How to Photograph the Moon for Perfect Results

Without a doubt, the moon is the brightest object in the night sky and this has motivated many photographers to learn how to photograph it. However, the moon can be tricky to photograph; it’s hard to find the best exposure because of its brightness, and it’s smaller than it appears.

Nevertheless, if you’re reading this and you’ve always wanted to capture the moon in all its glory, your lucky star has fallen on you and here are the best tips you can apply to get the perfect results of moon photographs.

1. Understand the phases of the moon

The moon doesn’t emit light and whatever you see is as a result of sunlight that hits it from different angles as it orbits around the earth. Every phase is different and gives the moon a different feel and look.


For instance, quarter moons and gibbous are the most alluring due to the fact that the side-lighting gives out shadows that expose mountains and craters on the surface of the moon. The full moon is without a doubt the brightest but it will look flat. A crescent is the darkest but can excellently be used to punctuate uninspiring night sky.

2. Shoot at the right time

If you want to capture the moon in all its glory, learn to take a shot at the right time. You might be asking yourself what the right time is and because you’re reading this article, consider yourself lucky.

The best time to take the best shot is at twilight, just before and after sunset when the moon is close to the horizon. At twilight, the sky is full of residual light which helps to distinguish the details surrounding the moon and adds amazing colors to the clouds and sky making your shot to stand out.

3. Include foreground interests

If you ask most photographers, they will tell you that you need to purchase a long focal length lens in order to capture the moon in all its beauty. However, if you’re tight on a budget, you still can capture the moon using any lens by including a foreground interest.


This means that instead of making the moon the main subject, include an image in the foreground and let the moon be on the background. For instance, you can capture the moon through the blades of grass and it will definitely stand out.

4. Have the right gear

When you think of moon photography, the first gear that crosses your mind is the camera. Well, that could be right but moon photography tips entails understanding how to prevent the movement and this means you’ll need more than a camera. Wondering what other gear is needed? Let’s find out’

• Tripod – A camera tripod is so far the best gear you’d want to prevent camera shake and will also offer protection against external factors that cause vibrations such as wind

• A shutter release – Shutter release comes in both wired and wireless option and allows you to hit the shutter without necessarily depressing the shutter button which can increase the risks of camera shake

• Mirror lock-up (MLU) – Given that even the slightest internal movement can cause blurry images, MLU is essential. It moves the mirror out of the way to ensure that the snap is glorious

5. Post-process in Photoshop

After taking a perfect shot of the moon, it’s recommendable to post-process it in Photoshop to ensure that it looks exactly as you want. A Photoshop allows you to resize or reposition the moon, and combine different images to the surrounding to ensure that you get the best composition that will make the moon perfect.

Bottom line

In summary, moon photography is not always a walk in the park but with the right information, patience and determination, it’s rewarding.


The good news is that this is a learning process and you can improve your experience and manage to get that perfect shot. If you’re an aspiring photographer or interested in photographic the moon in all its glory, this article will get you started.