says:

    Hmmm… good idea, though dragging my gimpy carcass down dusky paths might provide a challenge. I love making night pictures, though….

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