This was quite a sight, watching the moon rise over Mt. Scott at Crater Lake. My attempts to photograph this were less impressive. Exposing for the moon left the rest of the image way too dark and exposing for the lake overexposed the moon. Trying to blend two shots left an unsatisfactory looking result.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

Any advice for future attempts at similar shots?

Any pertinent technical details:

Canon 7D Mark II; 24-105 at 24 mm; 3.2 seconds at f4.0; ISO 1600


No doubt this was a sight and experience to behold. The “moment in time” is great with the moon cresting over the mountain peak (I actually like the fact that it’s towards the side of the mountain and not the top.)

The stars are a bit faint, but work well given the time of twightlight (or whatever time that is.)

I’m not a night photography expert (or even attempt but a handful of times,) so I won’t be much help with settings, techniques, etc. I do think the exposure for the sky, moon, etc. is appropriate for the time of day and I don’t expect any detail in the trees, so that’s good.

The issue I believe is processing and/or saving for the web. Looks like some very big jpg loss and odd things happening on the edges (like trees and island,) almost like a “dust and noise” filter was added at way to high of a setting. Hard to suggest without seeing the original, but again the jpg web quality is not where it should be.

Feel free to expand on your processing if that’s the kind of feedback y ou’re looking for.


I think this is pretty nice, Allen…
It is a tough exposure problem but I think you exposed about right.
I would try to lift the shadows some and use some NR.
I don’t know about Canon equip but with my Nikon D610 or D800 I could lift the dark areas at iso1600 pretty well.
For long exposures I try to avoid trees because of the motion blur. I think the motion blur in the trees on the left is worse than the darkness of the image.

Hi Allen,

The composition is wonderful. You captured the moon at the perfect moment. I think your exposure is spot on as well and so is your color balance. The one problem I have with the image is the softness of the foreground elements. Your technicals show that you were set at an aperture of f4, at 24 mm focal length. I cant see why those foreground elements would be so soft unless this was at a longer focal length. The moon appears to be a little large in size to be photographed at 24mm , my guess it was closer to the 105mm focal length, and thus if the lens was focused at infinity, for a sharp moon, then at f4 your foreground elements would be soft. I have always found it difficult to photograph the moon at an acceptably apparent size the way we see it with enough of the scene included to give the moon a sense of place with everything focused in one frame. You usually have to blend two frames or more at different focus points with a longer lens so that everything appears the way we experience it. I hope that helps.

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These shots are hard. I’ve only attempted a few, but I think my first shot would have been before the moon came up so that I could take a longer exposure at a low ISO and then another one once the moon was in place with different settings. I think a slightly longer exposure to help bring small details out in the foreground could add to this image. Lovely place and still a nice image to help share a sight.

I have to agree with Youssef that this is a DOF issue. I have shot from virtually the same spot and at 24mm the opposite shore looks very small indeed. I went back to my images to verify that.

My favorite aspect of this image is the sky color gradient as it rises from the horizon to the heavens above. The stars aren’t very prominent but they’re nice. A composition to show off the sky seems like a good idea. However, if the moonlight shimmered off the water that would be great as well. In some ways the OOF silhouettes have their own appeal.