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Help with Time Lapse of Moonrise

LJSThomas 5 4 United Kingdom
4 Aug 2012 3:39PM
Hi all, I'm teaching myself how to take photos of the night sky. I'd really love to experiment with a time lapse photo of a moon rise. I'm wondering how I will be able to take a sequence of photos (using the manual mode on my camera) and keep the exposure just right during the changing light conditions. Put another way, if I set my camera settings for a perfect exposure under the light conditions during sunset just as the moon turns up over the horizon, I'm wondering if my moon will be slightly underexposed as the sky goes darker? WIll it make much difference? I might be having a blonde moment Smile but I can't seem to get my head around how I should set my exposure when shooting such a high number of frames at short intervals under changing light conditions. I'm really hoping you can help explain it to me.. Thank you so much in advance!

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Nigeyboy 9 854 United Kingdom
5 Aug 2012 9:45AM

I did a quick search on EPZ and came up with these results - there might be something you are looking for amount the tutorials!

You may also want to consider using PS or some other editing software to allow you to stack multiple images of the scene you are shooting.

someone with more knowledge than me will hopefully pop by and give you some better advice than me lol!!
Sooty_1 7 1.5k 221 United Kingdom
6 Aug 2012 1:17AM
Do you want to combine the images in one, or make a time-lapse video?

Google 'astrophotography' and look up Jerry Lodriguss. He has a lot of links if you navigate the site, dealing with all sorts of questions. You can also look at www.spacelapse.net, they also have 'how to' links.

LJSThomas 5 4 United Kingdom
19 Aug 2012 3:37PM
Thanks for your help Nigeyboy and Sooty.
newfocus 11 647 2 United Kingdom
19 Aug 2012 8:31PM
That sunset scenario takes a bit of practice but is worth mastering for some great dusk to night sequences. The difference in exposure between avoiding an overexposed sky soon after sunset through to getting a decent star field in complete darkness can be 10 stops or more so ideally some way of smoothly changing the exposure from shot to shot becomes handy. I usually shoot at a fixed aperture throughout and change both the ISO and shutter speed, starting at about 1/10s, ISO 100 and ending at something like 25s, ISO800 or 1600.

I've not tried just exposing for the moon and leaving the settings there but I guess that could work because the light falling on the moon will be pretty constant as long as it's not near eclipse. You might need to learn how much the earth's atmosphere affects apparent brightness when the moon's low in the sky I guess.

If you do want to vary the exposure smoothly through the sequence, the camera's own settings will only allow changes down to 1/3 stop at a time, which isn't gradual enough so your only real option is to shoot in bulb and use something to accurately and smoothly ramp up the bulb time. One of the more commonly used options is the little bramper .

One other thing that might save you some heartache is that even in manual mode, you'll probably notice the exposure from shot to shot changing enough to cause noticeable flicker in the final video. Usually this is because when the camera stops down the aperture, it ends up slightly different each time. One solution (if you're careful not to drop your lens off the camera) is to use the Lens Twist Method to lock the aperture between shots and I'm in the habit of doing that every time now.

I hope that helps a little.

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