December 2021 Moon

On December 11, 2021, I shot this image of the moon with the Nikon P900. I cropped the sides a bit, and output the image with a maximum dimension of 1200 pixels (for the purpose of what I’m posting, there’s no advantage in viewing the original size).

This has no processing other than mentioned above.

Yes, the sky was blue because I shot this a little after 4:00 pm, when it was still light. Let me show you two versions, one post-processed with Topaz DeNoise AI, the other with Topaz Sharpen AI, and then both processed using Lightroom to turn them into Monochrome images.

They look pretty close to each other, as well they should since I process photos to the point that I think I’m near the most I can do without degrading the photos. Meaning, there’s a point where additional improvements are counter to making a photo “better”.

The same is true for software, but I know of no programmer or developer that has learned that lesson.

Now let me show you a 13 seconds video shot at the same time, same zoom, and obviously hand-held.

Hand-held P900 at maximum zoom

I shot that specifically so that I could try my hand at the stacking software. I first tried that last October (HERE — toward the end of the post), and that worked out pretty impressively well . . . but that was shot on a clear night.

I wondered how well I could do with the above daytime video. Here’s the image as output from the program that samples the video, aligns and stacks frames, combines the best, and outputs a single photo.

That file is not processed at all, meaning it needs sharpening, and tweaking of brightness, highlights, etc.

Before I did all that, I again ran the image through DeNoise and Sharpen. Both programs do about the same thing, but they each have certain quirks. Still, they come out pretty close once again . . . but for this photo, I also added a version of what I can get from using just Lightroom. And, I added a version that is output from Silver Efex Pro and Output Sharpener (Nik Collection modules). Here we go (using the image above).

Topaz DeNoise version with Lightroom monochrome conversion
Topaz Sharpen version with Lightroom monochrome conversion
Nik Collection Silver Efex Pro and Output Sharpener
Strictly Lightroom processing (sharpening, noise reduction, monochrome conversion)

So, what’s the point? Well, mostly for me to try different things and keep my hand at using videos and programs that stack images of celestial objects (I’ll be trying videos of things besides the Moon). And, also, to play with programs I have so that I know what they will output for different types of photos.

For the above exercise, I’d say that — for the image from the video — the processing strictly using Lightroom might give the best results for the blog. Of course, opinions vary. Regardless, I’m still impressed with the P900’s ability to reach out to the moon, as it were.

By the way, I like that the moon sort of looks like the head of a snowman.

Here’s a gallery of the above that makes it easier to compare the images, but, as I said, most of them are pretty close, with only subtle differences between the images.

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


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