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Moon photography

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Category: Landscape and Travel

Photographing the moon - Make the most of clear skies and head out to photograph the moon.

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Words by Will Cheung.

We have had a couple of clear nights this week (at least I have here in Peterborough) and the moon has looked great.

If you want to know times of sunsets, moonrises and so on, visit these sites:

www.sunrisesunsetmap.com
www.roe.ac.uk/info/srss.html

Photographing the moon

Gear
A tripod and the longest lens you own will be a good starting point. If you have one, fit a teleconverter too. I used a Nikon D300 fitted with a 400mm lens and 1.7x teleconverter on a Manfrotto carbon-fibre tripod. For the shots themselves, I used the self-timer set to five seconds. I am not impressed with noise reduction so did not bother.

Technique
If you want details of the moon's disk, you need a much shorter exposure than your camera will deliver in its automatic, multi-segment metering mode. The camera sees all this blackness and thinks there is no light so overexposes the moon's face. You can either spot meter from the moon's disk – using manual or aperture-priority AE and autoexposure lock – or set manual and 1/125sec at f/8 at ISO 100. The thing to remember is that the moon receives the same level of light (more or less) from the sun as we do here on Earth.

If you want some foreground detail your exposures have to be longer. At ISO 400, this image was taken at 1/8sec at f/4.


You've read the article, now go take some fantastic images. You can then upload the pictures, plus any advice and suggestions you have into the dedicated Photo Month forum for everyone at ePHOTOzine to enjoy.


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