Digital Photography Courses.co.uk - How to Photograph a Full Moon - Tel 0116 279 6906 - email glen@digitalphotographycourses.co.uk

Course Location & Timings

 

Dates: February to November

Timings: 09.45am - 5.00pm

Address: 25 Westerby Lane, Smeeton Westerby, Leics, LE8 0RA

Telephone. 0116 2796906

Price: £135

Lunch: Included

 

Nature = Nature & Bird Photography Course at Rutland Water. Oakham

 

Photography Course Timings

 

9.30 -10am Arrival, coffee & biscuits 10.00am camera settings & theory

12.30 -1.00pm light lunch (included)

1pm-3pm Practical photography

3pm-4pm Review photographs

4pm-5pm Photo-editing Demonstration

5pm Questions & course feedback

 

DSLR Course Requirements

 

Digital SLR Camera

Extra lenses - optional

External flashgun - optional

Fully charged battery and / or a spare

Empty memory card

Any other kit you need explaining

change of shoes if wet.

 

Please ensure you have a fully charged battery as we will be using your camera a lot and batteries do to tend to run out.For batteries and cards at huge discounts visit

www.mymemory.co.uk

How Do You Photograph the Full Moon?

How do you photograph a full moon?

It's actually surprising easy to photograph a full moon and get reasonable results providing you have a tripod and a pretty long telephoto lens.

How to photograph a full moonThe first thing that might come as a surprise is just how bright a full moon is. There is a tendency to think that pictures of the moon at night need long exposures of several seconds. Indeed if you use your camera on the Full Auto setting then it will tend to give quite long exposures because of the large area of dark sky. This will result in the moon being over bright without any detail.

If you think about what actually lights the moon though it might shed some light on why it is so bright. The light on the moon is really the reflected light from the sun. Now I know you're probably thinking, "How can there be any light from the sun when it's dark", but just because where you live is in the shadow of the sun (night time) it doesn't mean the moon is also in shadow.

Technique for photographing a full moon

Super moon
  1. First of all get yourself a good sturdy tripod, a long telephoto or zoom lens and a torch to see the camera settings with. I've been using a Sigma 150-500mm f56 /f6.3 zoom, which gets you fairly close, but you will still need to crop it a bit. You should be OK with a 200mm or 300mm but obviously the shorter the lens then the more you will have to crop the image.

  2. Before you go outside into the cold and fit your camera to a tripod it's worth getting your camera set up indoors. For a shot of a bright full moon you will need to set your camera to 100 or 200 ISO to minimize the grain. This is for two reasons, 1) because the moon is really bright and 2) because you may need to enlarge and crop the central portion of the image. Next set your metering mode to Spot Metering and place the focus point in the centre. Set the camera to the Aperture Priority mode. If you feel confident enough you could put the camera setting on fully manual.

  3. Try to set up your tripod well away from street lights and frame and focus on the moon before locking off the tripod. If you try and meter the exposure with the camera on Full Auto the moon will be far too bright which is why you need to put the camera either on the Aperture Priority. Because your metering mode is set to Spot Metering it should only read the exposure for the central focus spot on the moon. Now take a test exposure and you are looking for good detail in the moon so it should appear a light to mid grey on screen. If it's too light then use your -/+ compensation button to dial in a figure of minus 1 stop and then repeat the exposure. Do this again if it still too bright. If the picture is too dark then you will need to compensate by using a plus setting.

  4. If you are confident using the camera on full manual the start with an exposure of 1/125sec at f11 using 200 ISO and go from there. If the picture is too bright use a smaller aperture or faster shutter speed like 1/250 or 1/500. If it's too dark open up to F8 or use 1/60th second. You can avoid camera shake by using a remote release or by using the self timer function.

  5. Unless you are using a 1000mm lens you will need to crop the image in Photoshop or Picasa. You might also want to add some sharpening just to bring out the details.

  6. If you have a go at this and you want to send me your pictures the you can either send them to me at the address below or via www.facebook.com/glen.tillyard

How to photograph the stars?

How do you photograph the stars?

Photographing the moon is far easier than photographing the sky at night. This is because the moon is many times brighter than the stars so consequentially the exposure times are much shorter. The biggest problem with photographing the stars is that the earth is constantly revolving on its axis. This means that any exposures longer than a few seconds will result in the stars being elongated rather than a sharp pin point of light. To minimize this stretching effect, which is even more magnified with a telephoto lens, we need to keep the exposures as short as possible. This entails having the sensitivity settings fairly high at 800 to 1600 ISO. This results in more digital noise which in turn results in a loss of detail. If you fancy a go then I included a basic technique below to get you started.

Basic technique for photographing the stars?

  1. First of all get yourself a good sturdy tripod and a remote release, or use the self timer, and a torch to see the camera settings with. Try to find somewhere well away from street lights as the light pollution will spoil your picture. Cold clear nights away from towns work best.

  2. A long telephoto or zoom lens isn't necessary as you will not be able to get any real close ups of stars with any real detail. I've been using a Sigma 500mm f6.3 zoom and with anything longer than a two second exposure the stars come out very stretched because of the rotation of the Earth. Notice how much movement there is with the shot below which was taken with a 15 second exposure on a 500mm lens.

Moving Stars

  1. Before you go outside into the cold and fit your camera to a tripod it's worth getting your camera set up indoors. For a shot of the stars I would put the exposure mode onto shutter priority (or manual if you feel confident enough) and set the sensitivity to 800 ISO. Using the 18-55mm zoom at f5.6 you should be able to get away with an exposure of about 8 seconds without any really obvious star light trails.

  2. Try to set up your tripod well away from street lights and frame and focus on infinity before locking off the tripod. If you try and meter the exposure with the camera on Full Auto you may have trouble focusing and getting the correct exposure which is why you need to put the camera either on the Shutter Priority or manual modes. Now take a test exposure and you are looking for good detail in the stars while keeping the night sky black. If you find sky looking a bit grey you can shorten the exposure to 4 seconds. If you can't see any stars try increasing your exposure time to 15 seconds or turning the ISO up to 1600.

  3. If you can find the North Star and put your central focus point over it then you can use a really long exposure of several minutes to deliberately show the star trails.

  4. If the image is too light then use your -/+ compensation button to dial in a figure of minus 1 stop and then repeat the exposure. Do this again if it still too bright. If the picture is too dark then you will need to compensate by using a plus setting.

  5. If you are confident using the camera on fully manual then start with an exposure of 4 second at 5.6 using 800 ISO and go from there. If the picture is too bright use a smaller aperture or faster shutter speed. If it's too dark open up to F8 or use 8 seconds. You can avoid camera shake by using a remote release or by using the self timer function.

  6. The longer the lens you use then the more magnified the movement of the Earth will be and the shorter your exposure time will need to be. So if you are using a 500mm lens your shutter speed will need to be less than a second to prevent subject (the stars) movement. Notice how much movement there is with the shot above which was taken with a 15 second exposure on a 500mm lens.
  1. If you have a go at this and you want to send me your pictures the you can either send them to me at the address below or via www.facebook.com/glen.tillyard

Please Contact Us If You Have Any Questions


email - glen@digitalcameracourses.co.uk or call 0116 279 6906

Student Testimonials

Having spent over a year using my camera only on full auto to take photos I decided I needed help to figure out all the settings I should be using.

I'm so pleased I did. This photography course explained all the settings and all the best picture composition tips I needed. Glen ensured no one left without all of their questions being answered- including me.

Laura Simpson

 

Hi Glen "Thanks for a most enjoyable and informative day, It answered all my questioned plus many more. Considering lunch was included I thought it was really excellent value for money."

David Stone


Hi Glen. I'm just dropping you a note to say how much I enjoyed the course today. You answered all my questions and gave me the confidence to go out and use my camera properly. Today has turned my box of expensive gadgets into top class photography equipment. Thanks!

Barry Cunliffe

This has been a great photography course and I know I can now take proper photographs instead of just snaps.

Highly Recommended.

Ivan Last

A good balance of technical & practical information with enough detail for the more experienced camera user without losing the beginners interest. A great course for getting the best out of my DSLR.

Iain Carpenter

A Fantastic Course. I now know how to use all the functions on the camera I didn't even know were there. I really enjoyed the course and learned a lot.

Karen Evans

Disk Doctors Photo Recovery 

I have enjoyed the day. I need to get out now and take hundreds of pictures to get it to stay with me.

Rosemarie Redfern.

I was a complete novice but now I feel quite excited about experimenting with my photography.

Carol Aries.

A great introduction to DSLR photography. Many thanks.

Phil Harrisonwild.