Monday, January 4, 2010

How to take Moon's picture?

When I bought the 70-300 mm telephoto lens, one of the first things I tried to take the picture of was the Moon.

Well, turned out, it's not easy !

One of the definition of 'Good Photography' is being able to take a picture of things exactly the way you are looking at it. The Moon looked bright, with the rabbit on it clearly. But my first attempts, well, not exactly the way I expected it.

As you can see, it's nothing but a white blob, where is my Rabbit? !!!

Now, it's time to experiment!
Well, Google didn't really help much at that time. So let's tweak our setting a bit.

One of the important parameter to consider while taking picture of Moon is 'Metering' . Well, not only Moon, but any subject with high contrast.

I am not going to explain the details of each metering mode, but just this simple explanation. Metering tells the camera how to gather light. Depending on your SLR camera, there might be multiple modes of metering.

Usually, we go for Evaluative metering, which works out fine.

To take picture of Moon, we need 'Spot metering'. What spot metering tells camera is to worry only about the focused subject (in our case, the Moon) , and ignore the rest of the frame.

Once you have set the metering to Spot metering, now change the mode of the camera to 'Aperture Mode'. ie, you tell the camera what aperture you want the picture to be taken. Let the camera decide on shutter speed.

Now if you are taking the picture by holding the camera in hand, not on tripod, it means that you need faster shutter speed. So, play around a bit, select a higher aperture. In my case, the highest aperture at 300 mm is f5.6

Now, focus on the Moon, may be underexpose a bit, click away to glory !

Now, there is a small problem. The pic is not bright enough, and looks a wee bit brownish. The Moon I am looking at is not exactly same.

Two things.

One, I've underexposed too much. Second, my white balance is wrong.

What white balance should it be? Well, I really don't think there is a fixed answer. My experiments tell me that a value between that of Fluorescent and sunny works fine.
Best way to fix white balance is to shoot in RAW, and then change the value accordingly.

After all theses playing around, here is the final pic:

Hope this helps!

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