While driving home just before sunset a few days ago, I happened to glance over to the east and saw the moon rising, set against some beautiful sky colors. I parked near the local library and got out my new camera, hoping to capture some of the colors in the sky, but not really having a lot of hope -- it's difficult, if not impossible, to really get the same impact in a photo that you get from standing and looking at the sky.
I took several photos, but realized fairly quickly that none of them were going to be what I was hoping for. So I decided to try out my new Leica V-Lux 3's zoom lens, a 24x element, by photographing the moon on the highest zoom setting. I wasn't expecting much from this experiment, either -- most of the time, those come out blurry or washed out by the moons brightness.
So I was more than pleasantly surprised when I looked at the images later, on my computer, and saw that I had gotten one shot with some fascinating details of the moon's landscape. The craters on the lower left-hand side stood out in stark relief, giving me a sense of the moon's physical nature that I don't think I'd ever really felt before.
Here's the image taken with the full 24x zoom, unaltered.
I cropped it, to better see the details…
… and then applied Photoshop's "Auto-Levels" command to give it a bit more "punch".
I like the more dramatic contrast in values, but I have to say that I think I like the previous, un-Photoshopped version a little bit more. -- PL