Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Photographing The Moon

At the last class, several of you were asking about photographing the moon. Good timing, since we are right at Full Moon Aug. 1st. (While you are out, notice how much light is present and attempt a few shots of earthly objects. You can even try the "ghost" image shot we discussed or some light painting)
Basics to remember:
  • To fill the frame with the moon you will need a very long telephoto lens 600mm +. But it is still worth trying a moon shot for inclusion in other types of shots. (See Ansel Adams' Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941)
  • The moon is very bright. Some suggest the "sunny 16" rule for exposure: f/16 at same shutter speed as ISO. Example: ISO = 100 f stop = f/16 Shutter speed =100. There is a "loony 11" rule which uses the same idea but at f/11.
  • Keep in mind that atmospheric conditions can make a difference so exposure is something of a trial & error effort. Check and see if your camera will automatically bracket exposure re. - take one normal and one over and one under exposed. if not this is a good time to practice doing this manually as it can be used for most all of your photography.
  • Stability is important so use a tripod and hopefully a remote release - and since the moon is moving, OK the earth, check your framing.
Some tips on photographing the moon with a simple exposure calculator.
A good article on photographing the moon is Getting the Right Exposure When Photographing the Moon.
Thanks for a rewarding day. You folks were great!

– Dolph