You may have heard photographers or seen photos, which have been â€œstackedâ€ and wondered what it meant, why itâ€™s done, or how itâ€™s done. Well, today youâ€™ll find out the answers to all three of those.
Stacking is more commonly called â€œfocus stackingâ€ and is done to give a photo a greater depth of field.Â
You combine multiple images taken at different focus distances to get the desired result. Focus stacking is commonly seen in macro and landscape photography. Here’s how to recover details in your landscape photography.
Now capturing the moon itâ€™s a little different because weâ€™re not going to change the depth of field or focal point on the moon. Weâ€™re trying to capture an object roughly 238,900 miles away (give or take a mile here and there).
Also, remember that the Earth is spinning, and the moon is orbitingâ€¦ things are in motion here! Add that with the distance, and having the right
Gear for Shooting the Moon
Finding The Right Telephoto Lens
So before we get into the technical how-tos, letâ€™s start with some essential
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Finding The Right Tripod for Your
Next, a good tripod. Itâ€™ll just make life easier. Pretty much all the time. Except when hikingâ€¦ but I digress.
- Lightweight for Travel
- Ball-head can rotate 360Â°
- Detachable Monopod Option
- 2-Year Warranty
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- Holds Up To 20lbs
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Make It Easier with a Remote Shutter
A remote shutter will also be helpful. No need for potentially added
Shooting The Moon
- Shoot in manual mode
- A tripod to keep things still!
- Large lens (at least 200mm)
- Time â€” to shoot the moon and to edit in Photoshop
Because of this, youâ€™ll want to shoot in manual mode. If you are on a tripod, turn off your vibration reduction on the lens or
There isnâ€™t a one-size-fits-all settings approach, as the light will vary depending on the lunar phase. A good start is around ISO 100, f/8, and 1/200th of a second. Take a few test shots and ensure you have a well-exposed moon without any parts being overexposed.
Once you have the
Do your best to keep the moon in the same place in the frame, as it will make life easier once you start editing. Youâ€™ll need to adjust every 10 pictures if you’re on a tripod.
Looking for a great app to help you take your shots of the moon on the go? Check out PhotoPills for everything you need!
Editing Moon Photos In Lightroom
Once you have all your photos, youâ€™ll want to import them into Lightroom. Once in Lightroom, crop the images to a 1:1 or 5:4 ratio (whichever you prefer to work with). You can crop one image and then synch the rest.
Now, this is where itâ€™s important to have the moon in the same place in the frame. If the moon moves off-center and you synch the crop, youâ€™ll eventually have a crop that youâ€™ll manually need to fix.
After the images are cropped, go through and only keep the best, most in-focus images. Youâ€™re resulting library should look something like this:
Stacking Moon Photos In Lightroom
From here, export the high-resolution photos into a folder and install RegiStax â€“ the program which makes the magic happen.
After it’s installed, open the program and click â€œSelectâ€ â€“ find where you exported all of the high-resolution images, select all of them and click â€œOpen.â€
Next, click â€œSet Alignpointsâ€ â€“ this will put some red dots on your photo
Youâ€™ll move down the line from here â€“ select â€œAlignâ€ and then â€œLimit.â€
If the program crashes or youâ€™re just spinning wheels, try again and reduce the amount of Alignpoints next time. If youâ€™re successful, the program will move to the next tab, â€œStack,â€ and youâ€™ll now have yellow circles with some green lines. Click the â€œStackâ€ button to the left of â€œSave Image.â€
Once thatâ€™s done, move on to the next tab â€˜Wavelet.â€ The six-layer values can be adjusted to change the detail you see in the image. Experiment with the sliders, but be patient.
After you find the right amount of detail, click â€œDo All,â€ and then â€œSave Image,â€ and voila â€“ youâ€™re done! You can see the difference stacking can make.
NOW’S YOUR CHANCE! Try it for yourself!
Want to learn more about taking photos at night? Check out our guide to astrophotography!
If you have any questions about stacking moon photos, donâ€™t hesitate to @ me on IG – @mikescic. Iâ€™ll do my best to help! And explore our night photography map for the darkest places to shoot in NJ.