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Moon Photography Made Simple

Moon Photography It follows the Earth on our yearly trips around the sun. It’s a constant companion, ever changing and moving across the sky. It’s our moon. And it can be one of the trickiest objects to photograph. It’s existence as a wonderful reflector of light, most of the time against a black night sky, and its relative size can confound amateurs and pros alike.

So then, how do we photograph this wonderful satellite in all its glory? Today Peter Carey shares some moon photography tips.

First, remember the moon has its own Golden (or Magical) Hour for optimal effect. The Golden Hour for moon photography has a twist though. Because the moon’s rise and setting each night varies by nearly an hour each day, unlike the suns, you have to do a lot of planning ahead. Or just have dumb luck, look to the East and notice the moon is rising. If you prefer the planning route, this site from the US Navy provides both moon and sun rise and set times for any day or location you’d like, both US and International. And then using the graphical information at Full Moon Calendar.net, it’s easy to calculate the best time for shooting. A full moon rising usually gives the most dramatic shots as the moon is coming up just as the sun is setting (within about 20 minutes, give or take). So using either of the resources mentioned here will get you in the right ball park. And don’t forget to check your local weather forecast for rain.

Moon

Next, you’ll need a setting. While a picture of the moon by itself is always nice, placing something else in the frame will give a point of reference and bring quality to the moon. Catching it right as it comes over a mountain or desert or even the ocean. Place it between some trees, buildings or with action in the foreground. Anything that catches your fancy will do. But make sure the object is distant enough to help emphasize the moon. If you aren’t zoomed in enough, the moon will appear as a mere bright speck in the sky. So grab at least a 200mm zoom lens before you head out for best results. The longer the lens, the better (all images in this post were shot around 400mm). Renting a lens for a few great moon shots is another option that won’t break the bank and allow you to experiment.

Another reason the Golden Hour is so important is contrast. The ideal time to capture the moon near the horizon is when you can still see the horizon. If you were to capture the moon long afterPhotographing Moon the sun has set, say 3 hours, the foreground subject matter will not be illuminated and may not show well in the image. Or if the sky is already black, the moon will show as just a white blur if you attempt to brighten foreground objects. The image at left was taken in Utah just 20 minutes after the sun had set over the mountains to the West. If much more time had gone by, the clouds and hillside would be much less illuminated and the moon would have been less ‘oranged’. This time right around sunset can bring some interesting colors to the moon and is often referred to in the Autumn as the harvest moon.

While the Golden Hour for the moon is great for full or near full moon shots, you can still use the traditional Golden Hour around sunrise and sunset to capture half or crescent moons. This will take a little more work as the moon will be further off the horizon and thus subject matter will need a little more work in framing, but it can be done with great affect.

Spot metering will be your friend in shooting the moon. If your camera has it, use it while metering off the moon. Experiment with bracketing to bring out other objects in the frame. If your camera doesn’t have spot mode, it may still have a bracketing feature. Moon Photography Tips Use this along with biasing the exposure to underexpose everything. It’s better to have the foreground a little dark than the moon be completely blown out with no detail.

Lastly, give yourself time. Time to scout out a good location. Time to understand that unlike the sun, the moon’s rise and set move North and South by quite a bit each night. So take the time for a month or two to get to know the moon and its habits. You’ll be better set to capture a beautiful image with just a little effort.

What are some of your favorite techniques for capturing images of the moon? Do you have some amazing shots of the moon you’d like to share? Use the Comments section below to provide your input!

Peter is an avid photographer who enjoys travel, portraiture and wildlife photography. A travel related blog of his past and current shenanigans can be found at The Carey Adventures.

Peter West Carey is a world traveling photographer who now is spending a large amount of time going back through 6 years of travel photo and processing them like he should have to start with. He is also helping others learn about photography with the free series 31+ Days Of Photography Experiments which builds off of the 31+ Days To Better Photography series on his blog.

  • Dave Lister

    and any basic online star chart will tell you when and where the moon is up and the phase.
    http://www.skyviewcafe.com/skyview.php

    requires java

  • Bruce

    Surface of the moon with Canon SX50 on tripod. Not bad for a “point and shoot” non-DSLR. Tripods really help

Some older comments

  • kidzSocial

    September 1, 2012 08:39 pm

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  • George Santelices

    May 19, 2012 04:51 pm

    I love mixing shots of the moon with trees and clouds adds a little drama, the best way I can get good shots
    of this planet is playing by under or over exposing depending if your looking for a more dramatic shot I'd
    under expose my shots, here are some examples, great site, George
    (sorry I just can't add images, frustrating)

  • Charlene

    May 6, 2012 01:29 am

    Some amazing moon shots, ya'll! ;-)

    Moon over Yosemite cliffline.....

    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/stormygirl/5184710573/' title='Moon over the rim, Yosemite' url='http://farm2.staticflickr.com/1004/5184710573_7622ce8c51.jpg']

  • Charlene

    May 6, 2012 01:27 am

    A planned shoot of both wildlife and moon, but I didn't really expect being lucky enough to get them together. ;-)
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/stormygirl/3074038845/

    Moonrise over the Sonoma Coastline:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/stormygirl/3630527745/

  • Charlene

    May 6, 2012 01:23 am

    A chance encounter with the rising full moon in Plumas County, CA:
    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/stormygirl/2646870160/' title='moonrise, quincy' url='http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3083/2646870160_4c8499956b.jpg']

    Not a full moon, but one I planned to shoot in a great location--Mojave National Preserve.
    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/stormygirl/3418502600/' title='moonset over mojave' url='http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3395/3418502600_ba433a9940.jpg']

    Moonset, Eastern Sierra:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/stormygirl/4107934109/

    Moonset, wind farm:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/stormygirl/1806220079/

  • RUTH Yates

    May 5, 2012 05:45 pm

    This is my attempt at the moon using my 70-200mm L Series Lens, I have then added it to another photo which I took at the beach.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ruthyates/7144238465/

  • RUTH Yates

    May 5, 2012 05:41 pm

    Wow Gary, that is a great shot. You have captured great detail, what lense did you use.

  • RUTH Yates

    May 5, 2012 05:39 pm

    This is my moon shot, which I took using my 70-200mm l series lens, this is two pictures put together.[eimg url='flickr.com/photos/ruthyates/7144238465/photostream' title='photostream']

  • Gary Lamprecht

    May 5, 2012 02:31 am

    This is one of my favorite moon shots. We don't have a large amount of air traffic, but one night while shooting the moon, I noticed a red flashing light in the sky. My intent was to capture the moon with a red light near it; however, when I looked at what I had captured in my LCD review, I was quite pleased.

    This was taken at dusk, with the sky being relatively light and clear.

    This is one where I was able to get the best detail and contrast to really jump out well.

    And this is my attempt at trying to capture some dramatic effects of a moon shot with the clouds. I still need to work on this technique some more.

    I have some more moon shots and other pictures posted here:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gary_lamprecht/

  • Sean Parker

    May 5, 2012 01:58 am

    Last year's super moon

    [eimg url='https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/190282_10150160817934400_506759399_8017836_3262793_n.jpg' title='190282_10150160817934400_506759399_8017836_3262793_n.jpg']

  • John Keedy

    March 2, 2012 06:59 am

    Good article, enjoyed reading it. I use Soluna to get the sun & moon rise and set times. Also I use The Photographers Ephemeris to find the direction the sun and moon will rise and set. You can put in your location and get a map display. Really helps in determining where to set up for the moon rise shots. John

  • Jim Yeh

    January 15, 2012 06:12 pm

    I just learned that there is a thing called earthshine, lights reflected from the cloud and moisture of the earth to the dark side of the moon, so we can see more mountains and craters of the moon. So my earlier comment to be adjusted.

  • Jim Yeh

    January 15, 2012 05:53 pm

    Linked are moon shots 5 days after the full moon. At full moon, one gets beautiful round image but it would NOT give you as much contour detail because the sun beam is almost shining and reflecting at the normal angle. When off the full moon, one sees much more depth information from craters at the edges because the sun light is more from the oblique angle to the moon surface then reflected to the earth.

    These shots were all using Canon 60D. EF 70-300mm L lens, extending to the 300mm. ISO 100. Due to the dark background, if the ISO is too high, you tend to recognize the noise. Also remember to remove any filters. The surfaces of the filter will give you secondary images due to surface reflection no matter how clean it is, unless it has the perfect anti-reflection coating. I use the manual focus with Image Stabilization off with the camera on a tripod. Use either the remote trigger or delay shutter to avoid the lens shake. Because the moon moves quite fast, avoid to have very long exposure.

    On Jan 14, just passed the midnight of Jan 13, 2012
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/24313505@N05/sets/72157628875272087/

    Full Moon on Jan 8, 2012 early evening
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/24313505@N05/sets/72157628800992433/

  • sreeram

    March 23, 2011 02:38 am

    Hi Can You guys please comment , how this can be improveed further.

    I have taken using Canon 7d with 400mm FD lens using an adaptor.

    Really appreciate your comments

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/34048470@N03/5549835503/

  • Ruth Francisco

    March 22, 2011 02:24 pm

    Canon Powershot SX200IS, ISO 100, f/5.3, 1/80, handheld [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/ruthfrancisco/5500739321/' title='Nakasilip na Buwan' url='http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5011/5500739321_dc71f7cc75.jpg']

  • Ruth Francisco

    March 22, 2011 02:23 pm

    Canon Powershot SX200IS, ISO 100, f/5.3, 1/80, handheld

    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/ruthfrancisco/5500739321/' title='Nakasilip na Buwan' url='http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5011/5500739321_dc71f7cc75.jpg']

  • pals

    March 20, 2011 11:16 am

    Team ,

    while taking moon pic i am getting a blue spot, now sure what is this ??

  • Ruth Francisco

    March 18, 2011 03:07 am

    Canon Powershot SX200IS, ISO 100, f/5.3, 1/80, handheld

  • Patrick

    January 21, 2011 10:12 am

    I found with my Canon point and shoot SX20IS that I got blown out pics of the moon until I switched to Tv (shutter speed priority), then moved to the fastest shutter speed. As I learn more, I'm sure I'll be able to go into manual mode and do even more cool stuff.

  • juzhax

    January 19, 2011 10:53 pm

    I've my setting for my camera too, wish this can help.

    http://www.justin.my/2011/01/how-to-take-moon-shoot-using-fujifilm-hs-10-hs-20/

  • sreeram

    August 25, 2010 04:18 am

    here are another set of pictures i have taken with my canon 7d and Canon FD 400mm lens ..

    please advice what i am doing wrong here ..[eimg url='http://picasaweb.google.com/sreeram.boppana/Moon?authkey=Gv1sRgCKWOg5n75_GkuQE#' title='Moon?authkey=Gv1sRgCKWOg5n75_GkuQE#']

  • sreeram

    August 25, 2010 04:07 am

    Here are few pics i have taken can you please advice what am i doing wrong ..

    I am using a Canon 7d with Canon FD 400mm lens with an adaptor[eimg url='C:\Canon\2010_08_21\IMG_3308.JPG' title='C:\Canon\2010_08_21\IMG_3308.JPG']

  • daniel roman

    August 23, 2010 02:51 am

    this is some of my work with the moon

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/darosch/sets/72157622370646804/

  • ThierryD

    July 13, 2010 12:36 am

    Hello,
    to photograph moon, night stars and night sky, i use an equatorial plane.
    It is easy to make it and this cost is around 50 Dollards.
    I take photography with my 300mm (450mm on my SLR camera) with exposure time has higher than 2 minutes.
    All explanations to make it on my website.

  • GradyPhilpott

    June 20, 2010 11:54 am

    I was walking to my car one afternoon when I looked up and saw the moon. I tried using some tree branches in the foreground, but they just made the picture look too busy. So then some clouds came by and I shot this and cropped out the branches in the lower corner.

    Nikon D3000, 18-200 VRII, hand held.

    [eimg url='http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y33/GradyPhilpott/Misc/fe61da14.jpg' title='fe61da14.jpg']

  • James

    April 23, 2010 07:26 pm

    Less moon, more clouds

    [url=http://www.servimg.com/image_preview.php?i=106&u=11134861][eimg url='http://i63.servimg.com/u/f63/11/13/48/61/mooncl10.jpg' title='mooncl10.jpg'][/url]

  • June Pryor

    April 20, 2010 10:53 pm

    Moon Shot. I cropped this of course.[eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/32025657@N07/4537933962/' title='DSC_5230' url='http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4071/4537933962_2cae025abb.jpg']

  • June Pryor

    April 20, 2010 10:52 pm

    This moon shot was taken over the beach in Barbados in the very early hours before the sun comes up.
    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/32025657@N07/4537301315/' title='DSC_6744' url='http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2792/4537301315_fd028f61c5.jpg'][eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/32025657@N07/4537931816/' title='DSC_6739' url='http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2751/4537931816_17a39223be.jpg']

  • Amy

    April 19, 2010 04:03 am

    I loved all the photos that everyone has submitted.I felt I finally have one to add .This is my first attempt with my Canon xs.I have a Meade ETX attached with a T-mount to my slr.There is no exif data available with this setup so I dont really have info.I checked and all I found was 1/80 shutter speed.I have a small issue of not being able to fit a full moon into my frame completly as you can see a part is always missing.[eimg url='mg 0611' title='mg 0611']

  • Everett K. Tipton

    April 18, 2010 08:09 am

    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/blueridge60/4529467426/' title='full moon high_700px' url='http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4045/4529467426_4c0fdeef03_o.jpg']

  • Rob

    April 18, 2010 07:26 am

    thanks for article
    moon shots should either very close up with details or situated with other recognisable objects to give sense of scale.

    aerial shot
    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/rahsoft/3360431473/' title='Moscow to Doha- Iran- Elburz mountains and Moon' url='http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3549/3360431473_7e3f21ee6a.jpg']

    weather shot
    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/rahsoft/3191289721/' title='Moon on a cloudy night in Doha' url='http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3362/3191289721_09fa0219cc.jpg']

    cityscape shot
    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/rahsoft/3606854881/' title='West Bay Moon' url='http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2447/3606854881_c7bcdbba6b.jpg']

    Regards

  • Richard Glenn

    April 18, 2010 06:20 am

    I take many shots at this location so I was just waiting for the right time and cooperative weather for this image.

    ]http://www.pbase.com/rjgjr/image/120966229[/img]

  • j yant

    April 18, 2010 04:17 am

    [eimg url='http:www.flickr.com/photos/teabagr68/' title='teabagr68'] I loved all the photos.Now I feel I finally have one to share.I have a canon xs and a Meade ETX telescope attached to it with a T-mount.this is my first attempt with this camera of the moon.i have no exif data bc the telescope isnt recognized by the camera and I basically shot in manual mode until I had a shot I liked.I did edit this in picassa just to make it black and white.

  • Everett K. Tipton

    April 18, 2010 03:51 am

    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/blueridge60/4528138613/' title='full moon high_700px' url='http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4042/4528138613_62fc12c7df.jpg']

  • Everett K. Tipton

    April 18, 2010 03:48 am

    This is a Full Moon picture I took several years ago of my Great Grandparents farm house. My Grandfather grew up in this house and so did my mother. It was built at the end of the Civil War and is still owned by my mother and her family. I used a 35mm camera and Ektachrome film and a time lapsed exposure. I pushed processed the film. It took me a year to take this picture because I had to wait until the full moon was in the right spot which was October at about midnight. The reason for the right month, day and time is that you have to look straight up to see the sky. The farm is completely surrounded by mountains.

  • j

    April 18, 2010 03:45 am

    I loved all the photos that everyone has submitted.I felt I finally have one to add .This is my first attempt with my Canon xs.I have a Meade ETX attached with a T-mount to my slr.There is no exif data available with this setup so I dont really have info.I checked and all I found was 1/80 shutter speed.I have a small issue of not being able to fit a full moon into my frame completly as you can see a part is always missing.[eimg url='mg 0611' title='mg 0611']

  • Everett K. Tipton

    April 18, 2010 03:45 am

  • Everett K. Tipton

    April 18, 2010 03:38 am

    This is a Full Moon picture I took several years ago of my Great Grandparents farm house. My Grandfather grew up in this house and so did my mother. It was built at the end of the Civil War and is still owned by my mother and her family. I used a 35mm camera and Ektachrome film and a time lapsed exposure. I pushed processed the film. It took me a year to take this picture because I had to wait until the full moon was in the right spot which was October at about midnight. The reason for the right month, day and time is that you have to look straight up to see the sky. The farm is completely surrounded by mountains.[img]

    http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4042/4528138613_3fb6b4a03b_o.jpg[/img]

  • Pedro Cedeno

    April 18, 2010 03:28 am

    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/pedroxwalkman/4254485275/' title='Moonraker' url='http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2649/4254485275_55d97f55b0.jpg']

  • Aleruete

    April 17, 2010 08:59 pm

    Another good tool to plan for your Moon shooting session is Stellarium!
    http://www.stellarium.org/
    It will show you at what time will the moon appear at your exact position on the Earth! Not only that, but you will also see how high will be the Sun when the moon is rising.
    Give it a go! and play with astronomy.
    I'm still waiting to take "that" picture!
    Cheers,
    Ale

  • Govind

    April 17, 2010 07:53 pm

    Got this shot in Kruger National Park. I call it the "African Moon rise"

    [eimg url='http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af106/govindrv/Kruger%20National%20Park/Africanmoonrise.jpg?t=1271497843' title='Africanmoonrise.jpg?t=1271497843']

  • Shyfotogrfr

    April 17, 2010 04:14 am

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/shyfotogrfr/4397744739/

    I could only see the part of the tree that was directly in front of the moon.

  • Omar

    April 16, 2010 10:43 pm

    I am new to photography and still practicing. I took a shot of the Moon 2 weeks ago when it was full. I used EF 70-200 with 2x extender, shutter speed was 1/320 and ISO 200.

    Originak shot:
    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2710/4476632011_093c5c91f7_b.jpg

    Cropped shot:
    http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4016/4515012292_39886b13e2_b.jpg

  • Daniel*1977

    April 16, 2010 09:36 pm

    Few of mine moon shots, old but i like it. No special lens, just old Samsung Pro815 :)
    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/didmyself/3190387259/' title='On the blue sky' url='http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3306/3190387259_b0249775b4.jpg']
    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/didmyself/2991696668/' title='Full' url='http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3039/2991696668_d4153d39cc.jpg']
    This is bad but i like it most
    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/didmyself/2145309659/' title='Blue sky' url='http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2264/2145309659_63ea748928.jpg']

  • Mike

    April 16, 2010 08:06 pm

    Here's an attempt I made of a sillhouette in front of the moon
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3584/3345475564_4bb3c9f513_b.jpg

  • Mike

    April 16, 2010 08:03 pm

    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/maikl65/3345475564/' title='Birds Look At Moon' url='http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3584/3345475564_4bb3c9f513.jpg']

  • Mike

    April 16, 2010 07:39 pm

    I tried a silhouette in front of the moon with my little canon. [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/maikl65/3345475564/' title='Birds Look At Moon' url='http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3584/3345475564_4bb3c9f513.jpg']

  • Antonio

    April 16, 2010 05:22 pm

    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/3darcastudio/4386286152/' title='Luna 24 Febbraio 2010' url='http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4005/4386286152_b862d84e14.jpg']

    Mi first shoot of the moon

  • Antonio

    April 16, 2010 05:20 pm

    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/3darcastudio/4386286152/' title='Luna 24 Febbraio 2010' url='http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4005/4386286152_b862d84e14.jpg']

    My first shoot of the moon.
    I'm italian, escuseme for mi english.

  • Ross Cataldo

    April 16, 2010 04:51 pm

    [eimg url='http://project365.com.au/ross/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/Half-Moon-800x554.jpg' title='Half-Moon-800x554.jpg']
    Canon 40D | Canon L 100-400mm | Hand Held

    [eimg url='http://project365.com.au/ross/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/Moon-800x533.jpg' title='Moon-800x533.jpg']
    Canon 40D | Canon L 100-400mm | Tripod

    [eimg url='http://project365.com.au/ross/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/moon2-800x561.jpg' title='moon2-800x561.jpg']
    Canon 40D | Canon L 100-400mm | Tripod

    Enjoy

    Ross Cataldo
    http://www.project365.com.au

  • Ross Cataldo

    April 16, 2010 04:48 pm

    [eimg url='http://project365.com.au/ross/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/Half-Moon-800x554.jpg' title='Half-Moon-800x554.jpg'][img]
    Canon 40D | Canon L 100-400mm | Hand Held

    http://project365.com.au/ross/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/Moon-800x533.jpg[/img][img]
    Canon 40D | Canon L 100-400mm | Hand Held

    http://project365.com.au/ross/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/moon2-800x561.jpg[/img]
    Canon 40D | Canon L 100-400mm | Hand Held

  • ruth

    April 16, 2010 03:07 pm

    http://flickr.com/photos/ruthyates

    Sorry about the error this is the correct web site,

  • ruth

    April 16, 2010 02:56 pm

    check out my photo of the moon which I took over Easter, while on holidays.

  • Keeny

    April 16, 2010 12:53 pm

    reading DPS is learning something new, everyday.

    I shot moon sometime back. Started shooting in the evening where the sky was bright, used ND4 filter to kill the brightness in the sky and focus on the light from moon. I got the shot I wanted when the sky got dark enough for it to appear black in ND filter..

    [eimg url='http://keeny.smugmug.com/Landscapes/Moon/20100124-Moon-90/838126944_Crk9i-S.jpg' title='838126944_Crk9i-S.jpg']

  • Keeny

    April 16, 2010 12:50 pm

    reading DPS is learning something new, everyday.

    I shot moon sometime back. Started shooting in the evening where the sky was bright, used ND4 filter to kill the brightness in the sky and focus on the light from moon. I got the shot I wanted when the sky got dark enough for it to appear black in ND filter..

    [img]http://keeny.smugmug.com/Landscapes/Moon/20100124-Moon-90/838126944_Crk9i-S.jpg[img]

  • Chris Sowers

    April 16, 2010 11:37 am

    I got lucky with this one. Just messing around one night, tripod mounted using 10 second timer (no remote) got this nice jumbo jet entering the picture! Sigma 70-300 f4-5.6 on a Canon 50D. f/14 1/25 ISO200[eimg url='http://s979.photobucket.com/albums/ae273/casowers/Moon/?action=view&current=IMG_4939.jpg' title='?action=view&current=IMG_4939.jpg']

  • James Brown

    April 16, 2010 10:18 am

    Hey, that's great man, thanks! I'll go try it! Sounds like I have to be really patient though, because you only get one shot a month at a full moon, and a short time at that, and there's a good chance it'll be cloudy, but after your suggestions I think I'll just try to be more observant of where and when the moon rises each night, even if I don't have my camera.
    And might I add, that was a lovely opening paragraph. I never thought about the moon as such a 'Companion.'

  • Cecelia D

    April 16, 2010 09:49 am

    I've not been very successful with any moon shots like I often see with all the craters and shadows, but I have taken 2 that I like somewhat.

    [eimg url='C:\Documents and Settings\Cecelia\Desktop\Screen saver\DSCN0033' title='C:\Documents and Settings\Cecelia\Desktop\Screen saver\DSCN0033']

    [eimg url='C:\Documents and Settings\Cecelia\Desktop\Screen saver\' 21' title='C:\Documents and Settings\Cecelia\Desktop\Screen saver\' 21']

  • Alex

    April 16, 2010 08:07 am

    These are my attempts

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexesseling/4182497928/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexesseling/4182290726/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexesseling/4150760921/

  • Mark

    April 16, 2010 07:54 am

    Thanks for the tips, these would help me a lot because i've been trying to shoot the moon and its so hard. I'll try what you said in your article.

  • Srini Sadasivam

    April 16, 2010 07:29 am

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/7dguy/4474687797/

  • Linda Holmes

    April 16, 2010 06:02 am

    Found the green ring around the moon in this shot - I love it
    [eimg url='DSCF2051_2.JPG' title='DSCF2051_2.JPG']

  • Matt Vargo

    April 16, 2010 05:31 am

    I got pretty lucky with this shot at the golden hour, across the horizon from the sun. I was at full zoom on my point & shoot to allow the moon size to appear pretty large.
    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/mattvargo/3957355311/' title='' url='http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2634/3957355311_d76661d7e5.jpg']

  • Matt Vargo

    April 16, 2010 05:27 am

    I got pretty fortunate with this one at the golden hour. I believe it was at full zoom on my point & shoot, allowing the moon to look pretty big.

    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/mattvargo/3957355311/' title='' url='http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2634/3957355311_d76661d7e5.jpg']

  • Mid0

    April 16, 2010 05:17 am

    (Re-posted with inline images)
    You have to remember too that sometimes you may want to put the longest lens on a crop sensor. For example a 200mm on a Canon 7D is 320mm or on a Nikon D70 is 300mm. As opposed to using 200mm on a 5D Mark II it’s still 200mm.

    However, the file size will be large from a 5D Mark II, which you can post crop to highlight the moon. You’re better of with a crop sensor camera and a decent telephoto lens.

    I like using foreground with my moon shots. Buildings and or clouds…

    Read more: http://digital-photography-school.com/moon-photography-made-simple#ixzz0lCKZlKXw

    Moon in New York
    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/hamada/2173292843/' title='Moon in New York' url='http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2310/2173292843_372d86d3b6.jpg']
    Moon in the clouds
    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/hamada/2913140272/' title='moon after sunset in the middle of the clouds' url='http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3129/2913140272_fcb9cf84d1.jpg']

  • bmc

    April 16, 2010 05:07 am

    Here's a few tips if you're just trying to capture a 'moon shot'. The Moon is giving off more light than you think. Even during the darkest time of night, capturing a full moon and it's details without blowing it out requires settings pretty close to "daytime" conditions. There is a "Looney 11" rule that gives you a starting point with your settings: f/11 with a shutter speed of 1/ISO. So, if using an ISO of 400, use a shutter speed of 1/400. Just fine tune from this starting point. If you want to use a larger aperture, your shutter speed will be shorter, a smaller aperture and shutter speed will be longer. When The Moon is less than full, your shutter speed will become longer as The Moon becomes 'less'.

    I think for most of us, our natural reaction at first is to get a shot of the full moon. These can be some great images with nice detail of the light and dark areas. But the full moon is the time when The Sun is hitting The Moon straight on, flattening out all of the 3D details...(think pop-up flash). At half moon and less, the 3D details of craters really start to show, especially along the line between the shadow and light and near the edges of The Moon. Just remember that you will have to increase exposure from your full moon starting point as less of The Moon is 'shining'.

    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/bryansimages/4314769141/' title=''Wolf Moon' , January 29th, 2010' url='http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4050/4314769141_5aaa339d4e.jpg']
    f/11 1/100 ISO100 300mm

    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/bryansimages/3814009591/' title='AnotherMoon' url='http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3449/3814009591_880ee52cfc.jpg']
    f/5.6 1/80 ISO100 300mm

  • Esdeebee

    April 16, 2010 04:40 am

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/es_deebee/4523395047/

  • Lara Farhadi

    April 16, 2010 04:16 am

    Finding the right setup can be a challenge sometimes. I got lucky a couple of times with this one. It was night time and the clouds were out barely covering the moon. A tripod is a must! http://www.flickr.com/photos/peruvianprincess/3894866361/in/set-72157622272734564/

  • Arne

    April 16, 2010 04:16 am

    I took these last full moon, about 5 minutes apart.

    Squat, pink moon http://myrabo.com/4images/details.php?image_id=621

    "Normal" moon http://myrabo.com/4images/details.php?image_id=622

    Tripod, spot metering & focus (on the moon), Exif data in links

  • Mike Munro

    April 16, 2010 03:39 am

    I have used a x2 and x1.4 convertor in series with a 50-500mm lens. You have to under expose yes, you have to line the camera up so that the moon moves into the viewfinder. You can get two maybe three photos in before the moon moves out of the view finder again. You must use a tripod and a remote control, any touching of the camera will give you camera shake. On the photos I can see the craters on the moon and the shadows inside the craters, this gives me a great sense of achievement and satisfaction.

  • Tanya

    April 16, 2010 03:38 am

    I was wondering, Ansel Adams knew the apature of the moon. How do we find the apature of the moon?

  • Adriana Reyes-Newell

    April 16, 2010 03:00 am

    I have found that precious hour before sunrise to be amazing! Also, the time just at sunset.[eimg url='http://www.adrianareyesnewell.com/Wildlife/Bosque-del-Apache-Winter-2010/bosque2010am/781310421_E6eYa-M.jpg' title='781310421_E6eYa-M.jpg']
    [eimg url='http://www.adrianareyesnewell.com/Wildlife/Bosque-del-Apache-Winter-2010/bosque2010winterpm-41/780920591_64tiy-M.jpg' title='780920591_64tiy-M.jpg']
    [eimg url='http://www.adrianareyesnewell.com/Wildlife/Bosque-del-Apache-Winter-2010/bosque2010winterpm-46/780920680_HU8vD-M.jpg' title='780920680_HU8vD-M.jpg']

  • Mid0

    April 16, 2010 02:55 am

    You have to remember too that sometimes you may want to put the longest lens on a crop sensor. For example a 200mm on a Canon 7D is 320mm or on a Nikon D70 is 300mm. As opposed to using 200mm on a 5D Mark II it's still 200mm.

    However, the file size will be large from a 5D Mark II, which you can post crop to highlight the moon. You're better of with a crop sensor camera and a decent telephoto lens.

    I like using foreground with my moon shots. Buildings and or clouds...
    Moon in New York
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/hamada/2173292843

    Moon in the clouds
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/hamada/2913140272

  • Adriana Reyes-Newell

    April 16, 2010 02:54 am

    morning and sunset hours are the best.

    [eimg url='http://www.adrianareyesnewell.com/Wildlife/Bosque-del-Apache-Winter-2010/bosque2010winterpm-46/780920680_HU8vD-M.jpg' title='780920680_HU8vD-M.jpg']
    [eimg url='http://www.adrianareyesnewell.com/Wildlife/Bosque-del-Apache-Winter-2010/bosque2010am/781310421_E6eYa-M.jpg' title='781310421_E6eYa-M.jpg']

  • Rosmary Tufaro

    April 16, 2010 02:43 am

    Of course you can always cheat and use a moon brush for photoshop. :)

  • Shariq

    April 16, 2010 02:24 am

    [eimg url='http://lh4.ggpht.com/_vyzh6gdmWI4/S0pci5uuU5I/AAAAAAAAOy0/7gGJsynYwWM/s512/Kilimanjaro!%20(27%20of%2053).jpg' title='Kilimanjaro!%20(27%20of%2053).jpg']

    I'm obsessed with moon photography too! Quite challenging to get the exposure right because if you expose for the moon, you don't get the foreground and if you expose for the foreground, you get a blown out moon. Thanks for the tip about the Golden Hour. I had discovered this, inadvertently, when attempting to photograph a crescent moon over Mt Kilimanjaro (wanting to emphasise the insignificance of even Mt Kili in comparison the universe). A bit different from the typical moon pic, so I am eager to know what people think. [http://picasaweb.google.com/sharsidd/Kilimanjaro#5425250455803286418]

    More pics, of a full moon over the Mediterranean, to follow shortly...

  • Paul

    April 16, 2010 02:11 am

    This cool App shows Sun/Moon rise/set info on a map and runs on any platform via Adobe AIR, and the blog associated with it indicates there is an IPhone version coming out. It's very useful.
    The Photographer's Ephemeris

  • Ann Strober

    April 16, 2010 01:58 am

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/42195097@N03/4523672704/

  • Ann Strober

    April 16, 2010 01:57 am

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/42195097@N03/4523672826/

  • Ann Strober

    April 16, 2010 01:56 am

    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/42195097@N03/4523039777/' title='DSC_0014' url='http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4070/4523039777_84d2a02b0a.jpg']

  • MSunflower

    April 16, 2010 01:53 am

    This is the first good shot of the moon I EVER took. http://m--sunflower.blogspot.com/2009/12/moon.html I was so very proud!!

  • MisterSimbol

    April 16, 2010 01:48 am

    Thanks for this article and it inspired me to take a moonshot for this year. I've done this in the past when I still had my Canon 55-250 but now, my longest FL is 105mm. I think I need to borrow a zoom lens again for this!

    Here's my take:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mistersimbol/3098328434/

  • hfng

    April 16, 2010 12:02 am

    Err .. what kinds of settings on the camera do you use?

  • Giovanni

    April 15, 2010 09:45 pm

    Hi,
    The idea of knowking the Golden hour for moon photography is enlightening!

    I have recently shot the moon on my Sony H50. It was a crescent moon, so I tried to frame it first in the surrounding and then zoomed in completely.

    The second and third picture in this post says this:

    http://giovannidcunha.wordpress.com/2010/03/22/weekend-by-candlelight/

  • Shyfotogrfr

    April 15, 2010 09:40 pm

    I love to shoot the moon too. I recently went out to shoot a full moon just as it rose over my (new) neighbor's house. She happened to be standing in a large picture window at the time and thought I was aiming at the inside of her house. She came outside to question me! I got a great shot though. It wasn't until I'd been shooting the moon for a long time that I realized we only ever see one side of the moon. I always use a tripod, crop and sharpen to get the most detail...

  • Karen Stuebing

    April 15, 2010 07:26 pm

    The only really good moon shot I have ever got was dumb luck. I was driving along and saw it right at sunset so I had enough light to get the foreground.

    I never knew that moonrise varied by an hour.

    Great article and this lunatic will be trying again armed with this information.

  • go15

    April 15, 2010 05:59 pm

    I like this article. I have been taking pics of the moon since I got my hands on my 55-250mm. I was able to capture the two blue moons of January and March. I would wait until after the sunset, 10pm shot, woke up at 3am just to take a pic of the full moon, and take a picture of it again before sunrise....XD

  • JJ

    April 15, 2010 12:37 pm

    @anup maurya well, to get the details in a moon you have have to underexpose the picture, because the metering system gets confused with a lot of black and then a very bright object, so you need a camera with some manual control to underexpose it.

  • Ken Klassy

    April 15, 2010 11:44 am

    A few of mine. No fancy lenses, in fact the first two are test shots with my Canon 5D Mark II. the first one is my favorite:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kenklassy/3145047713/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kenklassy/3145883836/

    This one was taken in Antarctica. While the moon websites above are interesting they do not help me out down here, Southern Hemisphere and all.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kenklassy/3844236205/

  • SusanG

    April 15, 2010 09:40 am

    Excellent post! I've been photographing the full moons from the same spot for over a year now. The positive is complete familarity with the terrain, the negative is complete familarity with the terrain. Ironically, the most outrageous shot of the moon I've taken was this past New Year's Eve Lunar Eclipse handheld last minute impulse from my back garden! I've also used a 4 Stop ND Grad with some positive results as I'm then able to open up the aperture and slow down shutter without blowing out the moon and get more detail from the landscape. (Don't slow that shutter down too much though because the moon moves fast enough to blur).

  • freshbasil

    April 15, 2010 08:55 am

    i've always liked this one, though the moon is small.

  • JamesC

    April 15, 2010 08:36 am

    @anup maurya: I have a (admittedly old) Coolpix too. If you set it to auto, and then go into the shooting menu (or the equivalent on your camera), there may be a setting to adjust exposure compensation. This will likely appear as "Exp. +/-". Set it to a negative value to expose the sensor to less light therefore reducing blowouts in the highlights and preserving detail in your moon. Good luck!

    -James

  • JamesC

    April 15, 2010 08:30 am

    How delightfully serendipitous! I'm picking up the Sigma 150-500mm this week and have been looking forward to doing some moon shots.

  • anup maurya

    April 15, 2010 06:52 am

    thank you for such a great post. i have a query:-
    i have a P&S camera with 3.6x optical zoom (nikon coolpix l20), as you have mentioned that a high zoomis required for shooting moon. i have even tried but what i got was a bright burned out spot of light with no details at all of moon's beauty!
    any suggestion how can i achieve the feat with my gear?

  • Ineta McParland

    April 15, 2010 06:44 am

    Thank you for a great post, full of great information. I love to experiment with moon shots. Although I do not have a strong camera, I love to make art with different techniques. You can see my moon shot here against what appears to be red sky.
    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/aneye4wonder/3371224524/' title='Red Night' url='http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3469/3371224524_fd771d69f6.jpg']

  • Arne

    April 15, 2010 06:36 am

    I caught this "Full Worm Moon" when my wife notified me it was rising. Fat, squashed and pink.

    [eimg url='http://myrabo.com/4images/details.php?image_id=621' title='details.php?image_id=621']

    - and five minutes later, more normal looking :)

    [eimg url='http://myrabo.com/4images/details.php?image_id=622' title='details.php?image_id=622']

    I used tripod, spot metering & focus (on the moon), 12s shutter release. EXIF data is on the links.

  • sil3ncer7

    April 15, 2010 06:35 am

    For a little more advanced, I have my Rebel XSi with my intervalometer and my 250mm lens, piggybacked to my goto Meade telescope and set it to focus on the moon and I can run longer exposures without blur.

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