Shooting the Moon in Atlanta

A composite art photo of the moon between some buildings in the City of Atlanta at sunrise

Civic Center Marta Station

Shooting the Moon in Atlanta

It seems like getting photos of the moon wouldn't be that hard but it's definitely not that easy. 

There's the size issue and then there's the light issue. Timing can be a hassle too. Had to get up around 4:45 a.m. to get these photos!

You can't just use any lens and capture the size. If you look at this photo below, you'll see what I mean:

A tiny moon at the top of the frame between buildings at sunrise in the City of Atlanta

It was taken with a 14mm-42mm lens at around 15mm. But that's on my Lumix which is a crop sensor camera. That would be the equivalent of about 30mm on my full-frame Nikon. 

See the moon? It's that tiny thing at the top of the frame. To my eye, the moon didn't look nearly that small, although it didn't look huge either. 

When I put the 40mm-150mm lens on and shot at 150mm (about 300mm with a full-frame sensor), I got this:

A partial moon and some clouds at sunrise

Much closer but still not as close as I'd like. I need a zoom lens with a little longer reach which I don't own - yet!

I don't usually have an issue getting the moon in focus because it's bright, but it's sometimes tricky not overexposing it and losing all the details. 

To get the city scene with the huge moon (when it actually appears huge to my eye), I'd have to get far away and then use a lens that could zoom up closer. At least that's my understanding right now but more research is needed.

Composite Moon Photos

The other thing I can do (and what I love doing!) is to make a composite photo using both the photos I shot. The composite is the cover photo for this blog post. 

The challenge with this composite was getting the colors right.

You'll notice in the moon shot, the sky had a purple hue. The purple fades into the moon in areas and it didn't look good at all when I first put it into the city shot I took. 

I had to go back and change the background color of the moon photo to make it bluer. Then when I put it into the city shot, the dark areas didn't look so purple.

It was a little tricky getting it to look right, and I'm still not completely satisfied. But, then again, I'm almost never completely satisfied with my composites.

I always feel like I could do more, so at some point, I just have to stop.

My parents and sister and I were recently joking about how deep and wide the obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is in our family. That's not to make light of the disorder or people who have diagnosed OCD, but we certainly are a bunch of "checkers" and "perfectionists." 

We're always calling each other out on it. "Just stop - it's fine!" 

I check five times before I leave the house to make sure I haven't left anything on like a curling iron or the oven or stove.

Maybe it's the fire that consumed the backyard and threatened the house when I was a kid. I still remember running to the neighbors and seeing all the police and fire trucks. 

It was very scary.

I'll keep checking. 

I'll keep working on my moon shots.

I'm anxious to get some more Milky Way shots. We're into Milky Way season but it passes so quickly, and I haven't had time to get outside the city far enough to capture it.

Maybe soon!

Hope you had a good 4th of July. I spent time with friends in their amazing home oasis - little pool, big jacuzzi, and we had delicious grilled burgers.

It was perfect. 

I didn't get to see any fireworks this year which was a bummer,  but I heard them until about 4 a.m. in my neighborhood.

My dog, Bauer, wasn't too pleased but he doesn't do too badly. 

Have a great rest of your week!

And, see you between the raindrops!