8th April 2015
I have loved photographing the moon for quite a few years now and I'm still fascinated by it. Some of my images have also attracted attention from the BBC so I guess I might be doing something right ;)
My friend Mike Browne is planning on filming an episode of his popular photography show on how I do my moon shots but I thought I'd share a couple of things with you first as well as a couple of my recent images.
I use a DSLR, a tripod and my longest lens (70-200mm) for extra reach I may add my x2 teleconverter. If I have my remote handy I will use it otherwise I will use the timer (2 seconds to reduce camera shake and give me a sharper image). Live View is my friend and I use it to determine my focus and my exposure for the photograph.
I shoot and focus using manual settings. On the lens I set IS off as it's on the tripod and switch to manual focus as I prefer to tweak the focus myself. On the camera I switch to Manual, White Balance set to Tungsten, ISO is 100 and my Aperture will be in the f8 to f11 range from there I use the dial to set my exposure generally around 1/8th or 1/15th second (foreground), 1/100th second for the Moon. I always use Live View and will be zoomed in (x10) to set my focus and exposure (the moon is incredibly bright so unless you are lucky to have the moon and sun in the sky at the same time you will find the sky will be very dark) The Live View will also flick the mirror up, if you don't use Live View I would use mirror lockup as the exposure is in the danger zone (1 second to 1/15th second where the mirror can introduce vibration and effect sharpness). When I'm happy with the image in Live View I will take a shot using the remote or using the 2 sec timer (this reduces camera shake and will give you a sharper image)
I always shoot in raw and I use Lightroom as my post processing software. I may use Nik Silver Efex to bring out more detail in the moon and I will use Photoshop if I am doing a digital blend of 2 exposures (Moon and Foreground (clouds, trees etc)) but the simple moon shots are generally just processed in Lightroom. If you plan on introducing foreground interest I find the digital blend technique works a treat (all camera settings the same except the exposure duration - moon will look blown out) but you will need software that allows layers e.g. Photoshop.
Below are a few of my recent images, I hope you like them :)