Fly me to the moon

August 1st – bad day at work and then late baseball game for my son, Daniel, meant that by the time we got home I was really tired and just wanted to relax for a bit and then hit the hay.  However, every time I looked out the window the full moon beckoned.  You see, I have been obsessed with taking pictures of the moon for many years.  My early attempts yielded nothing more than a glowing white ball in the sky, but once I graduated to a DSLR and started playing around with the settings, I found that I was able to capture much more detail.  I’m sure I have still have room for improvement, but I was pretty excited about these results from the other night.  What do you think?  Do I have any other moon lovers out there?

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This entry was posted in Atmosphere, Blogging, Contrast, Nature, Nighttime Photography, Photographic Challenges, Photography, The Moon and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Fly me to the moon

  1. zelmare says:

    I’m also obsessed. I keep trying, but keep failing… The other night I was on the farm when the moon came up and I took at least 10 pics – all failed, had to delete the lot! But, I’ll read up and keep trying. 🙂 Magnificent shots! 🙂

    • One thing that I have discovered is that you must use a tripod if you want them to turn out decent. Hand held just doesn’t cut it. I just google it and try the settings that people suggest. Then I fine tune them to see what works best for the look I want. Happy moon shooting!! 🙂

      • zelmare says:

        Thank you for the tips, I will definitely try it out. Need to dig out my video camera’s tripod and start using it again! 🙂

  2. dorannrule says:

    OMG – these are fabulous! I feel like a space traveler. 🙂

  3. beckyday6 says:

    I’m a moon lover!! (the planet kind that is) lol. I can’t believe how clear they are! Amazing, I just get the glowing white ball thing you talked about, but then I am just using a normal camera. You’ve definitely honed your craft. 😉

  4. bulldogsturf says:

    Been there done that and still struggling to get the good shot… have many “not bads” but no “goods”… like these…

  5. zannyro says:

    You’ve inspired me to try again……someday I hope to get one as good as this…just awesome!!

  6. sayvan says:

    Fantastic… I am like you were… just a glowing white ball and no matter how often I try to fix it i just cant… so whats the secret … the last shot is fantastic! What were your settings?

    • Just wanted you to know that I am not ignoring you. We just got home from our mini vacation tonight, and I am absolutely exhausted. I will give you all the details about the settings for my moon photos tomorrow when I am more rested :).

      • Ok, here’s the scoop for you and everyone else who is interested:

        1) First, to clarify, the second shot is simply a cropped version of the first shot. However, the original obviously has to be pretty good quality in order to crop successfully.
        2) A tripod is a must!!
        3) I always use my telephoto lens when photographing the moon.
        4) A few years ago when I did some research online (because I don’t have enough knowledge of the camera settings yet to figure it out myself), I wrote down these settings, and this is where I started on August 1st:
        – shutter speed – 1/100s
        – F-number – f/4
        – auto white balance
        – focal length – 72 mm
        5) I played around with those settings for a bit, adjusting up and down until I found the combination that worked the best for that particular night with the camera I have now. I took the photos standing in the middle of our street in town, so there was some light from street lights. Other times I have taken shots from out in the country with no artificial lights around, and I imagine the settings might be a little different in that situation. So, here are the settings I ended up getting the best results from:
        – shutter speed – 1/500s
        – F-number – f/5.6
        – ISO 100
        – focal length – 250mm
        – auto white balance

        Now, I’m pretty sure that a professional photographer might suggest different settings from these, but they certainly worked for me. I hope this helps. Give it a try – it’s not that hard, really :).

      • I forgot to say, in case it isn’t obvious, this was all done on the Manual setting :).

  7. I love the moon too — mysterious

    • I love how its size changes in the sky. I remember one time driving back from my son’s baseball game, and the moon was absolutely huge. It was so big it seemed to take up the entire horizon in front of the car. Unfortunately, although I had my camera with me, I had to go to the bathroom soooo bad that I couldn’t stop. To this day I wish I had peed my pants and got the shot!! LOL Oh well 🙂

  8. TBM says:

    I would love to get good photos of the moon but I fail. Do you have tips on what settings? How many beers will that cost me? Or chocolate? 🙂 🙂 Nice photos and I look forward to more. Maybe in a few months you can show how much you’ve learned.

  9. Jeff Sinon says:

    These are excellent Cindy. Photographing the moon can be very tricky because most people think that being at night they need to use settings for night photography, like long exposures. Once you realize you are actually photographing bright sunlight, it becomes easier. Your settings above show this. 1/500s, that’s daytime shutter speed!

    And, if I may, for those having trouble with their moon shots, if you are using any of the auto settings, all that dark sky is going to give the camera’s meter fits. It will see a predominantly dark scene and try to brighten it. If your cameras allow full manual, use it, spot meter on the moon, and enjoy your success.

    And Cindy, right on with the tripod recommendation! Won’t leave home without mine, don’t care what I’m pointing my camera at 🙂

    • Thanks Jeff. As I’ve said before, compliments from you mean a great deal to me. And thank you for the explanation and the additional hints :).

      • Jeff Sinon says:

        You’re very welcome Cindy, and you’re are always good for my ego 😀

        The moon kicked my butt more than once or twice, until someone mentioned the sunlight thing, then all of a sudden it clicked. I’m looking a bright, daylight sun, reflected off the moon of course, but as far as setting exposure goes, it might as well be 10 in the morning.

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