BC Photo Challenge Pro Tips: Framing The Moon

Have you ever sat looking up at the moon, and wondered how you could capture exactly what you’re seeing with your camera? Photographer extraordinaire Steven Jones can show you how!

Be sure to enter your photos of Beautiful British Columbia in BC Magazine’s Photo Challenge! There are four categories – nature, adventure, scenic and culture.

On photographing the moon: “It’s easy to overlook the moon as a subject for your photographs – but shooting the moon can create dramatic results. One of my favourite things to do with a full moon is to compose the image as the moon rises over the horizon. It could be poking out from behind a mountain or framed by trees. This technique works best if you have a telephoto lens. There are three key steps to achieving this effect:

  • “Take care in your exposure. If you allow your camera to set the exposure, it will usually overexpose the moon. This happens as most of the frame is filled by the dark night sky and the camera is trying to find a reasonable compromise. The correct shutter speed may be somewhere between 1/50 and 1/100 of a second – much faster than you would normally use at night.
  • “It’s a challenge to keep the moon and the framing element sharply in focus. To do this, choose something that is as far away from your camera as possible, such as trees on a distant hill, and use a high f-number, such as f/11.
  • “You need to know where the moon will appear. My favourite tool for doing this is an app and website called The Photographer’s Ephemeris. Conveniently, a full moon will always appear on the horizon around the time of sunset.”

You can check out Steve’s work at stevenjonesphotography.ca.

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Michaela Ludwig

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