Capturing the beauty of the moon with the use of your digital camera is very rewarding, especially if you’ve done it right. But in most cases, taking a picture of the moon is very challenging.
Certainly, you’ve experienced seeing a beautiful moon in the middle of the night. You took your digital camera out, capture a quick shot, and ended up with a white ball or a very small dot in the image. This is very common for everyone. Even pros and experts have experienced this, so don’t fret.
Despite all the challenges, keep in mind that you can improve. Besides, all expert photographers also started somewhere. So, if you are aiming to take a good shot of the moon, this quick yet intensive guide will help you.
Planning Your Moon Picture
Before getting into the details of how to photograph the moon effectively, you must understand first the basics. And this largely involves your knowledge about the moon. It is worth noting that the moon has phases. So, it changes its overall appearance.
Also, there are other factors that can totally affect your output. Hence, you must consider them as well before taking a picture of the moon.
As everyone knows it, the moon has different phases. Depending on the time of the month, the moon will appear in different appearances. Of course, you already know about the new moon and the full moon. And these are times when the moon is on the center of the Earth and sun and when the Earth is on the center of the sun and moon, respectively.
But aside from these two phases, there are also other phases that you may want to learn so that you can schedule properly your photography session. In every cycle or 29.53 days, the Earth gets a New Moon. It will then proceed to the waxing stages where illumination gets stronger until it reaches the Full Moon. Afterward, it will proceed to the waning stages where illumination gets weaker until it reaches the New Moon.
Check the Weather
Before heading out to take your photograph of the moon, you must consider as well the current weather. Quite obviously, you wouldn’t want to have a session when it’s cloudy and rainy. So, you must proactively learn when it is not too cloudy and not rainy since this is the best weather to take photos of the moon.
Scout your Location
Your location is also a factor to consider. You must understand that the appearance of the moon will not only depend on the phasing, but it will also vary depending on your location. Aside from the appearance of the moon, your location will also affect the composition of your photograph. Hence, depending on your pre-planned composition of the output, you must find a perfect spot or location accordingly.
Best Camera Equipment and Gear For Moon Photography
Once all considerations have been made, the overall process of taking a photo of the moon basically starts with your camera equipment and gear. Choosing the right sets will help you achieve the perfect shot that you are hoping for.
Aside from your digital camera, the best equipment that you must have for Moon Photography are the following:
You will want to have a tripod with you during the session. Not unless you’ve mastered to stay still in one position to get a good shot, then a tripod is necessary.
Along with your tripod, a remote trigger is equally important. This will be very helpful if you don’t want your shaky hands to ruin the shot as you click the camera. You can control the camera from afar when you have a remote trigger. You can also opt to use the camera’s self-timer.
An equatorial tracker is very useful when you can’t locate the moon properly. So, you may want to take advantage of this equipment.
Long Zoom Lens
A long zoom lens that is 200mm or longer will be a great addition to your digital camera. This will allow your composition to show-off more of the moon’s appearance.
Camera Settings For Moon Photography
According to Dhaval Patel Photography, there are three important settings that you may want to remember when taking a photograph of the moon:
Your camera must have an ISO rating that is 100 or lower. This will allow you to reduce the noise and grain on the overall composition considering that the surrounding subject is very dark.
While your aperture will vary depending on your lens, the best place to start is in the range betweenf/11 and f/16. This is quite effective, especially if you are after clean and crisp shots.
- Shutter Speed
There will be a lot of varying factors when setting the shutter speed of your camera. But to a much simpler sense, when you are taking a shot on a clear night with a bright moon, you may want to set it in between 1/60th and 1/125th.
Take The Shot and Keep On Practicing
All in all, taking a good picture of the moon is really challenging as there are a lot of factors that need deep and grave considerations. But even so, practicing a lot will help you learn more about the activity. So, even if you are just starting yet, just take the shots and keep on practicing.
Dhaval has two passions: Travel and photography. Lucky for him they go hand in hand. At dhavalilama.com you can experience how nature and photography got him inclined to inspire and encourage others and follow the identical path. Through his meticulous experience, he will coach you on various hacks to photograph Nature. Brace yourself for the world of photography!
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