Jason Matias's picture

Starry Moonset

January 7, 2015

First Moonset of 2015

I spent most of the night looking for compositions and waiting for the moon to set so that I could capture the first star trails of the year on Jan 1st, 2015. When it came time, at 4AM, I could hardly be pulled away from the fire. I kinda knew that the moon might set between these sea stacks but wasn't sure that I'd be able to get the angle because of the tide. When I saw the moon glow orange on the horizon life became a mad, wet, dash to line up my lens for the shot.

The process:
This photo is actually a 3 image composite shot in quick succession. The moon drops so fast that I really had to rush, shoot, move to take this photo. All frames are ISO 800 and f/4. The stars and most of the sky are a 15s exposure. Enough to see, not too so long that the stars moved in the photo. The sea stacks and water are 30s. Had I had more time to think, I probably would have shot this after the frenzy for a few minute exposure to really capture everything they could offer in terms of definition. The moon is a 1.6s exposure. I blended the three manually in PS after processing in Camera Raw. One notable edit from CR, I used 70% luminosity noise reduction to fight the noise in the rocks. In PS I used tonal contrast edits to bring the definition back with almost no noise.
And that's the story of that.

40mm · f/4 · multiple · ISO 800
Log in or register to post comments


Pepper Francis's picture

that moon light is so tight. really clever edit.

Truett Ray's picture

That's insane.