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This Guy Shot 50,000 Pics to Make an 81MP Photo of the Moon


Check out this incredible photo of the moon. It may look like it was captured using some ultra-advanced (and expensive) equipment, but it was actually created by astrophotography enthusiast Andrew McCarthy by capturing and combining 50,000 photos.

The Sacramento, California-based McCarthy shot the photos using two cameras: his Sony a7 II mirrorless camera and his ZWO ASI224MC (a $250 astro camera).

“The lit side of the moon was processed using 25 ’tiles’ that were stitched together in Photoshop,” the photographer tells PetaPixel. “Each ’tile’ was a stack of the best 50% of 2000 images captured with the ZWO.”

The stars and the dark portion of the moon were captured with the Sony a7 II.

“The dark side is around 13 tiles, each with the best of around 50 images,” McCarthy says. “The stars were captured with a stack of 50 shots with the Sony.”

A crop showing the details of the moon.

The stacks were blended using AutoStakkert!, and McCarthy then turned to Photoshop to process and stitch together the photo.

“A lot of selective masking, histogram stretching, and contrast adjustments were necessary to get the look I wanted,” he says.

You can find more of his amazing work on his Instagram account, @cosmic_background. McCarthy is the photographer who recently shot a beautiful Solar System family photo from his Sacramento backyard.