I’ve taken hundreds of photos of the moon and never have been too satisfied with the results. I’ve been able to render the high-detailed telephoto shots that one crops down to display craters, but every time I’ve tried to include other elements it becomes a mess. I’ll get the moon, but not the clouds or I’ll get the clouds and an over-exposed moon or I’ll get both at the cost of extreme noise. Tonight I was able to get a little closer to what I was after (I know, it’s Tuesday and I already went back on my “no freshly shot photos” approach to this week.
I wasn’t even aware there was a full moon tonight and it somewhat startled me. I was walking down a trail that runs along the river right at nightfall. In my peripheral, I saw something bright and thought it might be a low flying aircraft, alien spaceship, etc. I framed it on the long focal length of my lens, and shot what I thought would be a well underexposed photo. The playback showed different, and I was able to get enough light contrast for the three parts.
So for processing, I stayed inside Photoshop on this one. I made a few adjustment in ACR and then applied a series of curve masks from luminosity selections. With having the three main levels of light masked on separate layers, I was able to tweak back and forth until all three of the main elements–moon, trees & sky–were defined enough.