Exactly 43 years ago today, one of the biggest accomplishments of the 20th century…scratch that…one of the biggest accomplishments in ALL of history, occurred – man walked on the moon.
On July 20, 1969, astronaut Neil Armstrong of Apollo 11 became the first person ever to set foot on the moon. As Neil said, it was one small step for man, and one giant leap for mankind. Although, I have heard critics say that man and mankind are basically the same thing, I give the guy the credit for his poetic spirit after being stuck in a metal tube for 3 days eating dehydrated space food.
In honor of the Moon Landing, Sony employee and photography enthusiast, Joshua Sy, has agreed to give us a few tips on how to capture that big orb in the sky, with photos courtesy of our Flickr Camera Club members.
Moonrises over a landscape can add some drama to the scene, Ansel Adams style. There are some websites for this, but the easiest way by far to do this is to use an app like The Photographer’s Ephemeris to get the exact direction and azimuth for the moon.
A good starting point is 300mm on a 1.5x crop, but this will still be a bit loose. If you don’t own a 300mm lens, the Sony A77, A65 A57 and A37 bodies have digital zoom that lets you get even closer without sacrificing resolution.
Most cameras will be fooled by the black background and make the moon too bright. There are several ways to do this, but the easiest is to set the camera to spot metering and get an exposure reading off of the moon itself. Do a couple of test shots and set the camera to Manual once you get a photo you like.
A good start for a clean exposure of a full moon is 1/125 seconds at ISO 200 and f/16 but play around for the best results. These settings can be dialed in if you set your camera to Manual mode.
This will help you retain sharpness especially if you are using longer exposures (under 1/250 seconds). It also makes it easier to hold the heavy camera and lens
Due to an optical illusion effect the moon will actually appear bigger!
As you can see, shooting the moon can be deceptively difficult, but with these quick tips you’ll be a moon pro in no time. And if you happen to capture the man in the moon….please be sure to share.
Happy Moon Day!!
To learn more about the Sony Camera Club, visit http://www.flickr.com/groups/sonycameraclub/