Juniper Rock Moonset

Hi Folks,

This is the first of several images I’m sharing from a recent trip to Arches, Canyonlands, and Deadhorse Point. I experienced a lovely lovely sunrise and moonset from my campsite in Arches/Devil’s Garden. I am interested in knowing whether this one works for you.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

Does the sky look okay? I did some creative compositing and cloning there to move the moon closer to the rock. It just wouldn’t set fast enough for me ;-).

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

(If this is a composite, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)

This is a composite of a moon at 100 mm and the rock and tree at 100mm. I used Photomatix to select just the moon from one frame. Then I cloned the moon from a corner to closer to the rock. (I can never seem to do anything at all in PS–no process or icon in the tools ever makes sense to me–which is why I misuse Photomatix for composites).

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


This looks great! The sky is well done and I think the moon positioned just right - well, ok, maybe too perfect? But then who’s to say a photog can’t move a step or two left or right to align things… :shushing_face::wink:

The warm, early light is quite beautiful and I think you handled the color/saturation perfectly. Great color contrast between the blue sky and sandstone.

No nits or suggestions really.


Wonderful image Marylynee, you have done a great job of capturing this golden hour light, and you kept it natural looking and relatively understated, which lets all the colors and textures shine through. The processing of the sky and moon looks fine to me, whatever you did to it has produced a good result. No nits from me, simply enjoying this one a lot. Nice work !!!

Thanks, Ed and Lon. I appreciate your feedback and enthusiasm.

Question: Could I place the moon in a less “perfect” location and get a better effect? There is something about the location of the moon that might detract a bit. I have more sky too, and I also have a frame of the rock/tree with less of the lower sections of rock.

Compositionally, this feels static to me, and maybe that’s fine and fitting for a peaceful morning. However, I am not opposed to moving heaven and earth more than I did for this. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


I’m not sure I would change this comp much. The lower sections of the rock have nice shadows and textures, I would not show less of that area. In terms of the sky, I could see slightly more being added at the top, but not much (and only to add a little breathing room above the rock in the URC, but I am okay with it as presented. I think the moon is more or less ideally placed, its roughly halfway between the left frame edge and the rock. If you added a sliver of sky at the top, I could see the moon moving up slightly too.

Marylynne, honestly, my comment about the “perfect” position is likely more due to the fact of your disclosure. Had I not had any additional information it’s likely I ever would have commented on that. There is nothing to suggest the moon wasn’t in this exact position. Hope that makes sense.

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Hi Alan,
It’s only the top left 3rd of the sky that is not original. I moved the moon from the far upper left down to the original sky and the cropped off the top where the other sky was.

I can check my sharpening, but it was my usual process. Thanks for suggesting that!