Low light: how do I set the right exposure for night moon photos?

The moon can be a complicated subject. It is a very bright subject compared to the rest of the night sky. It is also a moving subject, and it moves fast enough that it can be problematic. Its luminosity changes according to the time of the month. If you want to capture any other element in a scene with the moon, the exposure can become quite complicated.

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The photo above was taken on November 8, around 7pm … a fairly new moon. It was filmed with a Canon EOS 450D using the Canon EF 100-400 mm L series lens at 400 mm, f / 7.1 and ISO 800 for 1/2 of a second. That exposure time was necessary to expose the clouds enough to create a silhouette of the treetops in the foreground, and not overexpose the moon itself. It was a rather complicated shot, and in the end the part of the crescent was a little overexposed.

Determining which settings to use comes down to perhaps two things. With what I wanted to compose my scene and how much time I had to take the picture. At 400 mm, the movement of the moon across the sky intensifies quite a bit, and at most it takes approximately 0.8-1 seconds before that movement blurs the details. I wanted to expose enough time for the clouds that obscured the moon to be bright enough to show the silhouettes of the treetops. I also wanted to get some light in the dark part (a wish that really pushed him … and I ended up choosing an exposure that was a bit too high in this case, like 1 / 4-1 / 6th of a second it probably would have been better, or maybe ISO 400 instead of ISO 800.)

There is no single correct set of exposure settings that always exposes the moon correctly. Its luminosity depends on a couple of factors, mainly its phase, its position in the sky and what exactly you want to expose (that is, only the moon or the moon with some light from the earth). Here is a base exposure table for digital cameras, assuming an aperture of f / 8, based in part on my experience (keep in mind that the difference between each phase is not exactly a stop, the scale tends to skew a little when arriving to the full moon):

Base Aperture: f/8

ISO  | Crescent | Quarter |   Half  |  Gibbous  | Full Moon |
100  |    1/2   |   1/4   |   1/8   |    1/15   |   1/30    |
200  |    1/4   |   1/8   |   1/15  |    1/30   |   1/60    |
400  |    1/8   |   1/15  |   1/30  |    1/60   |   1/125   |
800  |    1/15  |   1/30  |   1/60  |    1/125  |   1/160   |
1600 |    1/30  |   1/60  |   1/125 |    1/160  |   1/300   |

From that table, it is quite easy to make extrapolations for special scenarios. If you want some light from the earth, you will want to expose for longer. I would say that getting a pinch of earth's brightness requires an exposure of about 0.8-1 second. This often turns off the lighted part of the moon, so it is only really viable with a half moon.

If you want to capture any detail in the foreground, you will generally also want an exposure time of about 1 s for the silhouettes, or more time for anything else (usually, you will want a double exposure … one for the moon, another for the foreground.)

Blue moons, orange crescent moons hung just above the horizon, etc., will be dimmer than a white moon in the middle of the sky. Slightly longer exposures will be needed, perhaps for a stop or two, to compensate. However, when it comes to exposing the full moon, the opposite is usually true … shorter exposures to a point may be necessary.

To capture the full moon with that orange glow near the horizon, you will probably want to use the following:

ISO 200, f / 8, 1 / 40-1 / 50s

Compensate as necessary for any other composition factor.


Recently I have been photographing the moon a lot. After taking numerous shots of the moon, in its growing, medium, gibbous and complete phases, during eclipses and perigee, I think it is important to make a significant note:

The moon does do not follow any
specific pattern, and there are, in
In the end, few rules you can follow
take a good exposure The table
Above is a good baseline, and it can work
as a starting point, but like you
expand your efforts and aim more
dramatic lunar landscapes, exposing the moon
It's like exposing anything else:
You need to have an idea of ​​it.

Below is a link to a small video that I have been working on, a composition of some of my photographs of the moon and time-lapse videos taken in the last six months:

Lunar landscape


Time for another update. Given my work week and the amount of time I have to spend working in my house in one way or another while there is daylight, most of my recent photographs have been of the moon. My previous update is true, however, I have learned other useful knowledge about lunar photography. The moon is a bright white object. Outside its growing phase, it is possible to take the exhibition VERY far without really overexposing it, although it may seem overexposed in the live view of a camera. (Note: the histogram is not particularly useful when photographing the moon, so use it sparingly and only as a basic guide). To demonstrate what is possible with the exposure to the moon, here are some images of the same exposure … an original, and one automatically corrected and one manually tuned in lightroom:

Original Exhibition:
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"Auto Tone" in Lightroom:
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  • Exhibition -> -0.05
  • Recovery -> 1
  • Fill light -> 50
  • Blacks -> 0

Manually adjusted to get the best detail in Lightroom:
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  • Exhibition -> -2
  • Blacks -> 100
  • Contrast -> 50
  • Curves:
    • Highlights -> +51
    • Lights -> -12
    • Darks -> -14
    • Shadows -> -44
  • Sharp -> 78

The original photo was taken as far as I could into the camera, so it appeared as an almost uniform white disk in the live view of my 450D. The Lightroom histogram function that shows overexposure shows the following for the original image above:

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From the manually adjusted image, you can see that the only "real" overexposure is a small point just above the Tycho crater (bright spot surrounded by a very light gray, without any detail). Be afraid to push the exposure. It will capture more details, with less noise, and the corrections during further processing are quite simple. While it may not seem like much on the camera, the amount of detail you can extract from a bright white disk can be surprising.

software: what is a good web system for sharing photos between coworkers?

With a current round of media functionality updates in recent months, I am discovering that WordPress (self-hosted) is becoming my photo sharing solution. This is how using WordPress can meet your requirements:

Events based on photo sharing

The way to define an & # 39; event & # 39; and & # 39; grouping & # 39; It certainly depends on the interpretation, but if you were to create a publication type of & # 39; Event & # 39 ;, you can attach a photo gallery to each event publication to maintain a logical hierarchy. Filtering that grouping with metadata such as Categories or Tags (factory compatible in WordPress) allows a free taxonomy in all media and publications. Also, if you need WordPress to handle more event management beyond event grouping, there are add-ons available for that level of detailed event management: Events


WordPress by default provides an authentication and authorization system, but if you have another service (Google, Facebook, Twitter, LDAP, Active Directory, etc., etc.) that you prefer to use for one or both purposes, the add-ons are available, and the Most are subjected to combat tests. Again, this is a personal preference as to what is the most unifying way of providing access to people without necessarily having to create & # 39; another password & # 39 ;.

Downloadable images

The easiest way I can imagine doing this with WordPress is by attaching an image gallery to a post, with an attachment containing all the uploaded images and a link provided. The latitude to be creative with this requirement is quite wide.

Comments / Description

Two different things, in most contexts. Again, especially with recent updates, WordPress Media functionality is very robust, and all levels of image description data fields (written description up to metadata / RDF) are provided for each photo. Comments, by default, are available in WordPress at the post level.

Easy loading

The ease of access to the upload system depends on your authentication / authorization provider, but the latest iterations of WordPress allow you to drag and drop images directly into the media library.

WordPress is open source and self-hosted, with an installation of less than five minutes in most cases.

photoshop – How does Renato D & # 39; Agostin achieve these super minimalist and high contrast photos?

So, there is a photographer named Renato D & # 39; Agostin who is famous for his minimalist and high contrast photos, and although I don't want to recreate his style itself, I do want to try to replicate the contrast. Much of the minimalism is absolutely composition, but some of them are silhouettes that simply do not appear naturally (at least I see that). I know he films movies with a Leica camera, and I have a Canon DSLR. Should I shoot in a certain setting on my camera (high iso because they are granulated? What aperture or shutter speed?)? Is this something you do in the dark room? I don't like using Photoshop to alter a photo a lot, but is that my best option?

I specifically ask about his photos "Etna" and "Houston, Texas, 7439"

Thank you!

Sample photos here (no copy + paste of your website): https://www.renatodagostin.com/renato-d-agostin/selected-works-bw

Canon: is there a camera that can automatically upload photos to an Android device?

We are trying to build multiple Photobooths next to each other, which are equipped with a tablet that has a user interface to select and upload certain photos in a folder. At this time, we use the 700d / 750d canon (which is currently approximately 7-10 years old) with flash cards to take the photos and transfer them to the tablet where they can be selected and loaded. The problem is: the delay and the delay. Most of the time the images are almost as fast on the tablet as you can shoot (we don't shoot RAW for some reason) but occasionally it starts to get delayed and connection is missing … like 20-30 min. or more…

That is the reason why I asked my question here.
Most modern cameras can send selected photos to a nearby Android device, but I couldn't find any that can do it automatically. At least not the low or medium range cameras we have. I have seen that Canon 5DMKIV seems to be able to automatically upload images to an FTP server or a specific device on the network.

Looking for an application to combine photos and videos in a slide show

(I'm not sure if that's the right place to ask that question)

I am looking for an application (for Android or Mac) that allows you to combine photos and videos in a slide show.

Illumination: can I get bright details and dark background photos with the phone's camera and basic edition?

Can I get bright details and dark background photos with the phone's camera and basic edition?

Answering the question literally, Do not. The key element of this type of photography is not particular to any camera technology (either a camera phone or a medium format professional camera), nor is it particular to a particular type of postprocessing.

The key feature of this type of photography is Turning on. Specifically, this is an example of discrete lighting. The term is somewhat contradictory, because it refers to the high proportion from lighting the brightest elements of the scene to the darkest elements (usually the background) of the scene.

So, can you achieve this aspect with your phone's camera and subsequent processing? Sure but only if you control the lighting of the subject, some distance from the bottom. With a key light powerful enough, the background doesn't even have to be black: the key light will dominate any light that touches the background. However, to make it easier for you, and probably less expensive, it helps control as many elements of the scene's lighting as possible: strong key light, dark background, gobos to block incident and reflected light.

competitions – What do Oleg Ershov's winning photos show?

So I found two photos on the BBC, and I can't understand what they are for, even from the competition's website (I'm not affiliated).

The first (Fleswick Bay, England) is difficult to understand because of an object that appears to be a pebble, which creates a kind of illusion; the second (Blafellsa, Iceland) I am not sure if there is a large area or a macro shot.

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Need some edited photos / photoshoped

Hi everyone

I need a couple of edited images / Photoshoped removal / change of backgrounds. Please, just contact me if you can do it today and the price you are looking for.

Payments only through paypal.

Thank you

Macos: can I preview iPhone photos on my MacBook screen before importing them?


I just took a lot of photos on my iPhone 6 to capture some good ones (I guess I'm a lousy photographer).

My MacBook Air has had chronically little disk space for years (I guess I'm a lousy system administrator).


I would like to preview the images on the big screen of my MacBook one at a time before deciding what to import to my laptop and which ones to delete on the phone regardless. it's possible?

Alternatively, if I import, say, one group of photos at a time to my laptop, then I delete the ones I don't want, can I simultaneously delete the originals from my iPhone from my MacBook? Does the Photos application have a "double delete" or "delete here and also on the IOS device" function?

I just want to do this locally using the USB connection, "without clouds".

There is a slider for preview images, but to the maximum they are still only thumbnail size, and the differences I am looking for require a full screen mode.

Thumbnail view only before import?

How to transfer all my photos from my Canon camera to my iPad mini in Wi-Fi?

Both answers to your questions. They are outlined in the manual as noted by Andy Blankertz. Manuals are generally not very good at telling you what you cannot do, but they are generally good at telling you what functionality was created. In this case, you must deduce the fact that you cannot do exactly what you want with an all-in-one button, but you must repeat a few steps.

The only option to download "all images" would be to select each image individually using the instructions on page 142, and repeat as necessary for each batch of 50 images as indicated on page 141.

This may sound tedious, but just to give you an idea of ​​how the Canon software is evolving, the EOS Remote application with which I have to work on my DSLR only allows you to download a single image at a time and does not even allow you to select several images (even less 50).

Page 142 of the SX280 manual:

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Page 141 of the SX280 manual:

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