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Taking pictures of the moon shouldn’t be so hard, but you need to follow some useful tips if you don’t want to perish in the attempt of trying and trying.
Find the moon (doesn’t matter it isn’t full moon or too dark outside). We recommend getting a stable tripod, although you could achieve a good free-hand picture with a catadioptric lens (also called mirror lens or reflex lens). A shutter release cable can also be very helpful. Play around with different values of exposure, shutter speed and sensitivity and take test pictures until you get the ones that produce the best results. Check the following suggestions and… Shoot!
- Customize light measurement to get sharp details. If your camera does not have such function, try adjusting exposure to under expose, as exposure time should be short. Review the histogram after shutting and make sure the picture has not burned out.
- Focus to the infinite using the manual mode. If you do not have that option, search for some far enough object, focus it, and while keeping that focusing point, frame the moon and shoot.
- Use a high shutter speed (from 1/125 sec.) to counterbalance the movement of the moon. If you use a very long focusing distance, you’ll need to use an even higher speed. To take good moon pictures you’ll need a lens of at least 300mm., otherwise we recommend using a telephoto lens.
- Try bracketing, a technique that helps you to use different settings for different exposures. This can be achieved by modifying the settings of the diaphragm aperture (ideally in the mid range of your camera) or those of the shutter speed (manipulating your exposure values)
- Set the ISO sensitivity at the lowest possible position of the camera. If your camera has very limited exposure settings, lower at least one point the opening diaphragm (f/5,6) or slightly increase the shutter speed (1/100). A good combination for efficient exposure would be ISO100, 1/125 and f8.
- It is advisable to adjust the shooting speed considering the weather conditions or the phase the moon is in, as well as taking different photos to get the sharpest image. If you shoot in RAW, you will be able to balance the exposure later. Once in the dark room, make sure to review the pictures taken at your zoom’s 100%.
Trucofoto suggests: take your moon photos using a filter and your moons would look different.
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