Are you fascinated with the moon like I am. I think it’s one of God’s miracles just hanging there in the sky providing night light. When you look at a large photo of the moon like this, you can just see everything on that body. Craters, mountains, etc. are all part of the moon. How is the best way to take a photo of the moon? Well here is some things to consider:
The moon is lit by the sun.
The moon is nothing more than the sun shining on this body of planet. To expose for the moon then, you will probably have to shoot this manually. What is the normal exposure then when you take pictures in the middle of the day? Shutter speed at 1/60 of a second, or do you set it higher, like 1/250 second? And then what is the aperture setting? Around F16 or so? The standard Kodak setting in daylight with the old 100 speed film was 1/125 second at F16 for daylight photography. BINGO. Try that setting for the moon! It is just lit up from the sun, and the moon is in bright daylight. Think of that.
I’ll just set my camera for automatic. That usually works.
Setting your camera on automatic may not work. In fact, it probably won’t work. Because the light meter in your camera also sees the black sky behind the moon and tries to expose for that as well. And then your moon will be super washed out. Really, you can’t do this on automatic mode, unless your camera has “Moon” setting (never seen a camera with that).
What lens would I need?
In general the lens you should start with is a 300mm lens, but even then it will not fill up the frame. I have a 75-300mm zoom, and wanted to take a photo of the moon. I found that it still did not fill the frame, but I could crop into the photo a bit, but then I worry about the resolution of cropping would be a big problem. It was not quite what I wanted. So, the Ideal lens would be 500 or even 600 mm lens. That is a big lens, so you know now the next step is to get it on a tripod when you use a lens of that size. When you go to 1000mm you may get the detail better still like the very top photo.
Can I use my cell phone to take photos of the moon?
No, not like the photos you see above. However there are some beautiful moon photos that people take as part of their landscape photos. Even then, make sure you use your telephoto lens on your smart phone. Here are some great examples of photos where you don’t get super close-ups:
Once again, a big lens if you want to see the craters on the moon, and shoot the photo like it was in the middle of the day, because it is, just that it’s not on the earth. The exposure is the same.