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Photography Question 
Suzanne M. Trussell - Stupak

Moonlight shots - Full Moon

Hi, I have a Nikon 70. I am a beginner at any type of night photography Could you explain how to take a picture of the full moon and its reflection on water. What film what speed what f stop, tricks etc Thanks in advance!
P.S.The moon will next be full on September 21.

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9/7/2002 5:51:36 PM

Jeff S. Kennedy   Moon shots are easy. Moon shots with discernible foreground elements are trickier. As far as exposure goes, the moon is a sunlit object so the Sunny 16 rule applies. IOW, if you are using 100 speed film you can expose at f16 with a shutter speed of 1/100 (1/125 is close enough) or an equivelent exposure (like f11 @ 1/250 or f22 @ 1/60). Now the problem with including foreground elements is that it will undoubtedly be dark and these exposures will not record enough light to give you much detail in the dark. You will get a nicely exposed moon and it's reflection but everything else will most likely be black. How to overcome this? You could expose for the darkness and dodge the moon during the exposure (hold your finger in front of the lens between you and the moon to keep it from being overexposed). This could be done in two exposures. First shoot the moon using the sunny sixteen. Then expose for the foreground while you dodge the moon (that sounds kind of cool doesn't it - dodge the moon). Another option would be to use a flash to light the foreground.

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9/8/2002 2:28:26 AM

Wayne Hinton   I too am a beginner. I am going to climb Mt Kilimanjaro this week. I should be reaching the summit on Friday 20th Sept. As there will be a full moon on the following day I would like as much help and suggestions about taking photos up there under moonlight.
As its going to be bright most of the time, I am taking 100 slide film. Would 400 film be better for moon shots?
I have a Minolta 505 SLR camera. Hopefully I will get chance for a days safari too !!

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9/10/2002 7:24:38 AM

Jeff S. Kennedy   Wayne, are you going to be packing a tripod with you? You will need one if you are going to be shooting at night. If so then my advice to Suzanne holds true.

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9/10/2002 11:08:16 AM

Wayne Hinton   Ok. I'll take a tripod (At the expence of some clothing !!)

Its going to be cold on the summit night and around -20C. Just hope my trusty Minolta holds out. I'll let you know how I get on and might even post some pics here !!! I'll use 400 film for the night shots and 100 for the rest. Fingers crossed !!!

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9/10/2002 6:59:10 PM

Jordan    I realize this is an old question, but to to record the moonlight and the moon itself, couldn't I just use a neutral graduated filter to darken the moon and expose for the moonlight?

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3/28/2004 7:36:19 AM

Jeff S. Kennedy   Jordan, yes you can to a certain extent. Since the moon is a sunlit object and the moonlight is much darker the range of exposure between the moon and the moonlit foreground would be very great. There's probably not a ND filter that would cover that range. Another method would be to block the moon during the exposure much as you would dodge an object in the darkroom.

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3/28/2004 4:31:19 PM

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