The Hidden World of Moonlight Photography

By Goran Prvulovic

We’ve covered a variety of areas in the field of landscape photography, with ideas including trees, sunsets, and clouds, with much more to come. This week I wanted to discuss a hidden side of photography that, with proper digital enhancement, can be made to do wonderful things- Moonlight Photography.


Solitude, introspection, the occult, secrecy, the moon has represented a number of things to many different civilizations throughout our history. It gives insight into a hidden world that comes to life in its own right when freed from the scrutiny of the sun. For all the night-owls reading this, the night-time can be just as beautiful of a backdrop to your photos as the daytime is.

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Some of you might wonder how it is possible to get enough light in the middle of the night. The answer is that you don’t necessarily have to stay up that late to do your shots. As long as the moon is showing, you can take your pictures a little before total darkness and still get an excellent effect. Using this photo as an example, you can see on the right side I have enhanced the image a little to give the impression that the moonlight is illuminating that portion of the hill. Of course, that’s not true, but it creates an interesting effect that’s worth experimenting with in the first place.

Like a romantic image in a fantasy world, this idea of a moonlight that cascades upon the rolling hills is a beautiful one to behold, and it’s a style of depiction that is ripe for opportunity for any photographers that are willing to experiment in that type of style.

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Like I mentioned before, you don’t necessarily need to shoot in the pure darkness of the middle of the night. If you look at this picture, you can visibly see that it’s still the daytime, although undeniably in the evening with the sun setting or having just dipped over the horizon, but with some light still coming through.

The most important part of all the pictures is the moon. Round, evident, and slightly digitally enhanced, this celestial object is the focal point of these pictures.

In this picture, sitting just over the grass, the moon takes center stage in this photo and draws your eyes in like a moth to a lamp. I had a cloudy sky, but the photo could have been better if it was a clear sky instead of this cloud. You will also notice that the grass in these photos is never in focus. Despite the fact that the moon will still be noticeable if it wasn’t noticed, I sacrificed the detail and sharpness on the grass because it wasn’t the subject of my photo.

The moon is a fascinating object to shoot, similar to the sun in many ways. Capturing this luminescent orb in our pictures is a great way to get some extremely unique photos and, when coupled with the digital technologies that we have at our fingertips, some amazing photos are just waiting to be developed.

Until next time,

Goran

 

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