Sandy Beach, Oahu - Hawai'i, USA

Shooting the Moon at Twilight

The moon is a gorgeous subject, but it can be tough to get the shot you want. Have you ever taken a photograph of the moon at night only to discover that it is so bright in your photograph that it appears as a bright, white spot? Do you want to capture a landscape photograph with objects in the foreground and the moon in the sky as well? The trick is to capture the scene at twilight. When the light is low, you can capture the moon and the foreground with a single exposure – without blowing out the moon or leaving the foreground pitch dark.

I took this shot at Sandy Beach on Oahu early this week. Here are a few useful tips that helped me get the shot I wanted.

1. I used an Induro tripod to hold my camera steady. A 1/5 sec shutter speed let me blur my moving subjects in the foreground for a bit of motion without blurring my moon.

2. I took a couple of test shots to make sure I had the focus I wanted both in the foreground and in the sky. I zoomed in to check the photo on the back of my camera to be sure the details in the moon were sharp.

3. I stood well back from my foreground and used a long lens – 70-200mm with a 1.4x extender – which let me zoom in to show the large size of the moon as it rose. A wide angle lens will leave you with a tiny, little moon that gets lost in the frame.

Do have any more tips for shooting the moon? Please share them in the comments so that others can learn! And then, get out there and shoot the moon, everyone! It’s such a beautiful subject!


About Author Varina Patel

There is nothing more remarkable to me than the power of nature. It is both cataclysmic and subtle. Slow and continuous erosion by water and wind can create landscapes every bit as astonishing as those shaped by catastrophic events – and minuscule details can be as breathtaking as grand vistas that stretch from one horizon to the other. Nature is incredibly diverse. Burning desert sands and mossy riverbanks… Brilliant sunbeams and fading alpenglow… Silent snowfall and raging summer storms… Each offers a unique opportunity. I am irresistibly drawn to the challenge of finding my next photograph, and mastering the skills required to capture it effectively.


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