Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Photographing the moon, and more drivel!!!

Good afternoon interweb, you really are a great source of information for people to gather knowledge from. Not everything you put forth is to believed I fear and as such I do take with a pinch of salt much of which is reported within your strings of ones and zero’s.
(Click on image for larger version)
However today I am going to try to impart a little of my knowledge on photography and in particular my knowledge of photographing the moon. You see I took a shot a couple of nights ago now and posted it on face space or something and a few people asked me how I had done it. Well here we go.
We have to take a few things into consideration when attempting to photograph the moon and not all of them are obvious at first glance.
First of all let us look at where we are. Standing on a planet that is revolving at 1038 mph at its equator, the moon is revolving at a mere 10.3 mph at its equator but this still means that a reasonable shutter speed is to be used. Add to this the focal length of the lens you will be using and whether or not you will be using a tripod or not and things start to get complicated.
The metering system in your camera is going to make a right balls up of giving you the correct settings and you will more than likely end up with a bright white blob on a black background so it is time to switch your camera to manual mode. It really isn’t hard, just do it.
Whilst on the subject of exposure let us look at what we are actually taking a photograph of. The moon which is illuminated by the sun which is pretty darn bright to be honest. 
 Right then so we are now in manual mode, I would suggest a lens of minimum focal length 300mm but 400mm upwards would be preferable.
An iso (asa for old film people like myself) of 200 and a shutter speed of 1/250th at f16. This is just a starting point and you can adjust the settings to get more detail or a brighter/darker image.
Why you might ask is this just a starting point? Well it all depends really on what phase the moon is in, where about on the horizon it is relevant to your camera and how much light pollution atmospheric pollution there is.
A full moon high in the sky will give a nice bright image but detailed craters etc will not show because of the angle the sunlight is striking the moons surface. In contrast a less than full moon will show off more crater detail due to the angle the light is hitting it. 
 The closer to the horizon the moon is the longer exposure you will require and during an eclipse there will be substantially less light striking the moons surface requiring iso settings in the 800 and above region.
 Well there we go interweb, hopefully the above information will be of use to somebody.
Right now on to some more of my meaningless drivel, “Is the glass half empty or half full? The glass simply is. Play the hand you are dealt. Enjoy life as it is, don’t waste life wishing it were different, or waiting for something to change..... Oh and don’t fuck with trucks there bigger than you are never mess with the devil in his own backyard and always remember, stuff can be replaced.
Peace out y'all THE BAGSTAXXX

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