Monday, March 26, 2007

One small step - The Moon

I'm rather fond of looking at the moon and stars on clear nights. The loveliness of the moon, as it rises, is breath-taking. Living in a city, though, it is not always possible to see it rise from the horizon.

On a full moon night, a month ago, I was sufficiently inspired to take a shot of the moon. I trudged up to the terrace, camera and tripod in tow. The moon presented itself in all its glory. It was late evening, the moon had not yet climbed to its high point in the sky and still retained a gentle yellowish tinge. Its patches were clearly visible to the naked eye. There was not a cloud in sight.

I set up the tripod, mounted the camera and took the shot. I was rather stunned to see that I had succeeded in getting a snap of a perfectly circular white disk against a black background. Tinkering with the many controls and settings of the camera, yielded no better results.

This rather fantastic failure, prompted me to look up many websites that have tutorials on how to take snaps of the moon. Most of these are extremely useful and after a study, I was able to produce the following last week.

These are not stellar shots, I would be the first to admit to that. These are baby steps and if there is anyone out there, who has been struggling with the same problem, this is intended to give them a start. I am so overjoyed to have seen craters, that I must share these.

Camera : Canon Powershot S2 IS
Lens : Canon TCDB58 TeleConverter Lens
Tv mode : 1/160
ISO : 50
Optical Zoom : Full (18x)
Lens Adapter : LensMate ( Many thanks to Anoop, for suggesting this)

Comments and suggestions, on how I may better this effort, are most welcome.


Keshav said...

Good attempt. The contrast in the fist snap is good and focus is clear.
The second photo however is slightly out of focus. Or it could be due to shake.

But having attempted capturing the craters unsuccessfully in past myself, I must say it is a great achievement. Till now I have not been able to do it.

anoop said...

hey, do you mind sharing the full res pic of the first snap, have never taken the snap when the moon is in this phase. yday i took some snaps of the moon too, from the terrace of my new house (3rd floor), braving the mosquito bites :p.
try taking B&W photos, the features are accentuated even more. hmmm... also maybe you can try complete manual mode with manual focus set to infinity.
are you sure that the Telephoto lens is extending the range of optical zoom to 18x, i doubt it. It may be adding 1.5x to the already 12x present. none of the websites speak about this aspect of things. also, when i tried out the lenses at full zoom it didn't give significant magni. i dont know, i may be wrong.

Unknown said...

Keshav & Anoop:
Since both of you are heaping praise on Snap #1, perhaps I should let you in on a little trick I used there.
Snap was taken in early evening, the sky was greyish, sun had not yet set.
Used mode P. No other setting. Didn't even need the tripod.

The craters were surprisingly very clear, but the grey sky was not giving it a dramatic look, so with Picasa, I set the shadow to full. [:)]
Thus giving the impression of night.

Snap #2 is untouched, just croppping was done.

ss said...

Gr8 photos. Thanx for sharing the Exif and the tweaks in photo-editing.

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