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Image ProcessingGetting rid of moon flare

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Matt Quinn
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Getting rid of moon flare

Post by Matt Quinn » Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:49 am

I want to post this photo in my Project 52 but want to clear up the moon first. Suggestions appreciated. Thanks, Matt

Moonrise, Patapsco Valley (1 of 1).jpg
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Post by Psjunkie » Mon Dec 04, 2017 4:32 am

I'd just post it Matt...well done.

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Charles Haacker
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Post by Charles Haacker » Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:07 pm

I like the picture fine as is, but clearly you wish it were better somehow. I agree with Frank. Not having been there I don't know if it was a clear night, but it looks as if there might have been some atmospheric haze (there are artifacts in the sky). Every bright light in the picture is haloed. That can be just from overexposure of the bright spots, impossible to avoid if you are going to record some detail in the tree. You were at 8 sec. @ f/4. Your ISO was 3200. Based on the "moony 11" guide (f/11 with shutter the reciprocal of the ISO, so 1/3000-ish) the moon is hopelessly blown. If the night was clear the halation is likely simply from intense overexposure bleeding into the surrounding pixels. Had you shot film the result would have been the same. Do not imagine that this is a criticism: it's absolutely unavoidable in situations like this. You are either going to vastly underexpose the foreground detail, or vastly overexpose the brightest objects in the frame.

Can it be fixed? It's probably possible (ANYthing is possible these amazing days) but it's above my pay grade. I suspect it would be hard to do seamlessly.

What could you have done differently? If I'd been trying to make it I think I'd make a bunch of widely bracketed exposures (the moon will be moving throughout but I think that would not be a big challenge to blend). You don't want it to look unrealistic but I think the goal would be to get a blended stack of layers that allow for detail in both moon and deep shadow. T'ain't easy, but it might be fun to try. ;)
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Post by LindaShorey » Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:10 pm

Moody and mysterious! The result you speak of looks to me like atmosphere + over-exposure of the moon. A shorter exposure wouldn't have revealed your tree and other details. Haze, pollution, thin clouds can all create thin rings around the moon. I'm heading out at 7 a.m. to try to catch the moon at sunrise. That is my favorite time in a full moon cycle because I like to be able to include the landscape. In my area this morning the moon will disappear on the horizon about 35 minutes after the sun comes up. You need to check apps or websites because moonrise and moonset vary by many minutes every day.

(edit - written while Chuck posted, but I'll just leave as-is)

I have one from three years ago I'll toss in here as an example of daylight full moon or near full:
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Post by minniev » Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:32 pm

Matt Quinn wrote:I want to post this photo in my Project 52 but want to clear up the moon first. Suggestions appreciated. Thanks, Matt

Moonrise, Patapsco Valley (1 of 1).jpg

I don't think it is clear-able. Matt. There is not likely to be any detail in the moon with those settings. A separate exposure for detail in the moon could be combined with this or an even brighter one to get detail everywhere, if you wanted. This shot has its own charm though. Sometimes our own shooting problems yield serendipity and this is one of them. I might raise the exposure on the top with a gradient layer to get more visibility in the top of that wonderful tree, and increase the glow in the bottom half with a gradient layer and masking, to enhance the glow in the background (including the moon), make it look more intentional and dramatic.
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Post by Matt Quinn » Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:47 pm

minniev wrote:
Matt Quinn wrote:I want to post this photo in my Project 52 but want to clear up the moon first. Suggestions appreciated. Thanks, Matt

Moonrise, Patapsco Valley (1 of 1).jpg

I don't think it is clear-able. Matt. There is not likely to be any detail in the moon with those settings. A separate exposure for detail in the moon could be combined with this or an even brighter one to get detail everywhere, if you wanted. This shot has its own charm though. Sometimes our own shooting problems yield serendipity and this is one of them. I might raise the exposure on the top with a gradient layer to get more visibility in the top of that wonderful tree, and increase the glow in the bottom half with a gradient layer and masking, to enhance the glow in the background (including the moon), make it look more intentional and dramatic.


Suspect you're right, Minnie. So, I will try your suggestions and also will try again tonight; it will be later, however, and is forcast to be cloudy, so I may haave to go with what I have. I took another a few days ago that I planned for P52, and may use that instead. Staay tuned. Matt
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Post by Matt Quinn » Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:48 pm

Psjunkie wrote:I'd just post it Matt...well done.


Thank you, Frank. I may do that after fiddling with the suggestions Minnie made. Matt
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Post by Matt Quinn » Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:06 pm

Charles Haacker wrote:I like the picture fine as is, but clearly you wish it were better somehow. I agree with Frank. Not having been there I don't know if it was a clear night, but it looks as if there might have been some atmospheric haze (there are artifacts in the sky). Every bright light in the picture is haloed. That can be just from overexposure of the bright spots, impossible to avoid if you are going to record some detail in the tree. You were at 8 sec. @ f/4. Your ISO was 3200. Based on the "moony 11" guide (f/11 with shutter the reciprocal of the ISO, so 1/3000-ish) the moon is hopelessly blown. If the night was clear the halation is likely simply from intense overexposure bleeding into the surrounding pixels. Had you shot film the result would have been the same. Do not imagine that this is a criticism: it's absolutely unavoidable in situations like this. You are either going to vastly underexpose the foreground detail, or vastly overexpose the brightest objects in the frame.

Can it be fixed? It's probably possible (ANYthing is possible these amazing days) but it's above my pay grade. I suspect it would be hard to do seamlessly.

What could you have done differently? If I'd been trying to make it I think I'd make a bunch of widely bracketed exposures (the moon will be moving throughout but I think that would not be a big challenge to blend). You don't want it to look unrealistic but I think the goal would be to get a blended stack of layers that allow for detail in both moon and deep shadow. T'ain't easy, but it might be fun to try. ;)
(BTW, like your new portrait avatar! :thumbup: )


Chuck, Many thanks for the moony 11 guide. I had the camera on Aperture priortity with f stop at 8 for some shots and at 11 for others and 16 for some. But all shot at f4. Don't know why. I'll have to go online and see what I can find. I am using a Leica M Monochrom 246. If the moon shows tonight, I may try again, bring a flashlight to be sure of the f stop, and fiddle with the iso. If anything is worth showing, I will. Thanks for the help. Matt
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Post by St3v3M » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:07 am

Matt Quinn wrote:I want to post this photo in my Project 52 but want to clear up the moon first. Suggestions appreciated. Thanks, Matt

I'm curious why you want to 'fix' it? There are clear moons and there are fuzzy moons, some of it depends on the atmospherics. S-
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Post by Matt Quinn » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:09 am

St3v3M wrote:
Matt Quinn wrote:I want to post this photo in my Project 52 but want to clear up the moon first. Suggestions appreciated. Thanks, Matt

I'm curious why you want to 'fix' it? There are clear moons and there are fuzzy moons, some of it depends on the atmospherics. S-


I guess because the moon was clear and I messed up with the wrong apperture or iso or time. Learning but slowly. Matt
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