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Blue Moon Photo Enhancement
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Blue Moon Photo Enhancement
Created by: Barbara Townsend


I have a Sony Mavica FD 75 camera with a 10 X optical zoom. As you can see my camera is somewhat outdated by today's standards but it is sufficient to do most of what I want and I wanted a good shot of the 2004 Blue Moon.

The next Blue Moon will be in 3 years and I had only one chance. It has been my experience that the best moon shots are taken between 6:00 am and 7:00 am – just at dawn. The color of the sky is best for me at that time, although I have to use the photo program to bring this out.

So don't wake the birds and go out and take your best shot. In fact take several of them using all the programs you have on your camera to determine which works best for you. No two photos are going to be alike and no one set of instructions will work on all photos. There are some steps we can take to familiarize ourselves to using this program. Below is how I made changes to one of mine. By following these steps we will be a little closer to personal photo perfection.

Download File Download File
The download file on the left contains the moon photo that I use in this tutorial.
Open Image Open the moon photo from the download. Make a duplicate (Window || Duplicate or Shift+D) of the original to work on, then close the original.

Selection Tool

Use the Selection tool:
– Selection type = Circle
– Mode = Replace
– Feather = 0
– Anti-alias = checked

Make a circle covering the moon, then go to Edit || Cut (Ctrl+X). The moon will be in your clipboard and ready to paste back into the photo when all the other corrections are made. (My background color was set to grey when I cut out the moon, that's why the circle in the screenshot on the left is grey. Your circle will be your current background color.)


Now deselect (Selections || Select None or Ctrl+D), then go to Adjust || Brightness and Contrast || Gamma Correction (Shift+G).

First uncheck the "Link" option, then use this tool until you get the color you want. I used:
– Link = unchecked
– Red = 1.50
– Green = 5.00
– Blue = 5.00


At this point the photo looks a little grainy. Go to Adjust || Softness || Soft Focus:
– Focus:
   – Softness = 100
   – Edge importance = 4
– Halo:
   – Amount = 100
   – Halo size = 100
   – Halo visibility = 85

Move Tool     Deform Tool

If it is needed you can go back and make another Gamma Correction at this time. Once you have the background as you want it to be, go to Edit || Paste || Paste As New Layer. The moon will now be on 'Raster 1' layer.

Use the Move tool to place the moon back into its place. Then use the Deform tool to resize the moon; settings:
– Mode = Scale
– Pivot X = 120
– Pivot Y = 120

Click on another tool (e.g. the Pan tool) to apply the deformation.


You can make this as large as you want. If you find that the edge of the moon is rough and has too much black surrounding it, go to Effects || Edge Effects || Dilate. I had to do this three times. You see my end result on the left.

Next go to Layers || Merge || Merge All (Flatten). Now the photo is finished so you can save it.

I hope this tutorial has been helpful to you on becoming more familiar with using some of the features available to us for working with photos.

Barbara T.