Experimental Moon Photo


It’s nighttime and the night sky is cloud-free, the moon visible, and I thought I try to take a picture. I did set up my tripod, the D7100 and my Tamron 70-300mm lens. I activated the 1.3 crop mode of my D7100, then I disabled the vibration reduction mode of the lens as I wanted to use my tripod anyway. Apart from that, I enabled RAW and JPG fine, to see if I can get a little bit more quality out of the RAW file. I did set the camera manually to ISO 100, f/10 and 1/200 of a second. After I focussed, I tried some shots but most of them were not sharp, so that I enabled a 10 second delay timer, this did reduce the tripod shake and the images were now much sharper. I wonder if I should have tried the mirror lookup mode as well, but I can do this when I try to take a photo of the moon again. I edited the RAW file a bit, I cropped the image as 300mm are simply not enough. Apart from the crop, I also changed a couple of exposure related values.

The Jupiter was very visible close to the moon, like a very bright star. The main idea was that I wanted to have the moon and the little bright Jupiter in the shot, but I gave up soon. The Jupiter was not bright enough for the camera settings I used for the moon, and the moon maybe too bright to make the Jupiter visible in the photo. I thought I could try a long exposure shot, but I noticed my idea would be bad as the moon would then be even brighter and the image over exposed. Maybe there would have been a solution I am not aware of, but I was then fascinated by the moon alone and wanted to take a picture of it. I think the photo is not too bad, I hope you like the photo too.


9 thoughts on “Experimental Moon Photo

      1. I first didn’t know what it would be, but I opened up a star map app and found out it was the Jupiter. It looked so beautiful bright, it’s cool that you could see it there too! 🙂

  1. For whatever it’s worth, I’ve got a lot of shots of the moon (it turns out, everybody’s look the same which seems, somehow unfair since some people put a lot more work into it than others). Anyway, I’ve done it with the tripod and handheld and my results are essentially identical. What makes the difference is the length of the lens. Longer lens? Better pictures of the moon. It also doesn’t hurt to not have trees in the way 🙂

    1. That’s true, the subject wouldn’t be so difficult to shoot, it’s just that more focal length would improve anything. While I shot this one with my Tamron 300mm and cropped afterwards, I tried a moon shot some time ago before I owned the 300mm lens, but with my 105mm kit lens: https://diaryofdennis.com/2015/08/10/make-impossible-things-possible-get-far-away-photo-subjects-closer-without-owning-a-tele-lens/ The photo was not too bad, but cropping was more difficult as 105mm is not a lot of reach. The 300mm gets me a lot closer, but if you ask me, I’d like to own an even longer lens, or a faster lens plus teleconverter…. maybe I get there some day… but how do they say? Some photographers will always demand more focal length (especially birders) , but there is sadly a limit, and too much money involved 😀

  2. P.S. You are right insofar as any exposure you take on the moon’s surface will eliminate any other celestial body in the area, other than the sun. If you want to get more, you have to use and averaging exposure, but then you’ll lose the detail on the moon. Or use a VERY LONG SLOW exposure and the tripod. I think there are special techniques involved in sky shooting.

    1. Yep, the moonlight did eat up the Jupiter even if the Jupiter was super bright… I tried with all kind of settings, but it didn’t work. I tried slow shutter speed, but even with increased f-stop and lowest ISO, the moon would be extremely bright due to the long exposure, so that didn’t work out well either. Later and for the fun of it, I tried 30 seconds just to see how the moon moved in that time… it was a funny experiment 🙂

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