Astrophotographer Shoots 50,000 Photos to Create One Stunning Image of the Moon –
Astrophotographer Andrew McCarthy proves that you don’t need a ton of fancy equipment to capture breathtaking images of our solar system. You just need ingenuity and meticulous attention to detail. One of his recent pieces highlights the crisp glowing features of the moon. Although presented as a single image, there was more to making this piece than meets the eye. To create it, McCarthy shot and combined a staggering 50,000 photos using two cameras, including an astrophotography camera that costs just $250.
McCarthy goes into an in-depth explanation of his process on Reddit:
This image was created using a combination of shots from 2 different cameras, one to capture earthshine and stars, and one to capture the detail on the lit side of the moon. The shots were then stacked and pieced together for editing. I took so many shots to average out the blurring caused by atmospheric turbulence, as well as to eliminate noise captured by the camera sensor. A note to astrophotography purists: I did take some creative liberties with the composition to make up for areas with bad or incomplete data, so I would define this image as more of a composite than a true photograph. For more of this kind of thing- come find me on instagram @cosmic_background. Feel free to DM me if you ever want to chat about astronomy/astrophotography or anything else. All my shots are taken from my backyard in Sacramento, California.
Each of the cameras that he used had different objectives; one was for photographing the earthshine and stars while the other shot the detail on the moon. “The moon,” he explains, “was captured in ‘tiles,’ so I’d point the camera at it and take a bunch of pictures of just one portion of it, and then reposition, and do it again.”
McCarthy sells his incredible images, including this one, as prints on his website.