Photograph of a full moon taken using a telephoto lens. Some craters and features of the lunar surface are clearly visible.

Full Moon

In a cycle that lasts twenty eight Earth days our moon appears to wax and to wane. It is of course revolving around our planet as we both, Earth and our moon, revolve around our sun. It is the position that the Earth occupies relative to the sun and to our satellite that gives rise the visible moon. On this day, Tuesday 19th July 2016 I took some photos from Graham & Mary’s balcony using the EOS7D and the Tamron 150-600 lens mounted on a Giottos tripod. When I reviewed those images in Lightroom I was dissatisfied.

I read up a bit about photographing the moon and learned that this is not the easiest day to make images of Earth’s satellite. Not this particular day, but those days when a full moon is visible. So it seems I must practice more, incorporate some of these tips and keep making images of the lunar body, taking notes as I go.

As tips go, this is probably the best short piece of advice you can have!

Start with the following settings:

Aperture at f/11
ISO 100 (you don’t want any noise on your photo and it’s so bright there is really no need to go above 100)
1/125 – 1/250

Now set your autofocus to point, aim at the moon, focus and turn the autofocus off. Don’t touch that ring any more.

For good measure bracket your EV 1 or 2 units (if your camera allows you can get a few sequential shots with different EV values).

And that is it. Moon photos galore.

I’m reading this blog post back to myself on 15th August 2016 as our near neighbour is again approaching full visibility. Unknowingly, unwittingly we have travelled a huge distance in the days since I wrote my original piece, despite a sense that we have made no progress on this specific challenge. I look forward to making an image of our nearest celestial neighbour of sufficient quality to justify publication here (since writing this I have processed the two remaining images of those I took in July and they don’t look bad!).

In the meantime observation using binoculars is proving less satisfying. A decent telescope is called for. That instrument will surely deliver what I am seeking. Talking about telescopes reminds me about our attempt to join a local astronomy club. This ended with us feeling left out in the cold. We attended one meeting at which people seemed friendly and welcoming. Thereafter communication seemed to falter and lapse.

Tonight using my 8×42 Nikon binoculars the view of the moon is bright and clear, almost full. I’m resolved to check on a night by night basis and add my thoughts as I go.

My on-line research has lead me to this page of so called killer tips. I’ll be testing out the four basic skills that underpin this writing as I apply myself to improving my lunar photography skills. It’s good to have a challenge!

For further advice on this fascinating subject why not look here and here.

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