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Photography Question 
Alice 
 

Shooting the Moon


I have picked up some clues from your website on shooting fireworks, but I need additional help. I have learned a hard lesson when not using a tripod, so this really is a must, but...
1) Since slower is better and I have 200 film, is it possible to successfully change the ISO on my camera?
2) I know how to adjust for the Bulb mode, but what f-stop should I use and typically how long of an exposure?
If there is a "standard" technique for moon shots beyond my questions, please let me know. In addition, I am shooting with the moon above a lake and its reflection.
Alice


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1/21/2003 9:20:00 AM

 
Jeff S. Kennedy   1) Since I don't know what your camera is I can't answer that question.

2) Moon shots (unless you are NASA)are easy. The moon is a sunlit object. As such it is subject to the Sunny 16 rule. If you don't know what the Sunny 16 rule is here you go. Basically, when shooting an object illuminated by direct sunlight you can set your exposure at a shutter speed equal to the reciprocal of your ISO and your aperture at f16. IOW if you are using ISO 200 film then your exposure would be 1/250 (or 1/200 if your camera can do that) @ f16 or any equivalent exposure combination (ie. 1/125 @ f11, 1/60 @ f8, 1/500 @ f22, etc.).

Since the moon is a moving object, long exposures will result in an oblong moon. Not to mention the fact that you will probably overexpose the moon and lose all detail. Therefore, bulb exposures are probably not your best bet.

Now it never hurts to bracket. Some people suggest shooting the moon at 1 stop over so instead of f16 you would use f11. I have also seen guidlines for exposure compensation for different phases of the moon. Experiment and see what you like.


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1/21/2003 11:50:21 AM

 
Sobia Chishti
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/13/2002
  Jeff, I read your answer here yesterday and thought to give it a try last night. Moon was almost half, with little floating clouds on the sky. To take this shot I had to got out on my roof....but safely. I set my exposure to 1/250 as I was using ISO 200, @f16. To my expectations it was showing underexposure. I shot anyway. I set to see what correct exposure was, it was 6sec @f16. I couldn't shot this exposure because there was not enough space to stand the tripod and stand behind it. My film is in the camera but I know I would get nothing. I want to know by Sunny rule 16, was you meant to use this at dusk or when there is still visibilty outside?? My shooting time was almost around 10p.m. I am an amature and need your guidence. I was using a 28-200mm lense at 200mm.


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1/22/2003 1:08:15 PM

 
Jeff S. Kennedy   Your meter is reading the dark sky and giving you a skewed reading. The moon is a sunlit object regardless of the time of day otherwise we wouldn't be able to see it (like a new moon).

The problem I didn't mention above is that although you can properly expose the moon with Sunny 16 the surroundings will not be properly exposed because they are not illuminated by the sun. The common ways around this are to do a double exposure where you shoot a frame and expose for the moon. Then you shoot on that same frame the scene you want the moon to be in. Or you can use a split neutral density filter to hold back exposure on the moon to help balance it with the foreground. Or you could use a flash to illuminate the foreground. Or you could add it to a scene digitally. Lots of options.


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1/22/2003 2:17:04 PM

 
Sobia Chishti
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/13/2002
  Thanks Jeff. You always give me detailed answer of my questions. My mind is clear now and i'll see how these shots would come out and would keep experimenting.


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1/23/2003 10:55:48 AM

 
Pieter J. Roelofse   The shutterspeed, aperture combinations that Jeff S. Kennedy gave for shooting full moon shots using the sunny f16 rule with ISO 200 film is incorrect. Just a slight mistake on his part. ISO200, shutter speed 1/250s @f16, or 1/500 @f11 or 1/1000 @ f8 etc. Opening up a stop increases shutter speed by one stop.
Just thought I'd correct that.


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3/8/2004 9:12:07 AM

 
Pieter J. Roelofse   The shutterspeed, aperture combinations that Jeff S. Kennedy gave for shooting full moon shots using the sunny f16 rule with ISO 200 film is incorrect. Just a slight mistake on his part. ISO200, shutter speed 1/250s @f16, or 1/500 @f11 or 1/1000 @ f8 etc. Opening up a stop increases shutter speed by one stop.
Just thought I'd correct that.


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3/8/2004 9:12:22 AM

 
Jeff S. Kennedy   You're right Pieter. -blushing- I must have typed that without sufficient caffeinne in my veins. ;-)))


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3/8/2004 10:19:08 AM

 
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