Taking Pictures of the Moon

Alternate title:Â If moon was cookie!

moon1What do you do at 2 AM on a nice night? Probably sleep, if you have any common sense. Sadly, I lack that essential quality, so I go outside and take pictures of the moon. I have posted moon pictures before, and a few people have asked me how I get shots of the moon.  I am no pro photographer by any means and these pics are not that great, but they should help illustrate a few points. Here are the two things you will need:

  1. A tripod. You are going to be using long exposures. Unless you are a world class surgeon, your hands are not that steady.
  2. A camera. One with a decent amount of zoom is preferred. I was using a 70-300mm lens on my DSLR, but there are P&S super zoom cameras that will work just fine. If you do not have a lot of zoom, you just have to be a little more creative in your shot composition.

moon2Go outside on a moonlit night and start snapping away. The couple of shots I have in this post were on a cloudless night, so I used trees in my yard and focused on them instead of the moon. On cloudy nights, you can achieve some very cool effects when the clouds obscure part of the moon. A remote is also great to have, since you want to introduce as little vibration as possible to the camera that you have zoomed in to its limit. If you do not have a remote, see if your camera has a delayed activation where the picture is not captured until a second or two after you press the shutter release. Many cameras these days let you adjust the exposure time which will allow you to play around with different exposures to see which work best for your conditions.

You do not need a super senstive camera. The moon is plenty bright on its own, especially if you are zoomed in that far. I was shooting at ISO 100, and most cameras these days can go way higher than that. Go outside and see what you can get and be sure to let me know in the comments if you get some really good ones!