Cosmic Moon

I follow the blog Cosmic Focus where a recent post showed a photo of the moon. I hesitate posting other people’s photos here (as in: I rarely do) so if you want to see the photo, it’s HERE.

If I understand the process correctly, that photo is generated by taking a video of the moon (it requires a system that keeps the moon centered by compensating for the relative rotation of the Earth and Moon) and then using software that combines the frames from the video into a single composite image.

Well, I got to wondering how close I could get from a single photo from my Nikon P900 . . .

I didn’t snap a photo on the same day he did, but I had four different days where I got decent photos of the moon. So, here’s the first one (October 4th):

Well, that looks nothing like his photo which — in case you didn’t click on the link — sports a lot of detail.

But, I have at my disposal several tools I can use to massage the photos I capture. Just for clarification, the P900 outputs JPG files. Had I access to RAW data, the result might have been better.

Here’s my first attempt at recreating his photo . . .

I’m also attempting to recreate the slight magenta-cast of his photo. It’s not exactly the same and while I could have sampled the photo and duplicated the color, it’s more work than I wanted to do. Did I mention I’m busy? Painting, maintenance, other stuff . . . it all takes time.

Side note: know what I discovered? You know when you point paint, how you always get paint on your hands and it’s tough to get out? Well, I got the answer: duct tape. I was handling a piece of tape and it lifted the dried paint right off my skin. Super easy; barely an inconvenience.  I thought it was a fluke but I’ve been using it now for two days and my hands are free of paint. I normally have to scrub the shi . . . er . . . paint off them and can’t ever quite get all of it off, but duct tape lifts it right out. Easy peasy.

Anyway, his shot is oriented differently than mine (he lives at the bottom of the world) so I rotated mine to match . . .

I’m at a disadvantage here because the terminator on his photo is past where mine is so more of the moon is visible in his photo.

My next shot is from October 7th and once again . . .

Not too displeased with this effort . . . but it still doesn’t come close to how clear and sharp the moon is on the clarity and sharpness of his photo.

Before I show what I this think is my best approximation, here’s a shot from just a few days ago:

The middle photo shows an interim processing step.

So, here’s what I think is the best version and the one closest to the shot Cosmic Focus shared:

Original shot

Interim editing

cranking the process

Final (rotated) image

I’ve stated before I’m impressed with the resolution and output from the P900. I imagine the P1000 is even better but it might not be. That said, my photos are no comparison to his. In part, because I shot mine hand-held; in part because I’m competing against sophisticated equipment in the hands of someone who knows what they are doing.

What else am I impressed with? The processing tools. That’s a lot of information to drag out of a JPG file.

Here’s a gallery of all the above in the same order as presented.

There is one other thing affecting perception of the photos: how they are cropped. If one clicks on them, they will see a larger version and that will either increase or decrease the impact of the photo. I tried to crop the moon the same as Cosmic Focus’s offering, but with various success.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


Note: if you are not reading this blog post at, know that it’s copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intentions, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.


If you’re new to this blog, it might be a good idea to read the FAQ page. If you’re considering subscribing to this blog, it’s definitively a good idea to read both the About page and the FAQ page.

About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
This entry was posted in Black and White, Nikon P900, Photo Post-processing, Photography Stuff and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Cosmic Moon

  1. Ggreybeard says:

    Thanks very much for using my image to model on. I am honoured. (Thanks also for linking it).

    Your description of my own data acquisition process is spot on – and you are also correct in your understanding that with modern software you can tweak a few things and improve the image even further. That is exactly what astronomers do.

    Shooting hand-held at the Moon is just fine – due to the Moons brightness the exposures can be very short. My video frames (not hand held) were about 1/22nd of a second each.

    I think your images are marvellous and a credit to your photographic skills.

    Now go and do the same with Pluto……………. 🤪

    ˙ɹǝpu∩ uʍop ɯoɹɟ spɹɐƃǝɹ ʇsǝq

    Liked by 2 people

  2. etinkerbell says:

    Really excellent, Emilio. I am impressed.


  3. oneowner says:

    I’m impressed with these shots. Even more so when I read that they were shot handheld. Nice work!


    • disperser says:

      Thanks, and OK, OK . . . not exactly handheld. I form a platform for the camera using my left arm by placing my left hand on my right shoulder and pointing the elbow toward the subject and then resting the camera on the crook of the elbow.

      I still have to control the breathing and be still for a few seconds before gently pressing the shutter release because it’s a bit awkward.

      I take four or five shots in that pose and of those, usually at least three are pretty good (the quality of the above shots).


  4. Kudos! Warmest regards, Ed

    Liked by 1 person

  5. AnnMarie says:

    All I’ve got to say is that I’m so glad to read that others think the same as I do: you’ve got great photographic skills!


    • disperser says:

      I’ll tell you true and honest: my skill is learning the equipment I use. My contribution to the actual photo-taking is primarily pointing the camera at the Moon. Since it’s the only big thing in the sky, it’s difficult to mess up.


  6. Wowza! I always love your moon photos! And these are over-the-moon spectacular! Great job, Emilio! You have a good-eye (s) and good skills! Bravo!

    Thanks for the yet-another-use for Duct Tape! Cool advice! They should do a commercial about that!
    Bestest wishes on the painting, maintenance, etc.!

    By the way…being a mom, and grandma, and having been a teacher for eons by profession…I know how to hold a book so the kids can see the pages…which means the reader has to read upside-down, so I’m a well-seasoned pro at that! So, HA, I enjoyed reading the “down-under” comments!

    Getting Pluto to pose…snort!!!


    • disperser says:

      Thank you, Carolyn. It doesn’t approach the detail and clarity of the Cosmic Focus moon, but I was pleased with it.

      Odds are my photo of Pluto is much clearer and sharper than his, so I’ll call it a draw.

      As for the upside down writing, I couldn’t find what I really wanted: a reflection version of the right-side-up text. That’s how I imagine upside down text to be, like the reflection of trees on a calm lake.

      You can read upside down eh? Have you considered politics?

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re welcome!

        I don’t have the “qualities” it takes to be a politician these days. And I’ve got no cut-throat in me.


      • disperser says:

        That’s the beauty of politics . . . Not only you don’t need to know anything, but you’re also not required to do anything.

        I’m sure you’d be head and shoulders above any of the current crowd that’s in office because sayat least you would care.

        Sorry about that, I was on the phone and didn’t notice the spelling.


  7. mvschulze says:

    Two of my favorite bloggers – and both having me falling “upside down” on the floor laughing – while being captivated by a lot of great stuff… I laugh when thinking of my early days and the resources we had available simply trying to photograph the moon. Regarding this week’s Transit of Mercury, …over 50 years ago, my friend and I managed to get a keeper picture of that event with a polaroid land camera, hand held to the eyepiece of a small “Tasco” refractor, and it was published in the local paper! But now… the science and technology has gone way beyond …. where no man has gone before. M :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • disperser says:

      One of my earliest disappointments in photography was snapping a photo of what looked like a HUGE moon . . . and getting a small bright dot devoid of details.

      Yes, we’ve come a long way.

      Thanks for the comment.


  8. Oh the mountains of the moon!

    Liked by 1 person

Voice your opinion

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.