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The Blog Of David Marks

Moonrise in Zion National Park

Posted on | March 31, 2010 | 2 Comments

Moon and Zion mountain, originally uploaded by dmarks007.

This photo was taken in a magical moment when the moon is rising in the east, just as the sun sets in the west. It is not manipulated, save for the effect of the software zoom of my point-and-shoot camera.

Most landscape photographers try to take photos near sunset or sunrise. One of the reasons for this is because cameras are unable to see large dynamic ranges the way the human eye does. A great camera can capture 10,000:1 contrast ratio, which is 10 times less than the human eye can see (100,000:1). This is just one way that a camera captures images differently than the human eye. So it’s up to the photographer understand the limitations of his equipment and still create images that capture the impression of the moment.

Thus, the interest in HDR photography which combines multiple images at different exposure settings to create a single image with a larger simulated dynamic range. It’s a way to see details in the shadows, and also in the light areas at once. It’s also a method to emphasize details that are actually quite minor, which can be fun. Hopefully soon, we’ll see some cameras which have HDR capabilities built in.


2 Responses to “Moonrise in Zion National Park”

  1. Phil
    March 31st, 2010 @ 12:19 pm

    Way cool. I can’t tell you home times I’ve tried to take a similar shot. To make it work I would have to take 4-5 shots at differnt exposure times and sometimes just superimpose the moon in PShop.

    With film you had some latitude but the onset digital cameras that dynamic range shrunk. Glad to see the things are improving. Have fun in Zion and I can’t say I am not jealous…

  2. dmarks
    March 31st, 2010 @ 4:39 pm

    Thanks for the comment. Digital is still playing catch-up to some extent, and the tiny sensors in most cameras doesn’t exactly help things!

    You’ve worked with one of the masters, and I’m interested to hear some of your suggestions for photos. I’ll DM you on facebook.

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