How to Photograph the Moon

Stock photo via Dreamstime Stock Photos

The moon is without a doubt one of the most beautiful objects in the night sky. On a full moon night, it is always a pleasure to watch the moon. It is a greater pleasure to photograph the moon and get a good shot.

If you love photography, then you cannot miss taking a good photograph of the moon. Getting the best photograph of the moon calls for some planning and effort. If you want to take a truly awesome photo, then read our guide.

This guide tells you how to photograph the moon, so you get awesome results.

Photographing the moon – How to do it

1) Have the essential gear in place

You need the right kind of equipment if you want a professional-looking photograph of the moon. The following would help you get the best photo:

  • Ideally, you need a DSLR camera. You cannot hope to shoot the moon using a mobile camera unless it has a very high-resolution camera.
  • Adding a telephoto lens or a long zoom lens can help you get a better close-up photo of the moon.
  • If you don’t have a telephoto lens, you can consider using a teleconverter. It would help you magnify the focal length to get a better close-up photo.
  • If you plan to take time-lapse photos, then you need to set up the camera on a tripod. Using a tripod is recommended to stabilize the image.

2) Decide the location

You can see the moon from almost anywhere. You can shoot the moon even from your terrace. But in a city, lights and pollution can mar the image. If possible, shoot from outside the city. Choose a location where the sky is clear, and you get an interrupted view of the moon (probably from a hillock).

It is not that you should not shoot from inside the city. If you want to capture the background, then the moon along with the city skyline will make for a good shot. Taking the photo on the backdrop of a lake would make it look even better.

3) Choose the right time

If you want to take photos of different phases of the moon, you need to spread your photo shoot over a period. Else, you can take a photograph of the full moon. Check the moon phases, so you will know which date you need to be ready to click the photo.

Apart from clicking a photo of the full moon, you can also take other photos. A photo of the crescent moon would be a good addition to your portfolio, as would a photo of the quarter moon.

The best time to take a photo of the moon is not always at night. When you shoot at night, you will get the moon in the background of the black sky. This makes the photo monochromatic. This is why shooting at dawn or dusk can be considered. It can make your photo look different and attractive.

4) Plan the composition

For any photo to look good, proper planning is required. You need to plan the composition of your photo before you shoot. You have two options while shooting the moon. The photo could be of the moon as a close-up image. You can also consider shooting the moon in the background with something else in the foreground.

Use the rule of thirds while planning your composition, so the moon is properly placed in your photograph. You should note the rule of thirds would be applicable only if you have something else in the foreground. For a photo with only the moon in it, zoom and focus only on the moon.

5) Consider using a telescope

An interesting idea to get a good-quality photo of the moon is to use a telescope. You can try this option if you don’t have a telephoto lens. Attach the camera to the telescope and use an eyepiece to get the best image. You can add an adapter while fixing the camera to the telescope.

6) Take the shot

Once you are ready, then it is time to take the shot. You can use the self-timer on the camera to take the actual shot. This ensures there is zero chance of even a minor shake that could spoil the image quality. Take as many photos as possible. Don’t rely on a single photo as you never know how it would turn out. Later on, you can browse the photos and retain only the best among them.