Before the rush

Before the rush
by evan-pak

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I took this photo yesterday and although I love it, I wish It didn't have as much glare from the moon or the city lights. I know I could go into lightroom and photoshop and crop a new moon in, but I don't want to do that.

I'm looking to learn the technique that when I go on the field and shoot a similar photo again will help me avoid such glares.

night photo

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Except for a twenty-stop exposure difference, the moon and the sun are the same thing, photographically speaking. Anything you'd do to eliminate flare from the sun, you'd also do for the moon. – user2719 Aug 31 '12 at 0:58
Funny thing is, I like the flare. What I don't like is the silhouette at the bottom! That's just me, though. – John Cavan Aug 31 '12 at 2:37
@JohnCavan are you referring to my silhouette? I was trying to make the picture as a portrait of myself – dassouki Aug 31 '12 at 3:10
@StanRogers Thanks! I didn't realize that comparison – dassouki Aug 31 '12 at 3:10
Whoops! Well, I figured it was a cityscape shot. :) – John Cavan Aug 31 '12 at 10:35
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Are you still wanting to include the moon in the shot? If so, then think about how you control flare during the daytime and shooting into strong light sources.

  • Use a hood to protect from off-axis flares that are outside of the field of view.
  • Remove any non-multicoated filters from the light path as these are sources of flare.
  • Stop down to improve the coma distortion from your lens.

If you don't need to include the moon as a light source, then you'll want to use a hood as you move the camera off center.

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A strong graduated ND filter can help reduce the intensity of the flare but wont eliminate it. The moon is by far the brightest object around at night so is inevitably going to be massively overexposed and cause flare.

The only way to really achieve a normal looking moon would be to shoot two exposures, one for the cityscape and one for the moon and blend them in post.

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