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                   Wednesday, August 25, 2010 - 8:55PM CDT

New Baden moonrise and steeple, manual HDR

By DAN ROBINSON
Editor/Photographer
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I decided to try to shoot the moonrise tonight with New Baden's tallest and most prominent landmark, the St. George's church steeple. Even with azimuth data, lining up a shot for moonrise isn't that easy - especially with the high corn blocking the best angles.

This second image is a "manual HDR" composite merging two exposures of the same scene. The first was shot at 1.6", the second at 1/25", both at F8/400ISO. When the sky starts getting dark, the moon requires a drastically faster shutter speed than the ambient scene to keep from blowing out its details. In this case, the two exposures were too far apart in brightness levels for conventional automatic HDR to work. For this composite, I ended up manually cutting out the moon (the rest of the image was nearly completely black) and layering it over the shot exposed for the church. By a long shot, this is the most manipulation I've ever performed on a photo, but the result is pretty close to reality.

Here are the two images used to produce the above:

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