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Moon: A Perspective on Lunar Photography

MoonTCard

 

Have you ever seen that fat cratered face and thought:

 

“Damn! I’d like to photograph the Moon!”

 

Wait! Don’t underestimate the Moon’s brightness, especially when it’s full.

moon801/25sec = Over Exposed!
Moon811/50sec = over exposed!
Moon831/100 = Exposed!

Prime focus astrophotography is difficult.  Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Focus!

Focus!

Focus!

The LED screen on the back of a DSLR camera is a terrific liar. Don’t believe it. After the Moon is centered within the LCD screen:

 

  1. Focus.

  2. Magnify 5x.  Focus.

  3. Magnify 10x. Focus again.

 

This three step focusing procedure will ensure that your images come out sharp. Don’t just eyeball the focus without magnifying the image first.

Tycho Crater-102mm maksutov at prime focus

The clarity of any Moon image will be determined by how restless the atmosphere is.

I’d say it’s the number one factor in determining a good shot from a great shot. The real skill is not how the shots are taken—but when the shots are taken.

It’s not difficult to get started or expensive.  Some of you already have the tools lying under a bed or buried in a closet.  All that’s needed is for you to go outside and actually use the gear available.

If you happen to own a telescope:

 

  • Try hovering a point-and-shoot camera over the telescope eyepiece (a-focal method). Cell phone cameras can be used.

 

eyepiecemoonWaning Crescent – Taken with Kodak C530

A wide-angle lens can be used to take interesting images of the Moon—it’s only limited by your imagination.

The same principles apply with a telephoto lens, or even a 50mm macro prime lens.

moonjupiterMoon and Jupiter- 24mm prime / Canon Rebel XSi

 

Here Are a Few More Examples:

Waxing Crescent and Clouds – Canon Rebel XSi / Canon 50mm prime
moonmono100Waning Gibbous in Day Light – 24mm prime / Canon Rebel XSi
moon76Lunar Clouds – 102mm maksutov at prime focus

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