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Dark Side of the Moon

By Graham15
Wanted to capture a close up shot of the moon, I borrowed my mates 70 - 300mm zoom lens, sat my camera on my tripod, and took the shot with a cable release to keep the shot as still as I could. I hope you like it and would appreciate feedback on how I could improve the shot. Regards Graham

Tags: General Moon Night Slow shutter Close-up and macro

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banehawi Plus
17 2.5k 4247 Canada
5 Nov 2015 6:20PM
Hi Graham.

Thereas lots of good info on the web about moon shots, - one here:

This is overexposed. so using a smaller aperture, such as f/11, or a faster shutter would benefit. Remember the Moon is moving, so beware of slow shutter speeds.

Youve done well in your approach. Tripod, cable release is the way to go.

Manually focusing is also helpful. Take more than one shot; review each one on the LCD, and adjust exposure as needed. For this one, you would have reduced exposure. Use Manual mode so you can set aperture, speed and ISO (100 is great>

Ive uploaded a mod, its just with less exposure, and some sharpening. Ive also placed it differently in the frame, off centre.


dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1859 England
5 Nov 2015 7:12PM
This is pretty sharp, and the only obvious problem is the exposure.

With a bright object against a black background, any metering system will struggle: the simple thing is to remember what the moon is - grey rock in direct sunllight. That means it's 1/125 @ f/11 and 100 ISO, roughly.

Your camera's system has tried hard, but not quite made it. Manual exposure next time, I suggest.

Given that you need a very long lens to make the moon the biggest thing in the picture, you've done well on sharpness.
paulbroad 13 131 1293 United Kingdom
5 Nov 2015 8:50PM
The brightness of the moon can vary quite a bit so shoot several at different exposures. You are a good two stops over exposed here so f11.

However, you hardly need f11 for depth of field although about f8 is good for best lens performance. This is slightly soft, and even on a tripod a faster shutter speed will help as wind and traffic can cause camera movement, even on a tripod.

There are also some fairly waspy tripods about.

Graham15 12 13 United Kingdom
6 Nov 2015 2:48PM
Thanks Guys for the Comments, I will take on board your comments, this is the best I have achieved so far and I thought it might be a little over myself. It is always good the get some critique. Many Thanks Graham
Graham15 12 13 United Kingdom
6 Nov 2015 2:50PM
PS: The mods Look great, Thanks G
dark_lord Plus
17 2.8k 775 England
6 Nov 2015 7:46PM
What may look a simple subject is in practice more difficult.

As John says, it's really a sunlit landscape. The camera will overexpose the moon if set to auto, as it's a bright spot surrounded by dark. Even at 300 mm on an APS-C size sensor the moon is going to be fairly small. Lost detail can't be recovered.

Yes the mods show what less exposure would look like, though I do like the blue background here, much more attractive than pure black.
Photographing the moon when you can get a blue sky rather than black means getting out at the right time just after dawn and before dusk, and the moon may not even be visible at those times - I don't just mean cloud, the moon may not have risen. Either way, the exposure will be much the same, but do check the histogram.

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