Good night, Moon!

P1060989 by BGTwinDad
P1060989, a photo by BGTwinDad on Flickr.

I grabbed this shot after dinner this evening, not long before the moon set. This was a bit of a challenge, though I know I can do better, mostly by picking better conditions.

This was taken from my front yard, near a street lamp, with city lighting not far off. f8, 1/20, ISO 400, 210mm with 4x digital zoom (so, like an effective 1680mm!). Obviously I used a tripod and the 2-second timer.

It can be tricky to get the right exposure for the moon, as its brightness varies, it’s generally very bright against the sky, and it’s relatively small, all of which messes with the auto-exposure on most cameras.  I used the good advice from this tutorial by Nasim Mansurov on, and then made adjustments to get the shot above.

How could I have gotten it sharper? Well, the weather is about as good as it gets this time of year, though it’s extremely humid.  Waiting till colder, drier weather would probably help.  So would getting to a higher altitude (less air between me and the subject) and getting away from all those city lights.

As for the camera, using a bigger zoom lens and/or a teleconverter would have been better than the digital zoom, though the digital zoom is quite handy in this case.  The more glass-zoom (vs. digi-zoom), the more pixels available to record details.

But, given all that, this is my best one so far, and the path to even better ones is quite clear.  Looks like I need to start saving up for that telescope!


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