How to take great photographs of the moon….

This shot was taken on 21/7/13 in Sydney, Australia. ISO 100 Aperture F11, S/speed 1/125
This shot was taken on 21/7/13 in Sydney, Australia at 6.15pm.
ISO 100 Aperture F11, S/speed 1/125

The moon is such an easy object to photograph, but so many people find it really difficult and usually end up with a moon shot that looks like a ‘white blob’:)

In this tutorial, I’m gonna show you just how simple it is.

1. The first thing you need is a sturdy tripod. This will ensure that your camera keeps still and the image is SUPER sharp.

2. A DSLR with a zoom lens {minimum 200mm} or a point and shoot camera with an optical zoom.

3. A remote shutter release, or, if you don’t have one, you can use the camera’s self timer.

4. Put your camera onto the tripod and turn the image stabiliser OFF {if your lens has one.} The stabiliser can actually cause your camera to move when it’s on the tripod.

5. Set your ISO to 100. If you have a point and shoot camera, make sure the ‘Auto ISO’ is off.

6. Put your camera into M {manual mode.}

7. Switch the focus mode to ‘M’ {manual – it’s on the side of the lens.}

8. Set your metering mode to ‘spot’ – this means that your camera will ONLY take a reading off the moon and not the whole of the scene {including the surrounding dark sky.}

9. Now this is the bit that surprises most photographers; set the aperture to F11 and the shutter speed to 1/125 sec.…The moon is actually moving MUCH faster than you think 🙂
Remember, this is just a starting point for the aperture, shutter speed and ISO – adjustments can be made if necessary.

10. Focus on infinity, {by setting your lens to the centre of the infinity sign on the lens} if you are using your viewfinder.
If have the ‘live view’ function on your camera, it’s even easier to focus. Switch live view on, move the focus box so it’s over the moon, zoom in using the ‘magnifying tool’ on the rear of the camera and manually focus your image using the focusing ring on your lens.

11. Attach your remote shutter release to your camera and you’re good to go! Take a shot and examine the results carefully on the LCD screen for sharpness. The slightest bit of movement will blur the image.

If the moon is too BRIGHT, choose a smaller aperture {eg F14 or F16.} If the moon is too DARK, choose a larger aperture {eg F8} OR increase the ISO {I usually don’t go any higher than ISO 800.}

A couple of points here – I don’t change my shutter speed at all….I leave it at 1/125 sec. I adjust either the aperture or ISO to add or subtract light.

I don’t open up my aperture any more than F8…so I don’t use F5.6 or F4 etc – as I want a large depth of field to capture all the details of the moon.

Take lots of shots using different settings to get the result you want 🙂

Photographing the moon is lots of fun, so take lots of shots, experiment with different settings and most importantly practise, practise, practise:)

My images were cropped to enlarge the size of the moon in the frame.

Happy clicking,

Chris 🙂

 

If you have any questions or comments, I’d love to hear them 🙂

 

This shot was taken a few months back on a cloudy night. ISO 100 Aperture F13 s/speed 1/125
This shot was taken a few months back on a cloudy night.
ISO 100 Aperture F13 s/speed 1/125

How to resize your images quickly and easily using picmonkey.com

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Emailing them to friends is a nightmare. You have to send one or two images at a time and it takes forever 🙂

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Please leave your comments or questions below.

Black & White Photography – mood, contrast & tone…..

love black & white photography – the shadows, the contrast, the sublety and the mood – it is arguably the most popular photographic style ever.

Many of the world’s most successful photographers used black & white photography to express their vision – Henri Cartier Bresson, Ansel Adams & Diane Arbus to name a few.

Black & whites are simple, the absence of colour places focus on the subject and emotion in the photograph.

It is also versatile and suits almost all styles of photography – portraits, street photography, architecture or landscapes.

Try it with all lighting conditions, especially low light which will give the photo a really moody feel.

If you are shooting digital you can either modify the settings on your camera to black & white, or as I do, shoot in colour and convert to black and white in photoshop…

So try it. You’ll be…

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Black & White Photography – mood, contrast & tone…..

love black & white photography – the shadows, the contrast, the sublety and the mood – it is arguably the most popular photographic style ever.

Many of the world’s most successful photographers used black & white photography to express their vision – Henri Cartier Bresson, Ansel Adams & Diane Arbus to name a few.

Black & whites are simple, the absence of colour places focus on the subject and emotion in the photograph.

It is also versatile and suits almost all styles of photography – portraits, street photography, architecture or landscapes.

Try it with all lighting conditions, especially low light which will give the photo a really moody feel.

If you are shooting digital you can either modify the settings on your camera to black & white, or as I do, shoot in colour and convert to black and white in photoshop…

So try it. You’ll be surprised with the results.

I love all these shots in black and white.

Which do you prefer? I’d love to hear your comments and feedback…..

Do you want the Photoshop action I use to convert my colour pics to black & white FOR FREE?

Just subscribe to my blog (over on the right hand side) by email and enter the word ‘subscribed’ in the comments below!

I’ll email you the action straight away!!! 🙂

Night Photography – tips and ideas for great shots

Night photography is fun. Great fun. 🙂

I love to photograph all types of landscapes, including urban landscapes. The shot below was taken on Cockatoo Island in Sydney, Australia.

This scene immediately attracted me…

There are lots of different techniques you can try with night photography , but first some ‘musts‘.

1. You need a tripod – a good sturdy tripod. So many people buy an expensive camera and then purchase a flimsy tripod – it just doesn’t make any sense. A tripod can easily be knocked over when you’re in the dark. Expensive gear can be knocked over very easily. 😦

2. A cable release -it can be wireless or attached to the camera with a cable. Either way they eliminate any movement when pressing the shutter (even whilst using a tripod)

If you don’t have a cable release familiarise yourself with the ‘self timer’ on your camera. This device gives either a 2 or 10 second delay between pressing the shutter release and the shutter firing.

3. I always have a torch when shooting at night. Great for finding gear in your bag and checking settings on the camera. Most DSLR’S have a light on the LCD screen on the top. Familiarise yourself with how this works.

4. Turn off the image stabiliser (if your lens has one). This device can also cause movement when it is switched on and is not needed when the camera is on a tripod.

For this photo, I chose not to use the ‘B’ (BULB) setting (which keeps the shutter open for any length of time you determine)

I wanted to see what I could create with a 30 second exposure, so I metered the scene at F8 as I wanted the smallest aperture I could to render most of the image sharp from front to back.

The image was still too dark, so I increased the ISO to 500 and took the shot.

I love this shot. 30 seconds bought out a dark blue in the sky and the green of the buildings. I really like the beginning of the star trails. See the small white marks above the roof of the building? If I had left the shutter open for a longer period (combined with the appropriate aperture) these white marks would have become longer lines that curve into a circle. Look at the star burst from the building light, and the bright green colour of the grass.

This shot was exhibited earlier this year in the ADD ON photography exhibition as part of the Head On Photo Festival. I was very proud to have my work exhibited alongside many other Australian photographers.

Are you into night photography? Do you have any questions about this post?

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments on Facebook , twitter  or pinterest.

Happy shooting 🙂