The Moon

by Aaron Edwards
(Gloucester England)

Shot from my bedroom window using a fuji s4530 ISO 100, shutter speed 100, aperture f8.

It's always tricky taking photos of the moon. You'd think it'd be simple, but ...

The problem is that it's so bright. Sounds ridiculous, I know. A bit like saying a boiled potato is too flavoursome, or grey is too colourful.

It really is though.

The thing is, up there, set against a dark sky, the moon gives out a lot of light. That leads to a particular problem with photographing the moon - overexposure.

Your camera is likely to expose the photo according to the whole scene, most of which is pitch black. It therefore gives a long exposure so that it can capture the dark bits.

Unfortunately that's way too much exposure to photograph something like the moon which is, as I said before, the bright spot in all this.

So you have to be careful, and, if anything, underexpose the photo for the moon. Here's more information on understanding exposure.

Here's the best technique for anyone attempting to photograph the moon ...
  • Set your camera up on a solid surface or on a tripod.

  • Zoom in on the moon - but don't go beyond the optical zoom of the lens (set your camera so that it doesn't use "digital zoom" - that tends to just make everything blocky!)

  • Set the aperture to something around f9 or f11 - this will get the best part of the lens and lead to less bluriness. There's more on what the aperture is here.

  • Set the shutter speed to something less than your camera suggests (e.g. if your camera says you need a two second exposure, choose one second instead (or even half a second).

  • Finally, trip the shutter by setting the self timer, rather than stabbing the button. This will avoid any camera shake (and that leads to blurred photos!)

Which takes me back to Aaron's photo of the moon - good job!

The Fuji is a good camera for night time photography and photographing the moon because it has a large lens and a good sensor.

But as I always say, it's not just the camera, it's how you take the photo. And I think Aaron has done well.

Thanks for the submission, and hopefully there are a few useful tips here for anyone else tempted to photograph the moon,


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