How I captured both the crescent moon and “Earthshine” in one photograph

Apr 28, 2020

Christopher Sherman

We love it when our readers get in touch with us to share their stories. This article was contributed to DIYP by a member of our community. If you would like to contribute an article, please contact us here.

How I captured both the crescent moon and “Earthshine” in one photograph

Apr 28, 2020

Christopher Sherman

We love it when our readers get in touch with us to share their stories. This article was contributed to DIYP by a member of our community. If you would like to contribute an article, please contact us here.

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This is something I’ve been wanting to attempt for a while but the skies have not be clear enough to do so. Iowa skies in fact have been almost constantly cloudy of late – or a least when one wants to shoot the moon.

This is Saturday night’s (4/25/2020) crescent moon shot in HDR (high dynamic range), showing the 8.6% crescent, lit by the sun, and the remaining moon, lit only by sunlight reflecting off of the earth’s surface – earthshine.

I consider it an experiment, having never attempted it before. It is 9 photos, shot back-to-back, each at various exposures, combined to showcase the entire moon, without the sunlit side being over exposed or the earthshine side being to dark to see.

Shot with a Nikon D850 at f/6.3 and a Tamron 600mm lens at 600mm on a tripod with no tracker. All shots at ISO 640. Exposures were: 1/50 sec, 1/30, 1/20, 1/13, 1/8, 1/5, 1/3, 0.5 secs, and 0.8 secs.

The photos were combined with Lightroom’s HDR feature and then cleaned up in Photoshop.

About the Author

Christopher Sherman is a photographer and the founder of Artists Sunday, an alliance of original artists (including photographers), trusted non-profit organizations and supportive sponsors encouraging consumers to shop with artists during the holiday season. You can find more of his work on his website, or by following him on InstagramTwitter and Facebook. This article was also published here and shared with permission.

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One response to “How I captured both the crescent moon and “Earthshine” in one photograph”

  1. Astro Avatar
    Astro

    The headline is misleading. “One photograph” is usually interpreted as one exposure. An HDR requires multiple exposures, as the article stated. There might be one composite, final single image, but this is not something you can do with one single exposure of the CCD.