Moon and Night Sky Shots...how do you do it? Need help

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by DerekSalem, Mar 5, 2010.

  1. DerekSalem

    DerekSalem TPF Noob!

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    Here's my question...how do you take Moon shots? Below are 2 shots which are obviously horribly taken. They were both done on a tripod and on a timer (I have a remote but it's 20 degrees outside and I didn't have gloves on so I just hit the timer). The camera was *COMPLETELY* still throughout the shots.

    As you can see from the EXIF, the first shot was 20-second shutter speed and the second was 15. I tried longer speeds (25 and 30) but both came out exactly as these 2 but brighter. I'm at the lowest f-stop I can get (f/6.3) and both are at ISO100 (which I've heard is the best to take night shots with).

    What exactly am I doing wrong? They were taken with the new T2i and a Sigma 18-200 3.5/6.3 lens. Here are the shots:

    1 (20 sec)
    [​IMG]

    2 (15 sec)
    [​IMG]
     
  2. DerekSalem

    DerekSalem TPF Noob!

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    Oh and I also tried 5 and 10 seconds...same effect but darker.
     
  3. DerekSalem

    DerekSalem TPF Noob!

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    I'm just going to guess already that I need to raise the shutter speed significantly...
     
  4. pbelarge

    pbelarge TPF Noob!

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  5. bazooka

    bazooka No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The moon moves pretty far in 15 seconds, especially when it's lower in the sky (apparent, not literally of course).

    Another problem is it looks like the lens is foggy.

    Finally, it's way overexposed. Make sure you meter off the moon with spot. Scene evaluative is going to blow it out because of all the black.
     
  6. SNAPaPHOTO

    SNAPaPHOTO TPF Noob!

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    Here is my moon shot from a couple of nights that I took trying to help someone else
    As others have said you need a faster shutter as the moon moves pretty quick and the distance only makes it appear worse on slow shutter pictures.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    You need a faster shutter speed because the Moon is so bright, not because it and the Earth are moving.
     
  8. DerekSalem

    DerekSalem TPF Noob!

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    Well it looks like I'll be out there again tonight trying to get a good shot =P It was a bit cloudy yesterday too which didn't help but at least this time I'll be going out with much better knowledge of how to get the shot.

    I realize it was overexposed every single time but I just couldn't bring myself to drop the shutter speed anymore because I didn't think to realize how bright the refraction truly was. It'll be better!
     
  9. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think you can start it with ...

    ISO 100, aperture F/8 and shutter speed 1/500

    And adjust the value slightly up or down to get a correct exposure.
     
  10. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    The Moon is essentially at infinity (250,000 miles/300,000 km) so you don't need to stop down the lens for DOF. You do want to maximize the sharpness by not having the lens wide open so stopping down a little is a good idea.

    Make sure the camera is in the "spot" metering mode so you can meter on just the Moon.

    Set your ISO at 100 (if you can) or 200.

    Set your shutter speed for a correct exposure, make the image, and then bracket +1 EV and -1 EV so you wind up with 3 exposures (-1, 0, +1).

    Mount your camera/lens on a good tripod and use a remote release or exposure delay mode to trip the shutter and minimize camera shake.
     
  11. SNAPaPHOTO

    SNAPaPHOTO TPF Noob!

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    The only thing I want to mention is with most decent camera not much noise is introduced at ISO 200 or ISO 400 so the high ISO (up to ISO 400) may let you get away with using a TC.
     
  12. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    You shouldn't need high ISO or slow shutter speeds. Remember that you are looking at a reflection of sunlight!

    I know astrostu has a primer on moon photography, but I can't find it -- try PM'ing him.

    EDIT: Here's the link to stu's moon photography primer http://photos.sjrdesign.net/documents/photoguide_moon.pdf
     

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