are fascinated by the Moon and its ever changing appearances. And
many try to photograph it - and discover that it isn't a too
easy target. Further, most start out with the full Moon which
isn't the most interesting, photographically speaking, because
the Sun is then high on the Lunar sky, shadows are short and
comtours are washed out. As a matter of fact, photographs of the
Moon when there is a distinct border line ('the terminator')
between the Lunar day- and night-sides is much more rewarding.
Lunar photography is difficult because details - apart from the
"seas" and larger craters are so very tiny. Much smaller than
people normally realize and a decent focal length is required to
show any real details.
atmospheric seeing is of utmost importance. In the wintertime,
the air may be very clear, but the stars twinkle (due to
atmospheric turbulence) and so do the tiny craters, mountin
peaks, rifts and valleys on the Moon! Details will be smeared
out, the images appear soft and no sharpening in post-processing
will bring out any real detail.
But once in a
while, the conditions will be right. The air will be calm, the
Moon high in the sky and showing an interesting phase. And then
it is the time to grab your longest lens or a small telescope.
Elsewhere on this site, you can read about
Settings for Lunar photography.
In the example above, I have used a small 4" f/10 Vixen
Polaris R 100L Newtonanian, a Tamron SP F-series 2X
Teleconverter and a Pentax K-5 DSLR to capture the moment when
the first rays of sun touch the western rim of crater Copernicus
just south of Mare Imbrium - The Sea of Rains. Note also how the
Sun low over the horizon, as seen from the Appenine mouintain
range (to the south-east of Mare Imbrium) make the shadows long
and black and thus, make these mountains look really rugged and
"wild". Seven images were stacked in Registax and
post-processed in PhotoImpact.
So, move your
cursor over the image above, click on thge image and zoom in on
Sunrise over Copernicus.
(Also, you may click
Here to see the un-cropped lunar image in larger