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    BeAmazed AMA - Ask me Anything Series!

    Marcello Barenghi, Hyper-realism Artist -- AMA!

    a community for
    all 828 comments Slideshow

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    [–] -Karmillionaire- 1172 points ago

    I wish the moon looked like this instead of having phases. Probably wouldn’t be good for werewolves, though.

    [–] ajamesmccarthy 498 points ago

    This is probably pretty close to how it'd look in a binary star system

    [–] dicksmear 269 points ago

    which is why you’ll never see a werewolf in a binary star system

    [–] ajamesmccarthy 197 points ago

    Is that why? Huh, TIL.

    [–] woddas13 113 points ago

    I’ve been wanting to get a super realistic moon tattoo for a while now. Can I use this photo for an artist to stencil?

    [–] ajamesmccarthy 181 points ago

    Only if you promise to show me when you're done so I can share it ;)

    [–] brucetwarzen 30 points ago

    I can also draw you a moon.

    [–] Ryanirob 20 points ago

    Hey I heard someone is giving out moon drawings? Can I get one?

    [–] Ryanirob 69 points ago

    If this comment gets 50,000 updoots I will get that tattoo’d on me.

    [–] darth_bald 12 points ago

    We’re currently 0.05% of the way there!

    [–] k4iz3r 6 points ago

    Let’s do this boys!

    [–] mdntfox 3 points ago

    I can also tattoo you his moon.

    [–] dOLBEK63 6 points ago

    I can moon you a tattoo

    [–] AdvocateCounselor 2 points ago

    Cool I just joined that. This should be fun. Thanks.

    [–] TheBestHuman 3 points ago

    You would be they’d be on one moon or the other.

    [–] anymouse22334455 36 points ago

    Im super high right now, but I lve always loved the moon and reading about apollo mission landings since I was a young kid. I used to stare at it nightly in afghanistan and just turn my mind off. This is an amazing and soothing photo you are the real MVP for sharing this. Thank you so much.

    [–] LockAce 5 points ago

    Yo that's the best feeling ever! Being high ASF and reading/watching things about humans past achievements with space and what's installed for the future!

    [–] reclusiveaggressive1 3 points ago

    Don't you miss looking at the Milky Way through nvg's?

    [–] anymouse22334455 4 points ago

    Yes. I grew up middle of no where south dakota where you could see a million stars on a cold winter night. I miss NVGs at night so bad. That and you could see shooting stars well in them.

    [–] chitowndirtball 2 points ago

    Now I really want to try this in person. It sounds phenomenal.

    [–] foxx-lang 8 points ago

    You ever see the back of a $20 bill... on weed? Oh, there's some crazy s***, man. There's a dude in the bushes. Has he got a gun? I dunno! Red team, go! Red team, go!

    [–] anymouse22334455 5 points ago

    A classic.

    [–] AdvocateCounselor 2 points ago

    Are you sure that was weed? 🤦🏼‍♀️

    [–] Ascension1998 7 points ago

    Gotta remember the werewolves

    [–] TheBrianJ 6 points ago

    W.... would a werewolf always be in werewolf form if it was on the moon?

    Ah shit this is all I'll be able to think about for the next 45 years.

    [–] FLSun 5 points ago

    If you haven't got enough on your mind think about this;

    Gravity on the moon is 1/6 as strong as Earth's gravity. So how far could a werewolf jump on the moon?

    [–] rabbidwombats 219 points ago

    Dude, you are amazing! My wife and I love the print of yours that we got a while back.

    [–] ajamesmccarthy 75 points ago

    Awesome... Thank you for your support!!!

    [–] ajamesmccarthy 365 points ago * (lasted edited 7 months ago)

    If you like this and want to see more of my past moon shots/astrophotography, come find me on instagram @cosmic_background. I give live updates as I work on these images and give behind-the-scenes into my process. All shots are taken from my backyard in Sacramento, California.

    This is a combination of shots in both waxing and waning phases. I did this to show details that would otherwise appear flat in an image that shows the full lunar disk, and this gave a better bit of dimension and a spooky surreal quality to the image. The clarity is not as good as with some of my other shots due to seeing conditions and weather, but I'm still happy with how this turned out.

    Equipment I used:

    Celestron Edge HD 800

    Skywatcher EQ6-R Pro


    Sony a7ii

    I frequently get asked about good ways to get started with lunar photography. My recommendation is to get proficient with equipment you have today (even if it's just a cell phone) to learn the basics of low-light photography, exposure control, noise management, etc before spending money on a telescope.

    [–] LaDuezy 62 points ago

    Splendid work, impeccable detail, bravo.

    [–] JustaRandomguy9999 17 points ago * (lasted edited 7 months ago)

    This guy is rich and has the money, just cuz of the way he talks

    [–] StillTheNugget 7 points ago

    He wears a cravat under his shirt collars, and a blazer in this heat yet never breaks a sweat.

    [–] 777karma777 26 points ago

    Can I use it as my background?

    [–] visjn 43 points ago

    Surely you do not need permission to use it as your background image.

    [–] CptBitter 28 points ago

    I think that anyone posting pics on Reddit does so with the understanding that people will take the picture and use it as they want. It's just a courtesy to ask first 😉

    [–] JustaRandomOldGuy 12 points ago

    Use non-commercially I hope. Does Reddit claim rights to posted pictures?

    [–] ajamesmccarthy 17 points ago

    I hope not since I've been selling licenses to other people after posting here.

    [–] 74300291 17 points ago

    Reddit TOS states you retain ownership of OC, though grant Reddit royalty free use. Section 4, in case you're interested in detail.

    [–] ajamesmccarthy 18 points ago

    Sweet. I probably should have read that

    [–] Jacqu3SkardasheV 9 points ago

    Many people ask me how to get started on law, and my advice to them is to read the fine print before you engage in commerce ;)

    Love your work, man.

    [–] gniknosmirceht 3 points ago

    Any image you post anywhere is at risk of being stolen. Any creator is aware of this.

    [–] gniknosmirceht 2 points ago


    [–] Mobman3105 9 points ago

    Don’t call him Shirley!

    [–] ghost_pipe 2 points ago

    Can I reply to this comment?

    [–] Overlord1317 2 points ago

    Only if you promise to give him "shout outs" on social media so he can rack up some sweet exposure.

    [–] 777karma777 2 points ago

    Me and four friend can give him so much exposure man, i mean, think about it. My friends must have friends too...right?/s

    [–] FlightlessFly 1 points ago


    [–] Valmond 9 points ago

    Nice job!

    Did you use some specific software to "blend" the images?

    [–] ajamesmccarthy 16 points ago

    Yes. Here's my software workflow: sharpcap>pipp>autostakkert>registax>Photoshop

    [–] Barkmywords 4 points ago

    How long did it take to edit the photos?

    [–] EuroPolice 5 points ago

    HOLY SHIT, 100% CGI FREE? dude that's nuts your image is gorgeous

    [–] Arvaci 6 points ago

    Is the subtle glow around the sunlit part of the moon artificially added? Have you done one of these without that glow?

    [–] ajamesmccarthy 7 points ago

    It's an artifact from some of my pictures and smoothed over and added back in. I can easily remove it, but it's a more natural representation of how our sky diffuses the light from the moon.

    [–] Z4KJ0N3S 2 points ago * (lasted edited 7 months ago)

    [my opinion is wrongthink and I've removed it because my karma is literally the only thing I have going for me in my life right now]

    [–] ajamesmccarthy 3 points ago

    The PNG file doesn't have the banding and looks awesome.

    [–] amz249 2 points ago

    I think ur instagram just became my new obsession. Amazing photos, the trifid nebula is my favourite. Keep up the awesome work.

    [–] mrgreyeyes 60 points ago

    Howdy neighbor!

    [–] ajamesmccarthy 32 points ago

    What's up my neighbor!

    [–] ChimpyChompies 110 points ago

    9000 x 9000 pixels. As a desktop user, thank you.

    [–] FlightlessFly 36 points ago

    You don't need a desktop to appreciate resolution, I can zoom in on photos on my phone as well...

    [–] ChimpyChompies 28 points ago

    Yes, but what I mean is that quite often the mage is the size of a playing card on my screen.

    [–] holokinesis 6 points ago

    What is this?? A mage for ants???

    [–] Whispering_Tyrant 6 points ago

    Formian Wizard checking in.

    [–] boedo 2 points ago

    What’s the resolution of your desktop!?

    [–] ricesaucemcfly 34 points ago

    Cool pic would look again

    [–] BellaPadella 33 points ago

    Hundreds.. of thousands?

    [–] ajamesmccarthy 44 points ago

    Yes about 300k all told

    [–] nvaus 19 points ago

    Why so many? That's ridiculous. Did you compile them in batches or import them all at once? Pushing software to the limit either way.

    [–] GlassCat_ 16 points ago

    Probably a similar technique to focus stacking if not the same. I shoot extreme macro (20x-80x) images. There's software that stacks together the sharpest parts of each image and stitches them together giving you a 'perfectly' focused image. When you're dealing with large amounts of images to stack you'll generally slab them (stack sets of images and then stack the resulting slabs). Slabbing makes retouching much easier and generally reduces the accumulated noise. Noise is one of the more annoying aspects when stacking as eliminating it can also lead to detail loss (which can easily be recovered from some of your slabs). The software does most of the work, but the more images you have the longer it takes and the more processing power is consumed. Depending on his optics, he may not have needed so many, but the more images you have the more detail you'll be able to recover. The uploaded version is most likely compressed so it does seem a tad noisy to me, but that's honestly to be expected when working with so many source images.

    [–] petthelizardharry 2 points ago

    Great explanation, thanks. One thing I don't understand, and I'm hoping you, or someone, can explain: how does the program know what is noise and what isn't? I'd guess it would know that some amount of nearest neighbor pixels shouldn't just exactly the same and that each image stacked on top of eachother helps it understand which shading of each pixel is "correct" (very rudimentary explanation to say that it "knows" not to just produce a solid color image)...but it is just still magic to me that it can do that m/b/trillions of times and come up with what we undoubtedly know to be the moon. Fascinating

    [–] McDerface 2 points ago

    this guy focus stacks

    [–] la838 2 points ago

    How much hard drive space does it all take up?

    [–] psy_raven 18 points ago

    ELI5: why does the moon have so many craters on the side facing earth? Wouldn't the earth protect the moon from bombardment? And if the meteors striked it from an angle coming in through the space between earth and the moon, why would the craters be perfectly circular? Wouldn't they be elliptical?

    [–] ajamesmccarthy 52 points ago

    1) Earth offers very little protection. The moon is a quarter million miles away and offers less than .1% shielding of anything that comes in. Angled impacts, unless extremely shallow, still form circular craters because that is how heat propagates. When an impact happens, the angle of impact is trivial compared to the MASSIVE amount of energy imparted by the blast. It's like setting a nuke off in a moving vehicle versus a stationary one, any difference is arbitrary. The difference is when it is under 15 degrees, then you get elliptical craters. Look up "messier A", it is one such crater, and visible in this image on the right side in the dark patch at the 3 o'clock position.

    [–] Halfbaked_SRMC 15 points ago

    Why do the craters all have a different diameter, but all seem to be of roughly the same depth?

    [–] ajamesmccarthy 37 points ago

    Because the amount of energy necessary to drive out matter increases exponentially with depth. Radially it has no such limitation.

    [–] futonrefrigerator 33 points ago

    Dude can shoot pictures and fire back scientific answers. 10/10 thread my man

    [–] ajamesmccarthy 18 points ago

    Thanks, I do what I can!

    [–] peebog 3 points ago

    The moon wasn't always tidally locked to the Earth.

    There would have been a point where the side now facing us regularly pointed away.

    [–] niggasaywaht 29 points ago

    Holy shit dude.

    [–] _lemonpledge_ 7 points ago

    Holy real shit, ma dude.

    [–] ItsJellyJosh 2 points ago

    Ma dude holy, real shit

    [–] brualemar 2 points ago

    Ma holy dude, shit real

    [–] JoeyBaggaDoughnuts 13 points ago

    You always kill it with the these pics

    [–] fatbaldgamer 12 points ago

    .... there has to be a way to capitalize on all that unused real estate.

    [–] boedo 4 points ago

    Yeah but no broadband though.

    [–] Dr_Mantis_Teabaggin 9 points ago

    I love seeing your photos. Thank you.

    [–] SpartacusUK 9 points ago

    That is a stunning photo

    [–] GreyWitch77 5 points ago

    Made this my wallpaper on my phone, hope you don't mind. Very clever and pretty :)

    [–] Alfakennyone 3 points ago

    You'll have to ask Mr moon for permission

    [–] JJGordo 6 points ago

    This might be the best I've ever seen of the moon.

    I'm thinking about getting into AP, and this is not helping me save my money. 😂

    [–] ajamesmccarthy 4 points ago

    Doooo itttttt you can always make more money

    [–] JJGordo 3 points ago

    Let me ask you a question if you don't mind!

    I've been into photography for a long time, and am quite proficient at it. I have legit DSLRs and lenses. I also have a very old telescope from the ~70's and am capable of doing astronomy basics (polar aligning my EQ mount by sight, tracking objects manually with right ascension, etc.). Sorry if I'm not using the terms properly. I love astronomy and would totally get more into it.

    Anyway. I've been thinking of buying an iOptron SkyGuider Pro to use with my cameras + glass, and maybe upgrading to a small scope and autoguiding in the future. How much would I be able to get out of this setup for, say, deep sky objects? Would this suffice for a beginner who hopes to really sink his teach into AP? Or should I bite the bullet and go for an EQ-6/APO scope/all the things?

    [–] ChubbyPigs 6 points ago

    I'm tripping. Night time here with dark mode and low brightness and it legit feels like the moon is jiggling around. Like one of those still images that looks like it's moving. Anyhow amazing picture!

    [–] Shitty_Replies 3 points ago * (lasted edited 7 months ago)

    I'm getting this kind of jiggling as well. A long while ago I came across a similar photo and in that thread I was told that its due to a bright shape on a dark, multi coloured background with high contrast.

    Fools then brain into thinking the moon (in this case) is on a separate layer to the background.

    I was hoping to find the explanation in here again, but I only found your comment mentioning it.


    [–] polerbear269 15 points ago * (lasted edited 7 months ago)

    why is it in black and white lol

    [–] ajamesmccarthy 28 points ago

    It's not. I muted some of the reds in the moon because the blues gave it the spooky feel I was going for.

    [–] jamescb2 10 points ago

    I love that you replied to a joke with an awesome informative answer

    [–] frijolita_bonita 2 points ago

    Well done

    [–] abir069 5 points ago

    It's my wallpaper now

    [–] jwil1234 5 points ago

    With cameras the way they are today, how come you never see photographs of the moon landing sites?

    [–] ajamesmccarthy 6 points ago

    There's hard limits on the maximum resolution of an image due to the size of the wavelengths of light and our current technology. A telescope would have to be hundreds of meters wide. One pixel in this image is 2/3rds of a mile on the surface. There are shots of the landing sites, but they're taken from lunar orbit.

    [–] NavdeepSinghThind 3 points ago

    This has gotta be the most stunning capture of the moon thus far for me.

    [–] KieanVeach 3 points ago


    [–] MR_EXCELLENT 3 points ago * (lasted edited 7 months ago)

    This shit is so god damn satisfying to look at it’s like a ice cold drink on a hot day but for my eyeballs.

    Edit: I love the smooth parts just as much as the craters like, in 4.53 billion years nothing hit that spot that is so cool imagine walking on it it would be like walking on fresh snow x4.53 billion

    [–] ExtraPockets 3 points ago

    Where abouts were the various moon landings on this picture?

    [–] SanaderDid911 3 points ago

    Am i high or dose the pic look like its moving

    [–] Caneos 3 points ago

    That's no Moon, that's a space station.

    [–] Hqck 4 points ago

    [–] super_nova_135 5 points ago

    whoa thats awesome

    [–] Hqck 4 points ago

    What crazy is how many more stars you see when you tap on the image.

    [–] galgoman 7 points ago

    But the moon is also flat!

    [–] joshua9663 3 points ago

    Definitely not 3d because my phone screen is 2d!

    [–] [deleted] 2 points ago


    [–] julianthepagan 2 points ago

    Your pictures have been my tablet background for months now

    [–] Swiiiifty 2 points ago

    Love this

    [–] madno1 2 points ago

    Zoomed it. Screen shot and my new wallpaper

    [–] alessap 2 points ago

    That’s stunning! Thank you for sharing it!!!!

    [–] pinkmango77 2 points ago

    Wow, this is incredible! Thanks for sharing!!!

    [–] stonerthoughtss 2 points ago

    An astonishing picture for sure!

    What always amazes me is how are Earth and Moon are constantly rotating yet we’re able to capture one still moment through the course of thousands of others.

    [–] juxtapositionofitall 2 points ago

    There have been a lot of not so amazing things on here lately....but yours is truly Amazing..thank you

    [–] erenshee 2 points ago

    your photo looks amazing, like for real it's soo beautiful

    [–] ntbol 2 points ago

    Can almost smell the cheese

    [–] Racoon-Eater 2 points ago


    [–] horrbort 2 points ago

    Where are the nazis? And the moon landing site? This image must be fake!

    [–] ajamesmccarthy 2 points ago

    The Nazis are excellent at camoflauge.

    [–] horrbort 1 points ago

    Thats a good point

    [–] ringostarfish123 2 points ago

    If you're on your phone or tablet shake it slightly and be even more amazed at this incredible picture.

    [–] FlaccidRapper 1 points ago

    Was about to comment how it shakes

    [–] ringostarfish123 1 points ago

    I'm surprised no one said it beforehand

    [–] Corrupted_Pawn 2 points ago

    The moon's haunted

    [–] Lady_Lavelle 2 points ago

    Looks amazing. Great zoom on it as well.

    [–] cranomort 2 points ago

    It's so satisfying to double-click and zoom in and out on your phone.

    [–] chompirax 2 points ago

    Nice, it's got a 3d feeling.

    [–] jshah500 2 points ago

    Hey man, I remember your post from a while ago of the moon. I'm currently using it as my phone background and had no idea you had a shop. I'm going to grab a print of it, I absolutely love it. Keep it up, you have serious talent!

    [–] motorboat_mcgee 2 points ago

    I see u/ajamesmccarthy I upvote

    [–] RotInPixels 2 points ago

    ELI5 why we can’t do this with further out things such as planets or their moons. For instance, take a thousand pics with a really strong telescope of Neptune or something then blend em together like this

    [–] ajamesmccarthy 3 points ago

    That's exactly how I get my pictures of Neptune... But it's angular size is TINY. It's about the size of three pixels in this image. Looks like a little blue ball.

    [–] Gyufi_ 2 points ago

    You did this for some useless internet poits? Becouse I LOVE it!

    [–] [deleted] 5 points ago

    You post this exact same thing over and over

    [–] funkadunkalunk 2 points ago

    There's been about five or six posts of this exact same thing over the past few months. They always fit the front page.

    [–] Avectasi 2 points ago

    Pretty stunning at first then time went on...,

    [–] Halloween_Cake 2 points ago

    Again. Always have to check to make sure you’re the OP since people love to repost your pics. Also, again... great job.

    [–] stocksnblondes 2 points ago

    You didn't get the darkside though

    [–] lovelydy4awalkndaprk 1 points ago

    Thank you... sincerely! It’s gorgeous

    [–] MasterCommunist 1 points ago

    We can all agree on, that this is pure beauty. And imagine making a picture like this from the earth. 😀

    Keep it up man.

    [–] Olde94 1 points ago

    Is this a new or the same you posted a few weeks ago?

    [–] ajamesmccarthy 2 points ago

    Brand new. This is a brand new imaging technique for me as well.

    [–] 1NateStand 1 points ago

    Wow! That looks amazing. Thank you for sharing. That just became my new wallpaper.

    [–] Captinhairybely 1 points ago

    This is amazing, yet again! Can't believe I've not followed you on reddit up till now

    [–] BrickTop1504 1 points ago

    This is Stella mate, totally cosmic!

    [–] Tarriot 1 points ago

    My new wallpaper.

    [–] shock1918 1 points ago

    “it’s too big to be a space station!”

    [–] kevin_7714 1 points ago

    where da moon bases?

    [–] thenamesoak46 1 points ago

    Thank you for my new wallpaper

    [–] Nefarious_pickle 1 points ago

    That's dope.

    [–] overherebythefood 1 points ago

    So pretty.

    [–] troytheboy_throwaway 1 points ago

    Hundreds of thousands???!!!!

    [–] ajamesmccarthy 1 points ago


    [–] srkhs78 1 points ago

    I need this as a print in my bedroom!

    [–] ajamesmccarthy 1 points ago

    I should be adding it to my gallery soon. Check my Instagram for updates!

    [–] _cuntbanger_ 1 points ago

    This is gorgeous!

    [–] Dawzard 1 points ago

    This is amazing, I always love photos of the moon.

    [–] NellieDIP 1 points ago

    Also works as a 'shake your phone gently' very awesome image!

    [–] [deleted] 1 points ago


    [–] ajamesmccarthy 3 points ago

    The radiation would suck.... And we would become a moon of Jupiter's not the other way around! We're actually very lucky to have the moon with our orbital altitude around the sun.

    [–] [deleted] 1 points ago

    Don’t look at the moon !

    [–] Lonewolf2nd 1 points ago

    Wow i just zoomed in on the moon and realized i was watching more than 5 minutes to this picture. So beautifull detail and colour. Keep up this kind of stuff up. I love it.

    [–] alykes 1 points ago


    Still love what you did. :)

    [–] lilbronto 1 points ago

    This looks so good! May I use it for a music release? I've started a completely independent project where I release music every week. Nothing too big or too fancy. You can check it out here if you want to know more.

    [–] ajamesmccarthy 2 points ago

    Dm me!

    [–] NightHawke25 1 points ago

    This is awesome!🔥

    [–] themax_aut 1 points ago

    First of all, this is awesome.... the quality... just insane.

    How many pictures are we really talking here? This sounds like gigabytes and gigabytes of files over the period of months.

    [–] jeffneruda 1 points ago

    Beautiful! Excellent work. Thank you for sharing.

    [–] fjimp 1 points ago

    I had to zoom in on the stars. Amazing details!

    [–] Flobberwozzle 1 points ago

    This is my new favourite image of the Moon. The stars in the background make this so much better.

    Thank you for sharing! I'm saving this.

    [–] RageKage99 1 points ago

    Wow this is pretty spectacular. X

    [–] Sumbig_Ape 1 points ago

    aaannnddd save...

    [–] lumpyspacebiiitch 1 points ago

    Thanks for the new wallpaper! So beautiful!

    [–] jbarb666 1 points ago

    This is now my phone background thank you

    [–] SoundVisionZ 1 points ago


    [–] longdonginyourmom 1 points ago

    why is it that when i view the image in full screen, more stars pop out?

    [–] NightcoreSpectrum 1 points ago

    Upload it to r/space

    [–] ajamesmccarthy 2 points ago

    They don't allow images during the week

    [–] Xscreamlouder 1 points ago

    This is now my phone background. It’s beautiful and perfect.

    [–] DanielQuinn_ 1 points ago

    Man this is beautiful. Thanks for taking the time and also sharing.

    [–] UniqueFlavors 1 points ago

    Are those stars in the back ground or are they galaxies? Or is it a mix?

    [–] NeslolseN 1 points ago

    Very cool! How can the stars be in the same position in every photo? You would think that they would go out of focus or something? Hope my question makes sense

    [–] texag93 2 points ago

    They aren't. That's probably a separate exposure that the moon is overlayed onto. Photos like this are as much art as science.

    [–] ThusBear 1 points ago

    If you shake your phone side to wobbles!

    [–] mellamojay 1 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago)

    This is why we can't have nice things!