Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Moonset - the magic of RAW

I spent a little more time in post processing yesterday's moonset shot. Here is the finished product.

This shot will help illustrate the magic of RAW and why you should always shoot RAW. Here is the original shot straight out of the camera without adjustments.


As you can see while the top picture closely resembles what I saw with my eye. My camera completely blew the shoot. The temperature came out of the camera at about 5700 degrees. Fine if it is a sunset, which the camera probably thought it was looking at. But the moon's color temperature is much much lower. The finished shot is about 2500 degrees. This gives us the more realistic blue/white light that we see at night.

If I had not shot this in RAW I would have have to fool around with color shifts and all other types of junk, with RAW I just moved one slider and it was fixed.

Next, I fixed the nasty little flare to the upper right of the moon by opening up the shot again, flipping it horizontally and copying it as another layer on to the master shot. Then using a mask I just exposed/revealed the right side of the moon.

Next, I added a channel mixer layer in monochrome and only exposed the beach by masking off everything above the surf line. This toned down the blue color on the beach and lightened it up. I set the opacity of the channel mixer layer at about 40% so that it did not over do it.

Finally I flatten the image, then duplicated the layer and sharpened the image at about 60%. Then I masked off everything on the sharpen layer but the moon shine on the water and the beach.

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