Moonrise Over Mount Diablo, California +Reposts

Edit 1:

Edit 2:

Edit 3:

I noticed yesterday that we had a full moon rising right around sunset, so it seemed like an ideal opportunity to try my hand at a moonrise shot.

Specific Feedback Requested

I struggled a bit with the editing on this. My first version (the one I posted to Instagram) was much brighter and saturated. But it ended up looking more like a sunset than a moonrise, and it lost something of the feeling of actually being there. So I pulled back quite a bit and ended up with this after some tweaking. I feel that this version is much more true to life.

This is my first post here, any feedback is welcome!

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Sony Alpha a350
ISO 100


Welcome to NPN, Matthew! You captured a lovely image – the clouds are wonderful and I like the composition in that the moon is rising on the downhill slope. I would be inclined to desaturate the reds just a bit, and clone out the flecks of white highlights in the FG.

This is a wonderful place for landscape critique and you will get a lot of good ideas here.

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@Diane_Miller Thank you very much for your critique and welcome! The composition was pure chance – I was so busy taking photos of the sunset behind me that I had to rush to get my tripod set up when I realized the moonrise was about to begin xD

Thanks for pointing out the color and FG issues. If you think the reds need to be desaturated now, I would cringe to show you the neon hills in my original edit! I reduced the magenta tint and cloned out the foreground flecks. You can see my edit here!

Looks good! You can add the modified image in an edit to your original post. Then go to the title and modify it with “+ Repost”. Then click the pencil icon (I think that’s the one) to upload the changed title.

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Thanks I will do that!

Welcome Matthew. I am sure that NPN and you will be great friends! This image is a wonderful introduction to you and your ability to get out there when an artistic possibility exists.
The exposure of the sky beautifully conveys the intricacy of the clouds. At first I did not understand where that color came from, and why the hillside was so red, but duhhh, the other side is a sunrise. I think you caught both at a perfect moment.
For me, the compositional strength is the line from lower left through the hills to the moon. The white hill rim is, I think, overly bright for its role as a supporting actor, though. I just had to play with the image, and ended up cropping out some of the sky and foreground that were less interesting to me. The result is a 5x7 center cut of your image, but to me captures the portion that I enjoy most. I like the gnarly tree trunks in the LRC but toned them down a bit.
Again, welcome. Looking forward to more!

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Welcome to NPN Matthew, you are off to great start with your first post here. I think you did a good job of capturing the special mood of “blue hour” (twilight). The even light during this time of day can result in some special colors in the sky and landscape. I think you have gotten some good feedback here already. In real life, things that are in shadow have less saturated colors, so that’s partly why @Diane_Miller suggestion on reducing saturation helps, it’s a more natural look. Edit 2 has less saturation, but feels more natural and vibrant to me.

I look forward to seeing more of your work here at NPN, and don’t feel shy about engaging in discussion / critique on the images of others too. It’s a great way to meet members of our community, and you can learn a lot from reviewing their work too.

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Hi Dick, thank you for the warm welcome and kind words! I’ve been looking for a community just like this where photographers can learn and grow together.

Regarding the hillside, yes the sun had just set when I took this picture. Barely a few minutes later it was too dark to even see the hills properly! One of the ironies of photographing something so ephemeral as a moonrise I guess, for all the planning and preparation the moment itself hardly lasts 15 minutes.

It’s interesting that you mention the line from lower left to the moon, I hadn’t thought about that consciously. I do like your crop and edit, thank you for sharing. Also thanks for pointing out the white fringe on the hill, I was unaware this was possible when dropping the blue luminance. I added a linear gradient that slightly darkens the sky overall but I think I like the effect of contrasting with the orange-ish hills and bright moon.

Thank you again for your welcome and feedback! I look forward to continuing to learn and share what knowledge I have with the NPN community.

Thanks very much, Ed! It truly was a magical moment. Supposedly, Mount Diablo has the second-largest view in the world after Kilimanjaro – maybe next time I will take the photo from its peak!

There was definitely some nervousness on my part to post here because of how amazing some of the photos here are. But that is long gone with everyone’s warm welcome and helpful feedback. So thank you for your welcome, I look forward to continuing to learn & grow with everyone here at NPN! :smile:

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