Photography

First Successful Moonshots

I really love the nighttime scenery. There have been so many beautiful nightscapes I wanted to capture, but I always thought I needed one of those fancy DSLRs and a lot more photography knowledge to do it. I’d tried Googling things such as “how to take photos at night,” which led me to information which was mostly over my head, or too general to be very useful. But tonight around 11PM, inspired by the branches of the pear tree and elm tree in my backyard reaching out for each other as the full moon watched on, it finally hit me that I should search with a more specific phrase: “how to photograph the full moon with a regular digital camera.” And voilà! Here I am now with my first clear moonshot.

I was trying to get the moon through the branches

Okay, NASA won’t be hiring me anytime soon, but this is the first time I’ve gotten a shot with the lunar features clearly visible. I was also trying to get the moon through the branches. This isn’t quite the composition I was going for, but it is the only shot in which the moon in the background was in focus rather than the branches in the foreground.

I found the information I needed on this post on psychohistorian.org. For the most part I followed their handy-dandy chart, so I set my camera (a Canon Powershot SX280 HS) to f/8, 1/1000 of a second shutter speed, with ISO at 800, and max optical zoom (20x). I have a small tripod that I propped up on the compost bin in the backyard. The only thing I haven’t figured out how to do yet is manual focus, so in most of my shots that also had branches in them, the camera focused on the nearby branches instead of on the moon.

That, nevertheless, did create some interesting shots. Here, the stamens of the pear blossoms are clearly silhouetted against a fuzzy moon.

That, nevertheless, did create some interesting shots. Here, the stamens of the pear blossoms are clearly silhouetted against a fuzzy moon.

When I have more time, I definitely want to sit down and figure out how my camera’s manual focus works!

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