Life as seen through my lens…
Shooting the moon
After much early experimentation trying to get something I considered to be a half-way-decent photo of the moon using the equipment I have, I came up with the following guidelines….. (these are based on my experiences with 2 Nikon cameras, a D40x and a D5000, usually with my AF-S NIKKOR 70-300mm 1:4.5-5.6 G lens – feel free to adjust this to fit your equipment!)…..
* Have no filters on the lens (you want as little unneeded glass between you and the moon as possible)
* Have the camera on a good tripod (if not possible, be sure to brace yourself against something solid)
* Don’t use VR unless you are shooting freehand (if the camera is stable you don’t need it)
* If you can (especially if on a tripod) use remote shutter, or timed shutter release (eliminates shake from shutter press)
* Set to spot focus and spot metering
* Use Shutter Priority
* Set shutter speed so the camera thinks the exposure will be dark (this will vary dependent on how full the moon is and what lens you have)
* Use as low an ISO setting as your camera will allow (ideally 100)
* Pre-focus the shot and then turn AF off for when you take it (sometimes AF will do funky things when you don’t want it to).
* If you want clarity, don’t shoot with the moon low on the horizon.
* If you really want clarity, you want the moon to be fairly high in the sky at a time when the sky itself still has some light (dusk).
Moon shots typically need a bit of post-processing, but be careful to not overdo it.
* Contrast and level adjustments give the most bang for the buck.
* Keep sharpening to a minimum.
* Do what you can to remove noise from the sky
* If the color is odd (and you don’t like that!!) consider converting black and white.
If you use my suggestions, please let me see how your shots come out! If you have a recipe of your own that works well, please share it!