We have a nice almost full moon out tonight, and just after sunset it was inviting me to take a picture of it from my front porch. I have to admit upfront, that I did almost no preparation. Simply grabbed my camera, which happend to have a 70-200 F4L lens attached, leaned against the pillar to steady myself, and snapped off a few frames.
When I ran inside and loaded them onto the computer, it was almost immediately obvious that I wouldn't be sharing any of those shots.
... they were all way overexposed, with no detail at all.
Crap, I forgot how to take a picture of the moon.
So if my problem is over exposure, I need a faster shutter speed, a smaller aperture, or both. Ok, let's try this again ...
I manually set my camera to ISO 100, F11, and 1/400 sec exposure, and when back out to lean against the pillar.
The picture at the top of the page is what I got. It's not the greatest moon shot in the world, but for a spur of the moment, run outside and snap away, I'll take it.
However, one of these nights I might actually have to plan for some good pictures of the moon. I can use a lot of the same tips I've already written about in How to take fireworks pictures.
- I'm going to go to the garage and get my tripod
- I'm going to dig through my camera bag to find my remote shutter release
- I'm going to continue to use the manual settings on my camera, but I'll take a few more test shots at different settings. Ideally I'd own a light meter.
- Since I own a (quality) lens that extends out to 500mm, that's really what needs to be on my camera if I only want the moon in the frame
- However, just like with fireworks, it might be more interesting if I could position my tripod to try to capture something interesting in the foreground .. even though it will almost certainly be in silhouette.
- I'll take quite a few shots, then probably spend an hour or two editing ... to come up with one or two picture that I like. ;-)
So did I miss anything?
What are some of your favorite secrets for getting really good pictures of the moon?