By the Light of the Moon

I went to Schwabacher Landing in Grand Teton National Park at sunset hoping for some clouds. Every one shoots sunrise there, but IO had never shot sunset there. No clouds so nothing really great materialized. A half moon was just coming up so I decided to stick around. There were a few other photographers there but by 9:30 pm I was the only one left. Not enough light to get the stars as pinpoints so they are streaked. This was shot in the river just as you walked down from the parking lot. I like the soft lighting that the moon gives to a scene.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

Does it work. Any suggestions on what I could have done differently?

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

What is the emotional feeling of this image?

Any pertinent technical details:

Canon 7D
Sigma 17-70
Shutter 81 sec
Aperture f3.5
ISO 1000
31 mm
Remote Release

in Lightroom

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.

Hi Richard:

Shooting this as a moonlit landscape was a great idea. I enjoy the soft light the moon produces as well.

When I view the larger image I don’t really see anything in the image that is quite sharp. While it may have been possible to have a touch of wind that would cause the trees to blur a touch with an 81 second shutter, the mountains should still have been sharp.

I don’t know what your raw file looks like, but as a moonlit landscape, this seems too bright. I would bring down the overall tones a significant amount.

This is a very quick set of adjustments that I made to push it in the direction I’d think about taking the raw file.


Hi Richard,

I really enjoyed your composition but I think what’s throwing me off is the white balance. Given that it’s a night shot I’d expect it to have more cool than warm tones. In addition to darkening down the scene as Keith mentioned, see how it looks a cooler WB.

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Thanks for the suggestion and taking the time to do the retouch. I like the way it looks.

Agree with Keith’s edit, especially the color shift. For these you could also take a shorter high iso shot for still stars. Nice scene!