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Posts Tagged ‘moonlight’

Do you ever play with the white balance of a photo in post-processing? I never realized before that a simple change to the white balance can fundamentally change the feel of some images.

I am currently using Photoshop Elements and the white balance slider is something that I haven’t experimented with much when processing my RAW images. Normally my camera is set to automatic white balance, so I don’t worry too much about the temperature of the light being wrong. I was thinking a lot about light, however, when looking at an image of reflected moonlight that I shot last week. I shot it at ISO100, f20, and 20 seconds. According to my computer, the image as shot had a color temperature of 3950 Kelvin. Wondering what would happen I changed the temperature to something different, I moved the temperature to the shade setting of 7500 K.

Transformed moonlight

Transformed moonlight

Suddenly my cool, moon-lit scene looks like a warm sunset. To give you an idea of the initial image, I went back to the RAW file and changed the color temperature to its original setting.  The image is not exactly as it came out of the camera, because I made some other changes in Camera RAW, but you can see the big difference.

The second image is closer to what my eye saw, but in many ways I like the transformed image more. My unofficial resolution for the coming year may be to learn more about processing my photos (and there seems to be an awful lot to learn).

Moonlight

Moonlight

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Last night I saw a beautiful almost-full moon as I was driving home from work, so I got up early this morning with hopes of seeing the moon setting before sunrise.

The moon was bright in the cold pre-dawn sky.  Although it was partially obscured by clouds, the moon illuminated my way along the darkened path to the boardwalk of my local marsh. There were geese sleeping in the fields just off the boardwalk and I attempted to photograph them (I’ll post a photo or two of them later). I tried photographing the moon itself, but the overcast sky prevented me from getting any details of the moon, which looks like a blob of light in all of my photos. I had somewhat greater success in taking photos of the moonlight reflecting off the water. I had my camera on a tripod for extra stability, but focusing in the dark was difficult and I couldn’t see the dials of the camera, so my settings were not always right.

Here is my favorite image that shows a pathway of reflected light from the moon. The subject that I photographed is pretty mundane, but I really like the overall atmosphere of the photo.

Moonlight

Moonlight in the marsh

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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