Taking Pictures of the Moon
With the right equipment, a little time and planning, you can take great pictures of the Moon.
The Best Time for Moon Pics
Moonrise and Moonset are excellent times to get good Moon shots. The absolute best time is as the Moon is setting when the colors of the sky are rich, the surroundings are visible and the sun is rising.
Moon Phases or Full Moon?
- Check the weather! A cloudy sky will cover your moon, though a few clouds may give for an intersting scene.
- The full Moon is very bright. Good, clear Moon pictures are easier to achieve at the lesser Moon phases.
- A tripod or another stable surface where you can place your camera is useful to keep it still during slow shutter speeds.
- A remote shutter or the timer on the camera prevents the camera from moving or shaking as you shoot the picture.
- The moon is bright, so use a low ISO-setting of 100 or 200.
- Underexpose rather that overexpose the moon. The moon is bright and an apperture of at least 11 is reccomended, letting in less light.
- In low light situations the shutter speed may have to go down.
- Use the viewfinder. It makes it easier to see your composition and settings.
- A foreground subject, like for instance the moon over a city or landscape, might make the image more interesting.
- Allow yourself enough preparation time.
- Keep shooting! Play around with different exposures and apertures.
Mobile Camera or DSLR?
The challenge is to capture the details of the Moon's surface. With most mobile cameras, you can't manually set the exposure, which controls the amount of light in the image. Most likely, you will only manage to capture the light from the Moon, and the Moon itself might come out looking like a blurry dot of light in the sky.
Zoom, Tripod and Timer
Most mobile cameras also don't have a very powerful zoom. A zoom of 200mm and above is needed to make to Moon the focal point of the image and to capture the surface details.
Shutter Speed & ISO
In this Article
- When is the best time?
- Moon Phases or Full Moon?
- Mobile Camera or DSLR?
- Zoom, Tripod and Timer
- Shutter Speed & ISO
Sun & Moon Photo tips
- Taking pictures of the Sun
- Taking pictures of the Moon
Watch daylight move across the planet... More