Moon Photography Part 1

moon

The moon is cool. It's big, it's bright, and it's easy to take a picture of. Not with your phone camera by the way. That always ends up looking like a small black dot. I took my DSLR and made an attempt to take a picture of the moon. It wasn't too bad.

Conditions

Naturally, I waited until the sky was clear at night. It was clear tonight, so I impulsively took a few pictures (since I didn't know if it was gonna be clear later). The moon is a Waxing Gibbous at 82% illumination. I took these pictures on 2021-04-23 at about 20:50 - 21:00 EST at a latitude of 40° 20' 4.97" N. Sky was clear, dark, and it was a little cold outside. Nothing particularly interesting in terms of conditions.

Setup

I am using a Nikon DSLR D7000 with a AF-s Nikkor 18-105 mm 1:3.5-5.6G ED lens. I would have preferred a lens that would be longer so I would get a better shot, but hey you gotta make do with what you got. I took these pictures from my front porch, but the light pollution is terrible in my area, so unfortunately no stars are visible.

In terms of software, I shot the images in NEF RAW and used Darktable on Linux to look through the pictures on a 4K probably-color-tuned display.

From my previous results on taking pictures of the moon, I settled on a low shutter speed to reduce blur (1/160 s) and an aperture of f/5.6 and an ISO of 100. I think that these settings are pretty good for full or near full moon shots.

The main challenge, however, was getting the moon in focus. As you can probably see in the images below, the attempts in focusing automatically didn't help too much, so I had to play around with minute adjustments with the focus. I think it turned out pretty well.

Results

Now, for the pictures!

Moon 1

Moon 2

Moon 3

Moon 4

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