Monday, November 23, 2009

Week 30, Day 214, November 23, 2009, Crescent Moon

On the way home a friend of mine noticed that there was a planet near the moon.  He said that it would make a good photo, and I agreed with him.  When I got home I grabbed my camera and tripod and rushed outdoors.

I took a few photos of both the planet and the moon.  I was unable to balance the brightness of the moon with the dimness of the planet.  I decided instead just to photograph the crescent moon.

Lessons Learned:
  • When photographing the moon, it seems very difficult to capture the stars as well.  Maybe a special filter would work.
  • A crescent moon seems to show the craters in a way that a full moon doesn't.  The shadow of the earth tones down the brightness so the craters near that shadow seem to be sharper.  I have always took photos of the nearly full moon.  I think I'll photograph it at various stages more often.
Photo details: Exposure time 1/125 sec, Aperture f/8.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 175 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal length 1663mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, tripod.


Paul said...

- you don't know how to compute focal length. For a sensor with 1.6x crop factor this is 1.6 x lens f. l., that is: 175 x 1.6 = 280
- f/8.0 aperture is quite small. You could use larger aperture
- if you want stars to be visible also, you need a tripod, and 2 merged exposures. A long one for the stars, and a short for the moon

RuneE said...

I think you managed this very well. The advice above seems very sound - I must that once.

AB said...

Great shot. You obviously have this moon-shooting thing under you belt.

Nicki said...

This is beautiful! Someone was saying on Sunday how gorgeous the moon was.

Gallow said...


I've been using the picassa header information for the focal length calculation for the 35mm equivalent. I'm wondering if they ate incorporating the cropping factor in their calculation.

I initially used an fstop of 2.8. The autofocus wasn't working well with the moon, so I had to use manual focus. My eyesight isn't that great so I changed the fstop to 8 hoping for a little more depth of field. I'm not sure if at that distance if it has an effect. Do you know if it does?

Thank you for the great idea on overlaying the two images.

Thank you to all of you for the great comments. These are all helping me to improve my photography.



Elizabeth Gilje said...

Very cool shot, wow! I've tried to take pics of the moon before and when I get the shutter time long enough it washes out. This inspires me to practice more. Now if the clouds would clear up....

TheColorTree said...

A haunting image. Lovely!

With a crescent moon, the sun is illuminating it from the side, rather than head on (with a full moon). So, maybe another reason you see craters better is because of the long shadows being cast on the moon's surface, which outlines the geographical features.