Moon has long been interested in academics, writers, visionary artists, as well as all kinds of professions, including photographers.
What is Moon
The Moon is the only natural satellite of the Earth
Shooting the moon is not difficult. This would be enough conventional digital – DSLR camera, and understanding how to use the camera‘s manual features: focus, shutter speed, aperture, and ISO (light sensitivity) settings.
ISO for moon photography
Photographing the moon around the only black and dark skies, the best results are achieved by using the lowest possible ISO (light sensitivity) value.
Set maximum image resolution
Use Aperture value (Av) or Manual (M) mode.
Lens focus mode
- Use the manual focus mode.
- The best focus distance set maximum zoom or right infinity. (if it is such)
- Turn off image stabilization like IS, VR. Image stabilization on lens option is good for handheld shots, but not from the tripod.
Aperture for moon photography
Whether shooting in the dark. To get a sharp image, use the more closed-off aperture. The higher f-number, the less light can come over the lens hole. Set value to f13, f16, or even more: f22 or f32. Moon is a moving object, so you can’t wait too long, you don’t want to get a blurry image.
For start try settings: f16 ISO200 shutter speed 1/200 if the sky is bright, or f8 ISO200 shutter 1/125. Moon is very bright, there is a risk, the image can be overexposed, you can underexpose the image by half (1/2) or one-stop (1). There are no fixed correct values, moon luminosity different: because of phase, place in the sky.
Exposure for moon photography
Slow shutter speed makes the use of a tripod. Exposure time the camera needs to stand firm and not move. Another important point – is the shutter release. By pressing the button, you can unwillingly cause more or less camera shake, which can adversely affect the quality of your scenes. To avoid this problem, use the remote start mechanism. Perfect for both- wired and wireless remote control. Also, you can effectively use the camera’s self-timer.
Best lens for moon photography
Use the lens (zoom or prime) the more millimeters, the better (200mm or longer).
More moon photography tips
Do not forget that you can take pictures and other lunar phases, not only during a full moon. When the sun illuminates only part of the moon, the more pronounced the craters and other surface details.
You can try HDR image bracketing (read my tutorial HDR photography).
Make an image of the exact lunar phase, by checking Moon phases calendar.
If you want to take a nice exposed moon in the night landscape, take two shots: one correct exposed moon and one-night landscape surroundings. After, blend images in Photoshop.