Thanks Idealhobbies. This one was actually quite a process, like this:
First, pick the right time of year for shooting. This phase is almost directly overhead in fall (shot this Sept 7 about 4:00 am).
900 mm apo refractor, 2X barlow giving about 3000 mm EFL.
Canon 7D, ISO 100, raw
Test shots using shutter speeds from 1/2 sec to 1/50 sec. Settled on 1/8 sec based on in-camera histogram being to the right without blowing out pixels.
The entire moon wouldn't fit into the frame so it took three segments. Each part was shot eight times for 24 total exposures.
Everything is imported to Aperture. All 24 receive identical processing, at this stage levels and color correction only. Levels to center the histogram.
Export full-size TIFFs to a folder on the desktop and call up Photoshop. First, stack each set of eight to get the three segments. Do this with File -> Scripts -> Statistics on “mean” and “align sources”. This knocks the noise down a bunch.
Now, put the three parts together with File -> Automate -> Photomerge and crop. This gives a really large image with a lot of information. This master is 6500 x 4350 pixels, 90 x 60 inches at 72 dpi. File is 85M!
Reduce the size to something more manageable, in this case 800 x 1200 pixels. This further reduces noise.
At this point, the file looks like this:
From here, the process is less mechanical and more artistic. Convert to grayscale, use Shadows/Highlights and Curves to get that steely gray look. Sharpen by using stacked duplicate layers with overlay and high-pass filter, several layers with only 1 or 2 pixels of bandpass. I never use unsharp mask. Knock down the highlights at the terminator, these are always amplified by any kind of sharpening.
And we’re done! I keep the massive master for future rainy nights. Seeing wasn’t great this night but sometimes I can take out subframes and process them as closeups of specific features.
I’m experimenting with captured video now and I’ll post something when I get it figured out a little better.