Is there a good combo of longer exposure and shorter exposure that I can use to get two photos of the moon that I can then combine to show the sun-lit side and the earth-lit side together so I have one disk?

What software post production will I have to do to reduce the glare on the earth lit side that comes from the sunlit side etc?

(I am using Aperture 3 and a Nikon D90.)

1 Answer 1


First, I recommend you take a look at my answer to another question about photographing the moon here:

Best Settings for Nighttime Moon Photos

As for your specific question, it would probably be fairly difficult to get two shots that you could merge together without a tracking mount. As such, my first recommendation is to either buy an equatorial tracking mount, or if you have a friend who has one, see if you can borrow it. With a tracking mount, you should be able to get the necessary exposures at low ISO without any blur from the motion of the moon, which should result in a decent combination.

If you do not have access to a tracking mount, the best I can say is use the chart from my other answer linked above, and try to keep your exposure times as minimal as possible. A camera with very good high-ISO performance will make it easier to get a shot of earthglow with a short exposure, without losing too much detail. You might want to use ISO 3200 if you have it. Noise is a real moon detail killer, since your signal-to-noise ratio is pretty low to start with. Using higher ISO's and keeping exposure time faster than 1/15th of a second should do it, but you will experience some problems with noise.

  • I will have to get the tracking mount. My dad has one that I should be able to borrow for a while. Thanks for the help Feb 12, 2011 at 20:10
  • 1
    If you're willing to do a lot of post-processing work, you can also do an exposure stack of shorter frames. Increase your ISO, take shorter exposures without the tracking mount, and align/combine them afterwards.
    – Evan Krall
    Feb 13, 2011 at 19:47

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