Go Catch Yourself a Full Moon!

Photography | June 1st 2010

Photographing the moon

Seeing the full moon rise above the treetops as I worked in my garden yesterday evening reminded me of this shot I took last summer at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia, so I went and dug it out to share.

Photographing the full moon is actually pretty easy: just use the longest lens you have (I used a 70-300mm Nikkor which is the equivalent of a 450mm when it’s fully zoomed on my Nikon D90 body) and put your camera on a sturdy tripod. You must use some kind of a land reference (here just a snippet of dunes at the far side of a small bay) in order to provide some sense of scale for the moon–otherwise it’s just lost in the sky and you can’t tell how big it looks. As far as exposure goes, I trusted my D90′s matrix metering for this shot, but I did shoot in RAW so that I could adjust the exposure and white balance after the fact. I did tweak both, but only a small amount (I made the sky a bit bluer and I brightened the shot about one stop). The great thing about shooting a full moon is that you get a few days where it’s pretty full each month–and you get a new chance each month!

Text and photos by photographer and best selling author Jeff Wignall. Jeff has an upcoming book aboutdigital photography basics, find out more about him and his work at Jeff Wignall



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