Discussion in 'Nikon' started by jodie_saunders, Oct 12, 2008.

  1. I wish to take sunrise/sunset photos and pictures of the moon.

    I have a Nikon D60 with an 18-55 and a 70-300 lens, what are the best manual settings to get the best possible
    sunrise/set picture and a good picture of the moon?

    Sorry for being so vague but I'm new to this whole Digital SLR and going overseas, I'll only have one shot to get
    the good pictures and I don't want to stuff it up
  2. Normally it's the sunny 16 rule for moon shots -- like at ISO-200 it's the reciprical of 200, 1/200 (or 1/250) s
    at f/16.......... except when it's not
    but usually you have more than the moon in the picture and that changes things... you get other things in right
    exposure but the moon is washed out
    like so:
    <img src="">
    but that's way past sunset..... do you know for sure you will have the moon in the right spot at sunrise and
    sunset? There are ways to predict the position of the moon. I just know every night it's 30minutes behind where
    it was the previous night, that's what i found out for my uses
    during the day the moon looks ok since it's the day exposure
    <img src="">
    what kind of focal length will you be using? 100mm and higher is better for getting the moon big enough
    if you do closeups, this is 8% of a 300mm with 1.5x cropped sensor... you need a big lens for closeups
    <img src="">
    For sunset you want to bracket, if your D60 has it, i don't think it does, just do a sunny 16 above rule and go one stop below and one above, or just 2 below, so at ISO-200 and f/11 on a tripod, do 1/90s and 1/180s and 1/350s thereabouts -- it depends what else is in the picture........ you want take a picture look on the screen to get feedback or take 3 exposures and get feedback and take more pictures...... take 50pictures since everything could be changing every few seconds, the sun is falling...... if you seek perfection
    <img src="">
    sometimes the best pictures are after the sun has already gone down
    <img src="">
  3. Sunsets are generally more interesting when there are clouds lit by the setting sun. However there are other cases where haze can produce a nice picture. In this picture the sun is overexposed, but there are enough other features to create some interest.

    <img src="" alt="Chesapeake Sunset" />

    For a sunset on the horizon you have maybe 15-30 seconds before the sun disappears. If you can, try several different exposures (digital pictures are free, and you can delete the ones that don't work).
  4. The sunrise I want to take is at Stonehenge, we are going there in December so I know I need a tripod but yeah I'm totally clueless with the settings, I haven't much knowledge of F/ stuff lol I need a dummies guide I think, plus I am guessing I'll need to keep the flash turned off
  5. "Digital photos are free"
    I hear a lot of photographers say this and I fail to understand the reasoning or logic behind it. My camera wasn't free so how could it be free when I take a photo. The camera wears (the shutter is rated for a limited number of actuations)
  6. Jodie.... Practice HERE in November and maybe October. Try all different exposures and see what you like as far as the balance between the landscape and the Moon. Keep in mind you will able to get a good exposure for Earth and sky while blowing out the exposure on the Moon, or you will be able to get a good exposure on the Moon while underexposing (to silhouette) the foreground, With a recognizable subject like Stonehenge, the silhouette shots should be nice.

    What dates will you be at Stonehenge? I'll let you know when the Moon will be the same in November and October.
  7. We are going to be there on December 29th and we're traveling from Australia
  8. Lots of time to practice sunrise/sunset photos, but you'll have a little problem with the Moon.

    On December 29th the Moon is going to be a VERY VERY small cresent that is only 11 degrees above the horizon
    when the Sun sets. Pray for clear skies and no surface haze. It will be just south of southwest at 211 degrees -
    SW is 225 degrees. That is a very young Moon to find without a little experience, and you should practice for
    certain. December 30th would increase the odds and put the Moon at a better viewing level for a half-hour or so.

    From Australia you should see a similar Moon at sunset on October 30th (15 degrees directly above the Sun as it
    sets), and on November 29th (15 degrees above and a few degrees to the right of the Sun as it sets). If you can find
    the Moon on Oct 30th and Nov 29th, you should find it at Stonehenge since it will set slower up here during the
    hemisphere's winter. Though it will still be tough since it starts lower in the sky on Dec 29th.
  9. What I do is select the aperture I want to shoot with, then select a high enough shutter speed that produces an underexposed (dark) image. I then increase the shutter speed by 1 setting and continue taking shots until the image is bright enough that I would not use it. I then evaluate all the images on my computer. You can, of course, set the shutter speed and adjust the aperture by one stop to take a series of shots.

    There are programs that allow you to combine different shots to produce a single high dynamic range image (HDR) to produce stunning results. Do a search on the internet to find more information about HDR images.
  10. LOL

    Jodie... That "f/Stuff" is really important! This is a really good book, easy to understand: "Understanding Exposure" by
    Bryan Peterson.

    You have time to read it and practice before you get the chance to take those shots!

    Leonard... Well, you are right but comparing how expensive shooting with film was, digital is really free!
  11. bms


    Second a vote for "Understanding Exposure"

    Cost of digital with D300 = $1,500 / 150,000 exposures = 1 cent per image.....
  12. Shoot the moon in a landscape above the horizon on the day before full moon and you will find approxiamtely equal exposure. In addition, you may be able to get that moon rising out of an Earth's Shadow.

    Google for Atmospheric Optics website. A wealth of information there.
  13. Kerry.... Only problem there is that she's missing the Full Moon by two weeks.
  14. For moon with landscape go with a wide(ish) lens, for a closeup of the moon (see my gallery) get a telescope and attach your camera to the scope. You can get a very decent scope for about $229 (Telescope) Figure in a few bucks for the t-ring to mate it to your camera.
  15. "Cost of digital with D300 = $1,500 / 150,000 exposures = 1 cent per image....."

    Not so... NAS always kicks in before the shutter wears out! :)
  16. Here is a link to some stunning HDR images I found:
  17. Here is a sunrise picture I took just the other morning, I would agree, clouds are the way to go with
    sunrise or sunset, unless you can find something really interesting to silhouette, and I am sure Stonehenge would be very interesting. Good luck .
  18. Here is a sunrise picture I took just the other morning, I would agree, clouds are the way to go with sunrise or sunset, unless you can find something really interesting to silhouette, and I am sure Stonehenge would be very interesting. Good luck .
  19. I took this Friday at Valley Forge Park using my compact camera, setting the exposure by pointing at the moon and locking then focusing on the moon and then finding a pleasant composition. I thought the moon turned out pretty nice. So, you might try letting the camera pick the settings for a shot or two, just to see what it works out.
  20. Hi Jodie, You're gonna hear all kinds of jive about lenses, f-stops, aperture, time, white balance, RAW, Photoshop CS3, blah blah blah. You're probably going to want to take up knitting after reading this thread. Here's what I do - I get on location, set my (old) Nikon E950 (2 megapixel) to full auto, Jpeg, and shoot my heart out. Then I publish it here, below. Notice I didn't use photoshop, and did NO retouching, just mild color (white) balancing. Of course that CAN'T work, every 'pro' will tell you that ! Right............. Bottom line, learn the art and design concepts, and let the camera do the work. Best of luck to you, and keep it simple ! Bill P.
  21. "My camera wasn't free so how could it be free when I take a photo. The camera wears (the shutter is rated for a limited number of actuations)"

    The marginal cost of taking one more photo is negligible. This is the digital version of the "film is cheap" mantra. The shutter is rated for something like 100,000 exposures and digicams without a physical shutter may not have any such limit.

    For exposing the moon past dusk you will have to expose the moon and the foreground separately and merge them. Otherwise the moon will move, even with an exposure of just a few seconds.
  22. Nice show Joe, impressive, you are the one I will keep in mind in figuring out these things. ;-) Do you do eclipses?
    Have you published this type of valuable information? I messed up a few Moon shots until I realized it was always a
    sunny day on the moon when you see it, however the albedo is low so I have no idea why the sunny 16 rule works,
    or does it become the Sunny 11 rule?

    One thing, I was in Cleethorpes near the winter solstice, and as I recall the sun at noon hardly cleared the neighbor's
    one story house, at noon. ;-)

    Which might be good, low sun is generally more interesting, and you do not have to get up so early to catch sunrise,
    is it about 11? ;-)

    My pal in Cleethorpes, with a terrific name, John, is taking a digital course for help with his D60, and has purchased
    several books. He tells me he likes the "D60 for Dummies", I knew I should have copyrighted that phrase when I was
    teaching in the public school, well the administration fit the requisite description.

    Good stuff, and good luck to the OP, sounds as if you are going to have fun, will there be a Solstice celebration there
    with all sorts of people running about in various states of dress celebrating the return of the sun?

    And yes, I missed the Moon over Half Dome one January, by one day, nice group on the bridge chatting and

    As to the people worrying the cost of a photo, what is the value of a good one? Starting to sound like a Mastercard

    If you really want to save money, cruise the gallery here, and "download" the low res files to look at on your
    computer and sell all your kit. A Google search should even give you a few shots. (Just kidding of course, am sure
    everyone here are good pals, ;-) )

    I do not know if you can fit the old 500 Mirror lenses in F mount, but I have some nice shots for those times you need
    that size bore. I had the Nikkor and found the second brands caught up in quality and sold it, kept the Tamron that
    came with a bag of "junque" some one wanted to dispose with me at a camera show. I think it has an adaptall
    mount, which may be a bit of a dinosaur now, but I got a few good shots with it, so I guess those shots were
    expensive. ;-) I would recommend anyone finding one at a low cost to have it, it also keeps the door open, and when
    you need it, you need it. Would be terrific if the adaptall concept bled over to digital, I have a feeling I may have
    heard the D60 might not take all the old mounts?

    Regards, John
  23. John.... Thanks. No published info or other greatness. Just a love of astronomy and The Big Machine that is our universe. And an astronomy/star program that really works. Feel free to contact me off-list if you ever need some specific info for a date and time, and I'll be happy to look it up. Yes, I do eclipses.

    Sunny 16 works for the Moon because it is actually very close to 18% grey. Most people think it is closer to white than 18%, but the proof is on the film/sensor.
  24. Jodie, for moon and sun shots, the exposure will be variable depending on sky conditions and your surroundings. If you want the moon or sun larger you will need a telephoto or zoom to get you out to 120 to 200mm or greater. You can multiply this by 1.5 because of the sensor size on the D60. As Elliot says above, the beauty of digital is that you can experiment. Don't be afraid to shoot multiple shots at various settings to get one that you like. Shoot in RAW(NEF), so that you can tweak your exposure in post processing if necessary. It usually takes me 20 to 30 shots to get one that I'm satisfied with under these conditions. Start at one setting, you can even put the camera on program to get what it would "choose", try that shot and then pick and aperture, like f10, and adjust shutter speed across a number of frames. You can also use your exposure compensation to go up 2 stops or down 2 stops gradually with the camera settings should read about how to do this. You will catch on if you read and practice. Clouds are helpful for interest as in this example...
  25. That shot was at f14, 1/200sec. But clouds are not always necessary...

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