Picturing the Moon

It’s very difficult to get a decent picture of the moon, especially if (like me) you have a point to shoot camera. The main problem is that usually the moon is too bright compared to the dark expanse of the night sky. This ends up with pictures that just have a blurry white blob on a dark sky. This problem can be overcome with these two ways:

1. Wait until dusk and see if the moon becomes dimmer. I found that this significantly lowers the contrast and makes it easier for the camera to take the picture if you are on auto mode.

2. If your camera has a program mode (i.e. not auto mode), then lowering the exposure to -1 or lower is a good idea. In the end if you still can’t get a good picture, don’t worry as the moon has always been a tricky subject to capture.

3. You are going to need to zoom in. Quite a lot. Luckily my camera has 20x zoom so no problem for me. This is the main reason why it’s pretty much impossible to capture the moon on a phone (my phone only has 4x zoom)

I happened to be a little bit closer to the equator recently and in an area not spoilt by light pollution, so I waited until after dusk to take some pictures of the moon. Light pollution can be good if you are trying to take a picture of it because it will decrease the contrast. Without the light pollution, you can have a pitch black sky and a ridiculously bright moon! Here are some of my attempts:

Picture of the moon

The moon!

This one (above) is quite good but it seems to have ended up with an orange halo around the moon. This was taken at 9 pm.

Picture of the moon

My best attempt!

The one above is probably my best attempt, I lowered the exposure to -2 for this one. Unfortunately there are a huge amount of artifacts but it is on digital zoom (my camera can get 5x optical zoom). You can see the craters and that, in my opinion, is really cool. I think it is unnaturally purple because the sensor sometimes appears if you take a picture in bright light, some purple dots appear when I take pictures which include the sun. This was taken at 9:30 pm.

Picture of the moon and the 'moon road'

The “moon road”!

This final picture is of the “moon road” which is a reflection of the moon which appears over the sea at night.

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About tech189

Casual blogger on technology, photography, and science at www.tech189.wordpress.com

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