Astroblast Moon Earthshine Photography Talk

I wasn't able to be there in person and gave this talk via tele-presence on 8/30/2019. It was a great chance to think through what I do with lunar images and how to best convey it. The moon is bright and it's one of the easiest astrophotography targets. Unfortunately it is very difficult to capture the "eyepiece" experience with clear, sharp, images of great dynamic range. Over time I've refined a process that makes it relatively easy to capture even difficult shots like the crescent moon with earthshine that look almost as realistic as looking through binoculars or a telescope. In these shots the dynamic range approaches that of the eye of about 1,000,000:1. Most screens or prints can only show about 1/4 of 1% of this! There are three parts to the process:

  • Capture data, by deconstruction the image into exposure zones and capture separately as optimally exposed bursts of images.
  • Stack and process image data optimally for each port of the image. Areas that require special processing like the lunar limb and terminator are controlled using masks.
  • Reconstruct the image into an HDR composite, that recreates the original scene optimized for screen or prints.

This process can be adapted to any image processing tool that supports layers and masked processing.

Here is an updated copy of my slides for this talk: Full Disk Lunar Images with Earthshine

Content created: 2019-09-01

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