Problems Shooting the moon day 2

Discussion in 'Beginner Questions' started by lisa_davidson|2, May 31, 2010.

  1. I posted a question a couple of days ago about having problems shooting the moon: I want to shoot the moon with silhouette of trees and mountains.
    These were day 1 pictures:
    I received a lot of great advice, but still having problems. I did take the protective lens cover off and I locked the mirror up.
    The best pictures are in night mode and I can't tweak the settings. So when I tried to go to Manuel mode and adjust the setting its just a tiny dot of the moon in black (see the link:Moon Problems day 2).
    In Manuel mode I had my shutter at 1/100 and went up, my F5.6 and I went up to F22, ISO 100, I had the mirror locked up.....................
    Here are the pictures from day 2:
    I have a Canon Rebel XSi, with an 18-55 lens. I am using a tripod and a remote. Could my lens be to small?
    Thanks Again!
    Lisa D
  2. It's not that your lens is too small. Taking a photo of the moon is pretty much the same as shooting directly into the sun during the day. That is the scene has more range than your camera is capable of recording. Either the moon looks like a light bulb, or every thing else is black. You'll need to take two exposure and combine them to get the image you want. One for the foreground one for the moon.
  3. SCL


    The combined exposure process is a good one for what you are trying to achieve. Several years ago I had the luck of trying to capture a setting moon and rising sun down in Peru...although the dynamic range was much narrower than what you are shooting, I ended up sacrificing some of the shadow dynamics to achieve what I was seeking.
  4. Try to take the picture when the moon is closest to the horizon on a full moon need a 200 mm lens....Focus on the moon and set ur exposure to moon. I cannt make out from ur picture that it is moon....
  5. I posted the settings I used on your original post, not sure if you saw them. In my opinion, yes your lens is too small. A 55mm is fine for a horizon pic, but the moon is just going to be too small. You need AT LEAST a 200mm lens. That's the longest that I have and I still think I need a longer lens for a good moon shot. (see my post on your original thread)
    Also remember that if you're including the horizon you'll likely want to use a smaller aperture (higher f-stop number) for depth of field, which will translate into a longer shutter speed. A tri-pod is a must have for this.
    Edit to add: Jim's suggestion to combine two seperate shots is if you want to actually see detail in the trees, or whatever is in the foreground. I believe you stated you want the trees silhouetted in the foreground. If so then ignore that method and just concentrate on the moon, the trees should come out dark.
  6. If you want to see more detail on the surface of the moon, you'll need a longer lens.
    If you want to capture detail on the moon and the earth at the same time, you'll have to shoot the moon in daylight, e.g. maybe an hour before sunset while the sky is still blue.
    P.S. I didn't see any shots exposed with the settings that I recommended to you the first time.
  7. Hi Lisa,
    As was stated in your original post, the images are over exposed; same thing about day two photos. You stated, "...The best pictures are in night mode and I can't tweak the settings....". Look at the EXIF data on those shots, then in manual mode use the best photo's EXIF as your starting point. In day two photos the moon still looks as though you are photographing a lightbulb—too bright overexposed.
    Try this, go into a room with a bare lightbulb switched on—clear glass not frosted. Photograph that until you have a picture in which you see the filaments inside the lightbulb illuminated. Also, if there are fingerprints on the lightbulb make them stand out as well. Of course use the tripod.
    After you are capable of bringing out detail in the illuminated lightbulb go then shoot the moon. It is the same concept however, using the lightbulb you will not need to await nightfall.
    Hope that helps you.
  8. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator

    I see you took those photos at f/5.6 with 5 second shutter speed at 800 ISO. Everyone gave you good advice on what exposure setting to use. f/11, 1/100 sec shutter speed at 100 ISO or close variations of that.

    The moon is just a large rock lit by sunlight. Go out tomorrow during the day and take a photo of a large rock in the sunlight using 5 sec, f/5.6 and 800 ISO. It will look like your moon shot, a big white blur.

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