Photographing the Moon with proper gear and settings is very important to get the perfect Moon picture, but editing also plays a major role in making the pictures look more vivid. Oftentimes, the picture will look nice on your camera screen, but when you transfer it to your computer, the picture might look quite lifeless.
Hopefully, you have your Moon pictures in RAW format, so you will benefit more from our guide on how to edit Moon pictures since you will have more flexibility in post-processing.
Type of Moon Picture
You have to edit your moon pictures regardless if it is a close-up picture or a landscape picture. For landscape pictures, you may have to paste the moon picture on your desired landscape and then tweak the settings, so the moon looks realistic. So, editing is a must if you photograph the moon with a DSLR.
How to Edit Moon Pictures
The two most common editing software that is used to edit any photos actually are Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. They give the user plenty of options, so you can explore your creative side while editing photos of the Moon. Editing the photo has multiple steps, such as working on the details to blending the Moon with the background of the landscape picture. Below, we’ll talk about the process. If you manage to get the best camera for moon pictures and master the editing process, there’s no one stopping you from producing incredibly good moon pictures.
Lighting and Color
Your Moon picture’s SOOC color may not be right, and to fix that, you will have to firstly you will have to check the lunar seas and check whether it is a medium gray or not. Select the eyedropper tool and then drag it onto the dark splotches (lunar seas) of the moon. After that, the white balance of the moon should be fixed, and the image should look more stunning and realistic.
For any type of photo of the moon beside a full moon, you want to increase the contrast of the image, so the image pops more. Adjust the contrast slider, and see what looks best on your Moon image. If you want to bring out the whites on your image, you should increase the contrast and vice versa.
If you see that some highlights look a bit blown out, you should decrease the highlights a bit, and while you are doing that, drag the shadows down by a little. You will not usually have to work with the blacks much since the sky will usually be black, but you may take it down by a bit to make the lunar seas in the moon look better.
To make the Moon look sharper, bring up the sharpening till the details pop up well but do not look too sharp. Bump up the clarity of the image as well, but only by a little because things can start to look ugly if you increase it by a lot.
Another very important thing you must do is mask out these details from the background as well as the lunar seas in order to get the best results.
Getting the Moon to Look Perfect on a Landscape Image
First off, open both the photos in Photoshop, and then click on the layer for the moon. After that, you will have to crop the Moon picture with a square crop, copy it, and then paste the moon selection in the layer of the landscape.
Then resize the moon as you want it to be in your landscape by utilizing the transform tool in photoshop. Shift to Lighten in the blending settings, so the lighter pixels show over, the darker pixels. If the surroundings in your original moon image are not the darkest part, then the sky of the landscape will show through the moon. To prevent that, you have to make sure the surrounding is the darkest part.
By now, you should be almost done; you have to go to the Layer Style dialog box and drag the left slider all the way to the right, so the black surrounding around the moon is removed. Zoom in to your Moon in the landscape, and check whether everything looks okay, and then your job is done!
Editing pictures is like painting an image, so let your creativity shine through your image and customize the settings according to your own taste. This will improve the image quality especially while shooting moon with clouds.
As you can tell, the process of how to edit moon pictures is not too difficult; just read our guidelines carefully before you start editing your photo.