Thursday, September 4, 2014

Moon Shot and Post-Processing Comparison

Moon, Waxing Gibbous, 74% illuminated

Yesterday I wrote briefly on how to shoot the moon (btw - the settings I used are just a guide that should at least get you in the ballpark).  If you read it you'll note that I shoot in raw mode and did very little post-processing to that image.  

Today's moon shot will compare one image with more thorough processing to the same image with the processing that I applied to yesterday's moon.  I'll even throw in a jpeg image straight out of the camera to top off the comparison.  The three images shown here are of one moon shot taken this evening, 9/4/2014, with different post-processing applied.  

The image that begins this article is post-processed as such:  Whites +30, Clarity +35, Sharpening 50, Detail 50, Masking 40.  At this point I liked it and stopped.  The settings in the camera are the same as used yesterday with the one exception that I used spot metering this time.  

This second image was post-processed with only Clarity +35 which is what I used on yesterday's image.  When comparing it to the one above on my 27" screen it is clearly inferior.  So why did I post it as such yesterday?  Because I was amazed at how good it looked with so little post-processing applied.  But after uploading that post I knew I could make the image even better, which I did, and then uploaded it to my Flickr account.

This third image is the jpeg straight out of camera.  After uploading it to the computer I noted that the in-camera jpeg setting is STD, with sharpening set to 6 and saturation 1.  It is far inferior to the post-processed raw images that were then converted to jpegs and downloaded to this post.  It strains my eyes to even look at it.

Bonus - forth image.  It is the out of camera jpeg above that I processed in LR.  Not bad.  Looks pretty good now with the exception of the thin bright white line that outlines the moon from about 11 o'clock to 5 o'clock or so.  It's in the jpeg image above also, just not as pronounced.  I don't see it at all in the first two images of which are post-processed raws.  Anyway, I found this to be a fun little exercise.  What do you think?


  1. The 1st and 4th images are my favorite. For some reason this post's pictures reminded me of the star ship enterprise.

    1. The fourth is my favorite. Star ship Enterprise, heh? Didn't know you were a Trekkie.