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7 Tips for Capturing Great Images of the Moon

The moon is an easily looked over subject for landscape and astrophotography. For beginners it can be surprisingly difficult to capture well, and for veterans of photography it can be difficult to get it to align with all the elements of your frame. Here are seven great tips for capturing the moon more effectively.

As much as I enjoy astrophotography, the moon isn't something I've spent any time to trying to capture. I hadn't realized this until I watched Serge Ramelli's newest video. I'm not much of a landscape photographer, but in the few images I've taken at night that weren't of the stars, I was using the moon to paint light on the foreground and scenery, rather than capturing the moon itself in the frame.

My favorite tip from this list is one I use regularly with the sun, too. That is, shoot with as long a focal length as you can manage. During my sunset photographs of surfers earlier in the year I was shooting on a MFT body with a 35mm equivalent reach of 600-1200mm depending on whether I was using a 2x teleconverter or not. This increased the size of the sun in the frame to make it look huge and it works exactly the same with the moon. In fact, if you wait for one of the supermoon dates, you can combine the two to brilliant effect.

Share your best tips for photographing the moon in the comment section below.

Robert K Baggs's picture

Robert K Baggs is a professional portrait and commercial photographer, educator, and consultant from England. Robert has a First-Class degree in Philosophy and a Master's by Research. In 2015 Robert's work on plagiarism in photography was published as part of several universities' photography degree syllabuses.

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The moon is relatively easy to catch because it's so bright. However you have to move fast at high magnifications because the travel, especially when rising (where it's apparent size is largest), is greatly magnified. Here's one grab I made over NYC with an old 300mm f/4.5 Ai Nikkor on a Nikon 1 J4 (giving an 810mm equivalent FF FOV), I believe I was f5.6 at 1/10 sec at ISO 800.