Hi there, I’m posting this here that is directly related to my comments in @Kathy_Barnhart post about “What is Photo Art.” I put my own definition of Photo Art out there and below is a test to that definition"

“Photo Art is the intentional alteration of an image/photograph to render that photograph in such a way that it no longer represents the original scene.”

Just captured this last night, where for the most part the lunar eclipse in Northern CA was a bust. 95% of the time, rain and clouds. A couple hours before sunset I scouted out the location I return to over and over again (you may recognize the tree,) as I thought this would be a perfect vantage point and orientation to get that classic eclipse image with all the stages eventually combined in to one frame. I used the Photopills app on my phone to confirm this would be a perfect spot. There were a few small breaks in the clouds and I snapped a few images with different focal lengths to start my planning. I then returned to this spot an hour before the eclipse was to begin - in the pouring rain. I waited for an hour and a half or so and finally gave up and went home. Just prior to the beginning of the full eclipse, I went in the back yard to find the sky had opened up and there it was, the moon in almost full eclipse. I went and grabbed my two cameras, two tripods, my gear and notes… (Thank you btw to @Sandy_Richards-Brown who provided some good links earlier - very helpful, thanks!) It was clear for maybe 10 min and then in and out for another 10, then started raining again. I managed just a handful of images at 200mm and 300mm. And NOT very good at that.

Came in and sat down at the computer. An orange moon. Now that’s something! wooo-hooo! What the heck am I gonna do with these? Yeah, awesome, I got to see part of the eclipse. Now what? I decided to see what I could do to combine the moon with another image. This isn’t something I’ve done before, but after learning how to stack many images in to one, like for an eclipse… I thought I would practice the process. Below is my end result.

And to finally answer the question and test my definition. This belongs in Photo Art. Not only a composite but this image I’m presenting didn’t happen. I captured the tree and clouds and then combined with a moon shot taken elsewhere. Neither the moon, nor the tree/sky did I ever see naturally. Regarding “artistic rendition…” again it’s totally subjective. Some may thing what is produced here as artistic, while just as many others just see a composite image with no artistic value. You can’t judge this for art’s sake. But if all we’re doing is defining what gallery to post something in to, then I say Photo Art (or may non-nature?)

What technical feedback would you like if any?


What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Feel free. Just playing around and thought it was cool enough to post.

Any pertinent technical details:

Tree/sky image: Nikon D800E, Nikon 28-300mm @45mm handheld
Moon image: Nikon D800E, Nikon 28-300mm @300mm, f/5.6 5s at iso 800
Blended layer using “Lighten” blending mode at about 50% opacity and dragged the moon around for best effect and realism.

Posting just for fun and hoping for a good discussion in Kathy’s thread.

Thanks for looking and any comments

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.
1 Like

Looks like you had a 1200mm on your D800! It is a beautiful scene, but it doesn’t look like a real scene to me which greatly diminishes my appreciation of it. I get that it is photo art, not intended to look real, but… Just me.

Lon, VERY cool image ! It’s PA, IMO, as well.
Same pouring rain conditions here on the SW oregon coast -
so we decided to drive EAST earlier in the day, until it was clear.
Ended up in a field east of Madras, where the solar eclipse in August 2017 was ideal.
Think we got some good images, but it will be awhile before I can composite them.

Thanks Mr. H. I agree and honestly, most moon composites don’t look real anyway. :wink: :roll_eyes:

Thanks Sandy! I’ll look forward to see what you come up with.

I love it! Great atmosphere, and believable enough to me. The little tree and grassy area anchor it well. Maybe I’m a fool, but it looks like it could have been the original scene.


As for suggestions on the composite itself… the title says eclipse so why not enlarge the moon by using the transform feature , flip the original image so the white cloud trail below the moon directs your eye to the tree. Would be fun to play around with different compositions including reducing the amount of sky, In short, you have great elements here and in PA you are not limited to strict realism. Just have fun!

Basically, I like this. The moon with the lone tree makes for a nice composition and as such makes for an artistic image. My problem is what do you do with it? You can post it in PA and explain what you’ve done, but you couldn’t exhibit it cold. On the other hand, if this were a painting you would need no explanation. So, if photography is an art form where do we draw the line?

A few other thoughts: the sky is rather blue. It also seems to my eye that the moon is too large; I wonder how it would look, though, with it rising over the hill to the right of the tree?

This has turned out quite nicely. The pairing seems more interesting due to all the clouds in the sky. I also couldn’t help but admire the gentle curve of the hillside, especially in contrast with the spherical moon.

In my mind, this scene (despite being a composite of things that were not seen together) seems more natural than many of the so called ‘straight’ photographs presented in the Landscape categories.

This is very nice! I suppose the scale would give it away as photo art , but I agree that the composite of two separate scenes makes it Photo Art.

I love yow you blended the moon into the clouds. Masterfully done. I can’t give you a single critical comment. :slight_smile:

Hi Lon,

I constructed a composite of the different phases of the eclipse, but not in any way as artistic as this one. Too much scientist in me(LOL). Comp is spot on and the moon and tree are in the right spot. Well done:beers: …Jim

A panoramic view of the lower section with the tree would look better from my point of view.