Moon practice for C&C


TPF Noob!
Jan 8, 2012
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Columbus, OH
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Thought the moon looked fun last night so thought I would give it a try.

Shot at:
ISO 100
1/125 sec

First 2 are normal pics


#3 is trying out HDR.

Any feedback would be much appreciated. Thanks!
As a beginner myself in this field, they all look a bit dark to me...a slower shutter/higher ISO perhaps? Number 1 looks best to me. I personally prefer the moon when it's a reasonable time before or after full, so the crater edges and ridges show up more clearly. Keep going, I know I haven't got there yet!
I've not shot many moon shots, but always thought that the ss should be >250th especially if you are using a zoom lens (to freeze the movement). I would have gone down to f8 or f7.1 and upped my shutter speed to around 400th. The results do look good though. I don't think there is a enough DR to make a HDR picture from imo.
I have no input as it never ventured to try taking pictures of the moon yet. But for my own curiosity what focal length are these shot at?
@cmartin2, you are on the right track. The suggestion that I would offer you is this. Go to ISO 200 at f/8 at 1/200 of a second. (unless you are using a lens that is longer than that like a 300 or 400) If that is the case, I would try to get the speed to 1/focal length to help with camera shake.
Photographing the moon, about 250,000 miles from the surface of the earth, means the moon is for all DSLR photography purposes at infinity.

I agree the photos are under exposed by what looks like 2 stops.
Focus is pretty good, considering we are at the bottom of a 50 mile deep ocean of moving air.

ISO 100 is good - as long as it's native to your camera.

F/11. No.
And here is why:
Diffraction Limited Photography: Pixel Size, Aperture and Airy Disks
Understanding Depth of Field in Photography

F/8 is better, but it's only 1 stop more open than f/11. But. Being able to then use one faster stop of shutter speed won't hurt.
So I would use f/5.6 or even wider to get as fast a shutter speed as I can get to minimize camera shake from mirror and shutter movement.

HDR is useless if the way your subject is lit gives it less dynamic range than your camera can capture. HDR is used to expand the limits of your cameras dynamic range. If you're not beyond the DR limit doing HDR is a waste of time.

The moon was a bit past full which can be seen by the nice shadows across the top of the moon that give relief to the craters and terrain there along the limb/terminator.

Here is an edit I did of your #2 photo using Adobe Camera Raw (Photoshop Camera Raw & LR Develop module)
I sharpened (Sharpening panel) using - Amount - 25, Radius -1.0, Detail - 25, Threshold - 0.
In the Basic panel I added 2 stops of exposure, -20 Contrast, +45 Clarity, - 20 - Vibrance.
I also cropped it a bit to a closer to square aspect ratio:


Here are some images I made back in September of the moon's total eclipse using a 400 mm focal length f/5 refracting telescope and a DSLR.
Each moon image in the composites is full scale (no cropping) in an APS-C size image frame.
Some Lunar Eclipse Composites
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Very much appreciate the advice. I will give it another shot with a faster shutter and f/5.6 to see what happens. I also have some where the exposure is stopped up, but for some reason liked the darker ones better. That is until I saw what @KmH did with his edits :1247:.. now I will have to go and revisit!

@photo12345 - I was using a lens at 200mm with a 1.4x extender, so if my math is right that would be the equiv of 280mm.

And now that I say that, I also realize the extender cost me 1 f-stop, which I didn't account for either. I guess this is why we practice!
I'm looking up your info... image shot on Jan 24 but I noticed the time says 9:24 am (so I'm guessing your clock on the camera is off... was that supposed to be pm?)

If it was pm then the moon was 29º above horizon from your location at 98.6% illuminated. Sometimes if if it's too low and and the transparency of the sky is poor then you can lose light, but it should have been fine at 29º up.

Also... while your post says you took this at ISO 100, f/11, and 1/125th... your EXIF data in the image says you REALLY took this at ISO 100, f/11, and 1/500th sec.

It is a bit underexposed. At f/11 the shutter speed for the moon is always the inverse of the ISO. So at your ISO (ISO 100) you should have used 1/100th sec and you would have nailed the exposure. You don't have to shoot at f/11 for the Loony 11 rule... but f/11 is the only aperture at which the shutter speed is the inverse of the ISO. If you drop to, say, f/8, then the shutter speed is always twice as fast as the inverse of the ISO (e.g. ISO 100 is 1/200th, ISO 200 is 1/400th, etc.). At f/5.6 is would be four times as fast as f/11 (e.g. ISO 100 would be 1/400th at f/5.6). All of these are just trading one stop of exposure for another (e.g. trading a stop of aperture for a stop of shutter speed to "balance the books" on the exposure.)

It looks VERY warm (your white balance is too hot).

The surface albedo (reflectivity) of the moon is only about 12% which is almost exactly the same as a worn asphalt road. So it shouldn't appear too bright when properly exposed and adjusted.

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