Have you ever thought of taking “The Moon Shot” especially if you have a DSLR or a point and shoot with an optical zoom? I’m sure that whenever you see a beautiful moon, you think about taking a picture of it, especially when it's a full moon day. Well, there are many ways of taking the shot of the moon and here’s mine.
1) Does your moon look tiny in pictures?
I’m sure if you must have already attempted to take a picture of the moon and probably wondering as to why the moon looks small in comparison to what you saw while taking the picture?
The answer is that you are probably using a lens with a lower focal length than needed and a tele-photo lens is what you need here.
This also happens because of “Moon Illusion“, a phenomenon where the moon appears bigger to your eyes, but in reality it is not.
2) Why does the moon appears like white glowing ball?
When you take a picture of the moon, it looks like a white glowing ball rather than the moon… the reason behind this issue is that the moon was ‘overexposed’.
Now you must be wondering, how can we see the moon clearly and our camera cannot?
That’s because our eyes and brain are designed to see a broader range (“Dynamic range”) of light.
3) What's the best time to take the Moon shot?
The best time of the year is when the Moon is closest to earth also known as "Supermoon".
When our celestial neighbour – moon – is relatively close to Earth, these full moons will appear to be unusually large. That distance varies because the moon follows an elliptical orbit. When it's close and full, it appears bigger and brighter than normal.
4) Required equipments
1. A DSLR camera with a 200mm+ telephoto lens or a point and shoot camera with optical zoom ability. (The longer the lens, the better)
2. A tripod.
3. A teleconverter (Optional)
Adding a teleconverter will increase the overall focal length.
E.g. A 2.0x teleconverter will increase the focal length of a 200mm lens to 400mm.
5) Recommended camera settings
When it comes to shutter speed, aperture and ISO, here is what I recommend:
The aperture and shutter speeds shown here are not necessarily very accurate in every case. It will differ based upon the brightness of the moon as well. I would advise starting with the above camera settings and adjusting the shutter speed based on the brightness of the moon. If it is too bright, increase the shutter speed and if it is too dim, reduce it. Try to keep the aperture value between f/8 - f/11. Remember, the moon travels really fast, so the shutter speed should be certainly not below 1/100 of a second, especially when you are using a long telephoto lens.
FOR BEST RESULTS, Try Looney 11 rule:
In lunar photography, the Looney 11 rule (also known as the Looney f/11 rule) is a method of estimating correct exposures without a light meter. For daylight photography, there is a similar rule called the Sunny 16 rule.
The basic rule is, '"For astronomical photos of the moon's surface, set aperture to f/11 and shutter speed to the [reciprocal of the] ISO film speed [or ISO setting]."
With ISO 100 film / setting in the camera, one sets the aperture to f/11 and the shutter speed to 1/100 or 1/125 second (on some cameras 1/125 second is the available setting nearest to 1/100 second).
With ISO 200 film / setting and aperture at f/11, set shutter speed to 1/200 or 1/250.
With ISO 400 film / setting and aperture at f/11, set shutter speed to 1/400 or 1/500.
Now get your gear out, try it & share your experience..!!
Rohan Mishra Photography- Creative Weddings and lifestyle photoshoots.