[PlayRaw] Total Lunar Eclipse

Yesterday I had the wonderful opportunity to witness a total lunar eclipse. While my plans to travel to a nice location were cut short by injury I still managed to get some snaps.

DSC_4467.nef (37.3 MB)
DSC_4468.nef (37.3 MB)
DSC_4469.nef (37.3 MB)


Partial Lunar Eclipse:
DSC_4814.nef (34.8 MB)

full size

This files are licensed Creative Commons, By-Attribution, Share-Alike
(Creative Commons, By-Attribution, Share-Alike)

The images have been taken with a D810 & 70-200. I couldn’t locate the lens collar or tracker and I don’t have a longer lens so the shots aren’t exactly perfect.

But hey, it makes it a good exercise for playing with stacking, noise reduction & debluring. :slight_smile:

I hope you enjoy!


Nice, I was waiting for someone to do this. Hope your injury wasn’t bad and that you get better soon.


dcraw -T -4 *.nef && align_image_stack -m -a ALI .tiff && convert ALI -evaluate-sequence median OUTPUT.tif && rm .tiff && rm ALI

OUTPUT.tif.xmp (4.6 KB)

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Added one more image of the moon coming out of the earths shadow to play with. Contrast is a lot better there.

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I also tried to do this. I had zero experience but somewhat high hopes, and of course all my plans went wrong :slight_smile: The weather has been excellent for the whole week, but on Friday it was hazy and partly cloudy… I could only get the first 20 minutes of the eclipse, after that the moon disappeared behind the clouds. Finally, the spot we chose turned out to be more popular and less dark than what we hoped, and when we tried to go elsewhere it was already too late. Still, here are a couple of shots that I managed to save… (and sorry @Jonas_Wagner for going a bit off-topic, I hope you don’t mind!) I can also add the raws if there is some interest.

(I’m still not happy with the last one, but that’s the kind of composition I had in mind when I went out…)


I like that last one. But to me the moon seems too small. Maybe it’s not too small to represent what the lens saw (I don’t know how much post-processing you might have done). But I rather suspect it’s too small to represent what one’s mind and heart saw, especially given the optical illusion that we all seem to share, that the moon close to the horizon looks bigger than it really is as measured using “subtended angle”:

There is an interesting post over on the Online Photographer that divides photographs into real photographs and photoart:

Here’s my attempt at a photoart “moon larger than subtended arc as captured by the camera” rendition of your last moon image:


Well, maybe I overdid it :slight_smile: .

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Fake time lapse

In darktable: DSC_4468 by Jonas Wagner
raw black/white point black point_ from 600 to 650 (all the sky now have L <1)
denoise crop levels
exposure parametric mask exclusive chanel L 1 1 100 100 drawn mask a circle to exlude moon EV -18 (all the sky now L=0)
exposure1 a circle mask inclusive bigger of moon EV -1.9 (simulate earth’s shadow)
End for image 1
duplicate image 1 and move the circle in exposure 1 (6 time)

DSC_4468.JonasWagner.NEF.xmp (7.1 KB)

export in gimp the 7 images add a black background, an old photo without sky, a gray layer, .
elipse on gray layer, move the 7 moons on the elipse, delete gray layer.


@Elle that’s a nice idea :slight_smile:

I did do a fair bit of post-processing, but mostly to get rid of noise and enhance contrast/details, besides stitching (the result comes from 3 raw frames taken in landscape mode, with a Sony 55-210 at 55mm on an a6000). So I think the original shows the moon as seen by the camera (at least regarding dimensions). But I like your big moon better :+1:

@Elle I like the idea. However, it doesn’t seem balanced anymore. :thinking: Maybe it is brighter than before and could be closer to the horizon…

@afre - I agree, either the moon needs to be closer to the horizon, or else not quite as bright and big, or maybe a bit of both, which conclusion I reached about two seconds after hitting the post button . . . :slight_smile:

@agriggio - Thanks! for not being appalled at what I did to your nice moon image . . . I think of my own photographs as great big color-by-number opportunities, with leeway to completely modify/replace whatever the camera actually captured. But that doesn’t mean everyone else thinks this sort of thing is OK.

Could you? You have added a kind of “human dimension” to that Moon. Although I am missing humans with very big lenses here.

@Jacal here you go, licensed CC BY-SA.
DSC08691.ARW (23.6 MB)
DSC08690.ARW (23.7 MB)
DSC08689.ARW (24 MB)

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Many thanks, be well, Alberto!

A HDRMerge alignment issue that had a cool effect.

The blood moon