David Besh

The moon is a very special celestial body.
At all times, creative people have looked to it for inspiration, lovers have looked to it for romance, astronomers have wanted to know everything about it, and all other people sometimes can’t ignore the moon either. Sometimes it looks so picturesque that even a person far from photography grabs a camera. And often the result is, to put it mildly, disheartening.

Moonlight Time.

So first of all let’s see, when is the best time to photograph the moon? You’re wondering what a strange question. But we can see the moon even during the day, so why wait until night?

Another thing is that we can never see the full moon in the daytime. Because for the moon to appear to us in all its glory, according to the laws of physics and astronomy, the sun must be on the other side, or precisely below the horizon. In this case, of course, it would be night, or, well, late evening, on our side.

Also, the moon is pale during the day. The moon is brightest and clearest in the darkest of nights. But still, the most interesting and picturesque moon is at sunrise or sunset. But it is also the most difficult time to photograph.

Lunar challenges.

Why is the most picturesque time also the most time-consuming for the photographer? The main problem is that the moon in the dark sky is quite bright and contrasting. Accordingly, if you adjust the camera so that the landscape looks good, the moon looks like a simple white spot. Otherwise, if you focus on getting a great shot of the celestial body, the landscape will come out too dark and incomprehensible.

And there’s one more point. If you see a huge moon outside, it might come out as a tiny bright dot. That’s not the result you’re hoping for.

Looking for a Solution.

According to photographic experience, the moon turns out best with a film camera with a telephoto lens because the film has a wider dynamic range than a digital camera. However, do not get upset right away, you can try to decently capture the moon with a digital camera as well.

We make the shutter speed shorter so that the moon does not come out as a white spot. In this case, we will be ready for the sky to appear darker in the frame than it is.

We will reduce the sensitivity, otherwise, there will be too much noise in the frame. We do not want that. You will have to increase the shutter speed to get a moonlit landscape. But in this case, the picture on the moon will disappear.

Meaning that the closer the moon is tilted to the horizon, the bigger and more majestic it appears, but the pattern on its surface is more blurred and the edges of the satellite seem to be torn. Because we are photographing the Moon through a thicker layer of atmosphere.

Watch the time.
The closer to the horizon line the moon is leaning, the faster and faster it hurries. So don’t get distracted, or we’ll miss the best part. For example, the passage of the moon behind some scenic object.

A professional does not need to be reminded, but an amateur should know that the moon should be shot in a place where no extraneous light sources, headlights of passing cars, street lamps, shop windows, etc. will interfere. If possible, you should go somewhere far away from the city where there is a lot of dirt and dust in the air, which will a priori spoil our picture.

It is also not worth using too long shutter speeds, because the celestial body is moving and in this mode of shooting, it will just blur in the photo. For the same reason, the moon should be photographed with the camera on a tripod, and use a remote control or self-timer.

In conclusion, we would like to wish readers interesting shoots and daring photographic experiments! Remember, knowing how to take pictures doesn’t end with knowing how to press the buttons on the camera. You have to find interesting subjects to take pictures of and choose the right conditions for taking them. Pay attention to the preparation for the shooting, planning. This is the key to successful shots.




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