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The Moon

By Tain4u  
I took this photo of the moon because i was finding it very difficult to get anything other than just a white blob. As they say practice makes perfect and i am pleased that this has turned out reasonably well, so now i will keep practising and hopefully one day soon i will get the perfect moon. Any advice on how to acheive this would be most welcome, thanks

Tags: General Moon full

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


Sooty_1 7 1.5k 221 United Kingdom
31 Jan 2013 7:53AM
Remember that the moon is lit by the sun, in the same way Earth is, so exposures will be broadly similar. Just because it is night here, it doesn't mean the moon is dark, so the light parts will have exposures around 1/125 at f/8 with 100 ISO.
The best and most detailed shots of the moon will be when it's quite a bit less than full, as the grazing light near the terminator (where light meets shadow) picks out detail on the surface. If you think of the full moon being front lit, there are no good shadows to show the details, whereas side lighting brings out the texture. As you can see from this picture, there is little sharp detail.
It's also better to shoot the moon higher in the sky to minimise the amount of atmosphere you shoot through, as this degrades the image. I'm guessing you handheld this as it isn't critically sharp.

I'd suggest bring down the aperture and use a faster speed. You don't need depth of field as the moon is effectively at infinity as far as your lens is concerned (238,900 miles or so).


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paulbroad 10 123 1240 United Kingdom
31 Jan 2013 9:46AM
Nick covers it. The moon is very bright and quite a short exposure will do. It could be sharper, but then, what do you want to do with it? I have a few dozen moon shots in a folder to add to other images.

iancrowson Plus
8 211 146 United Kingdom
31 Jan 2013 2:07PM
Good advice above. As Paul suggests moon shots are easy to blend into other moon lit pics where the moon is always burnt out. Layers -blend mode.
Consider colour temp, this moon is very yellow, could have been pollution or camera. Moon light is usually cool and blueish especially soon after twilight.
I've done a mod, I used ACR to alter the colour temp and sharpened a little.
The angle of the sun to (a full) moon varies with it's height in the sky and time of year and orbit which is tilted, so in addition to Nicks advice study full moons if your interested.
banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3877 Canada
31 Jan 2013 5:35PM
Its a good effort Dunan, and you have a lot of good feedback, a good mod, and Ive uploaded one also. I found it very difficult to sharpen, and this tells me that there not only blur, but its too heavily cropped, so individual pixels are starting to be visible.

To add some more information. You need to know a couple of things about the Moon for photography. Its a moving object, and it moves quite fast, so theres a relatively fast shutter speed needed. Its very far away, so using the sweetest aperture spot for the lens can give a sharper result. Nick has covered this already, and sine its so far away, you dont need to worry about depty of field, - its essentially flat as far as we are concerned on Earth. So f/8 is a good place to start. You may have to close it down a little depending on the brightness of the Moon, - and check every image before you take the next so you can make changes on the fly.

Your lens is essentiall a 450mm lens with crop factor, so its a decent length for the Moon, but the image will be quite small. Dont crop too much.

Shoot in RAW. Use either a remote shutter release, or the cameras self timer, at a very low setting, like 3 seconds. The SLIGHTEST vibration will cause blur. You can manually focus, but auto will work well if the Moon is dead centre in the frame.

Practice with different settings, The good shot you get will appear a little underexposed, but when you zoom in, it will look a lot better.

What I found works, when its dark, is lowest ISO, f/8, 1/250 and that was at 400mm.

Shooting when the Moon is high rather than low, as Nick mentioned, means its closer to you, and the amount of atmospheric interference you shoot through is less.

Heres a link you might find useful.


Sooty_1 7 1.5k 221 United Kingdom
1 Feb 2013 5:54PM

Quote:Shooting when the Moon is high rather than low, as Nick mentioned, means its closer to you

Eh? No, just less atmosphere to shoot through, so less chance of moving air/pollution spoiling the shot, plus it will be further away from light pollution around the horizon.

Tain4u 7 United Kingdom
1 Aug 2013 12:20AM
Thanks to everyone for their useful advice, i will keep practicing and try some of your suggestions Smile thanks again

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