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February 2013
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How to take great photos of the moon – Part 4




Read the previous post in this series (Taking some great moon shots – Part 3)

Tip 1096 (Learn how the timer on your camera works): A lot of people would not appreciate this comment, since they would ask about why does even need to explain how the timer works ? Well, a large number of people who I have spoken to, who are not expert, do not know how the timer on their camera works. Well, in most cameras, there will be a setting with a ‘clock’ kind of icon. Your manual might also call this as a self-timer. The cameras that I have seen which have a timer typically have 3 settings – 1. Turning the timer off; 2. Setting the timer to 2 seconds; and 3. Setting the timer to 10 seconds. The use of this timer is to set a delay for the camera; this ensures that the opening of the shutter happens with a delay after the button is pressed. This is meant to ensure that the photographer can make it into the composition of the photo (typically this means that the photographer runs to get into the frame of the photo after pressing the shutter button); the other use of this functionality is to cut out the shake in the camera. When you press the shutter button, there can be some shake of the camera due to pressing the button, and with this delay, the shake that happens in pressing of the button goes away.

Tip 1097 (Turn off Image Stabilization if using a tripod): This is not a rule for moon photography specifically; more of a rule generically for the use of a tripod. When you are using a tripod, then check whether the Image Stabilization mode on your camera is turned off (if not, then do so). If you are using a SLR, then this setting would be there on the lens (would be there on lens that have IS support).

Tip 1098 (Experiment with Black and White): When you look at moon shots, then you typically think only of the whiteness of the moon (and if you are getting details, then some darkness of the features on the moon) and the black sky. Experiment with converting your photos to Black & White rather than leaving them in the color state that you shot them in, and you might find a slight improvements in the photos that you are finally getting. You can convert the photos to Black & White in a software program; I use Photoshop, and Lightroom for doing this conversions.

Tip 1099 (Use a telescope by attaching the camera to the lens): If you have a telescope, then you can get some attachments that allow putting the camera lens right to the lens of the telescope, and you get some zooms that would not be possible with the zoom lens that are available with Digital SLR’s (or might be available at incredible costs). With this kind of device, you will be able to actually shoot exact details on the surface of the moon that would not be possible otherwise.
I read this great article on how to get started (Connecting cameras to telescopes)

Tip 1100 (Can stack multiple photos to get more details): I have seen some incredible photos where the level of detail seems to be more than that would be apparent in a normal photo. Then, when you read the comments or you search for more material, it seems clear that people have actually shot multiple shots at different exposure levels and then combined those photos (like you do in a HDR). A typical software to do that is called ‘Registax’, available at this site

Some great books and a filter (from Amazon):

The Digital Photography Book Night and Low-Light Photography Photo Workshop 1.25″ Orion 13% Transmission Moon Filter

Videos from Youtube on shooting the moon:

Shooting the moon Part 1

Shooting the moon part 2

How to Photograph the Moon, tutorial for video and still images

How to photograph the moon?

Read the next post in this series (Shooting great photos – Part 5)




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