Thursday, February 24, 2011

How to Photography The Moon

The other day a friend asked me if I had ever taken a photo of the moon.  He had tried several times and just couldn't get a good shot. I told him I had and there are a few tricks to getting a good shot of the moon. Almost every photographer tries at some point to photograph the moon and most results are blurry, and too bright.

To get a better moon shot follow the tips below.

1. Shutter speed-Because of its rotation around the earth the moon is always moving. It moves slow, but it's fast enought that if you use a long shutter speed you will get a blurred picture.  You need to use the fastest shutterspeed that you can with the smallest aperture to keep the image sharp.  To get a good shot of the moon with a 300mm lens you should use a shutter speed of at least 350/second.

2. Exposure-  When photographing the moon, don't photograph it like a night subject.  The sun reflects off the moon and because of this the moon is actually really bright. It's like photographying a light bulb in a dark room.  What you want to do is to take a meter reading of the moon and then underexpose it by 1 stop.  It is also good to bracket your exposure.  You might wonder what "bracketing" means. What it means is to take several of the same shots at different exposures.  Take a shot at -1 stop and then one at -.5 stop and -1.5 stops.  You want to use the smallest f-stop possible so you can increase the depth of field in your photo.

3. Time to shoot- You would think the best time to photograph the moon is late at night, but it's not.  The best time to shoot the moon is just before  sunrise or right after sunset.  Ideally you want the sky to be a dark blue.  Because of the moons cycle, there are several times during the month where the moon rises and sets before dark night. Take advantage of these days if you can.

I hope this has been a helpful.  If you decide to try this out, send me your shot and I will add it to the site!
Thanks everyone!

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