Tip of the Week: Photographing the Moon

Sliver of the moon

You’ve decided you’d like to photograph the moon and aren’t sure quite how to go about it. Follow along with the tips below and you’ll be on your way to getting some great results!

To properly meter the moon, you’ll need to set your camera to full manual mode, because the auto settings in your camera won’t be able to properly expose your shots.

First of all, use a tripod with a sturdy base because you will want to avoid any camera shake. Either use a remote shutter release (or a cable shutter release), or alternatively you can use the self timer function on your camera. A clear night is the best time to attempt shooting the moon, so try to avoid cloudy nights.

Your ISO should be set on 100, and your aperture is best set at t f/11 to f/16, depending on your lens, since that range will give you the sharpest images. Experiment with your shutter speed since it will vary according to conditions and the phase of the moon, but a good starting point is 1/60th to 1/125th.

Use the longest zoom lens that you own, since you will be able to fill the frame and capture more detail – 200mm would be the recommended minimum, 300mm or longer is even better. Set your lens to manual focus, and then infinity. Features such as Live View, Magnification and Focus Peaking will all help with getting the focus just right.

I always recommend shooting in RAW as you will be able to easily adjust white balance and pull out more detail since the moon will probably look quite flat and uninteresting straight from the camera.

Full moon seen with an astronomical telescope. 3D illustration

Photo credits: B1e2n3i4, Larichev89.

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November 12, 2019

Egomezta

Great blog, nice and clear ideas. Also, your images are great.

November 10, 2019

Nycscripts

Thank you for the good tips.  The moon one of my favorite subjects to capture.

November 09, 2019

Digger53

many thanks,will be giving your settings a try,appreciated.Thore

November 08, 2019

Sonalitanuselu1084

superv tips

November 06, 2019

Williamwise1

A good tip I once heard was that the moon is reflecting sunlight, so use settings for shooting in sunlight. Makes sense! Great tips. Thanks for writing. William

November 05, 2019

Caliswiss85

Very interesting! Great tips. Thanks.

November 05, 2019

Boligolov

Cool!

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