04 Shoot the moon
March is one of the best times to shoot the moon. The most interesting shots can be had at twilight, when there’s still some colour in the sky.
Use an app such as The Photographer’s Ephemeris (http://photoephemeris.com) to calculate the position of the moon as the night progresses, and plan your pictures accordingly.
You can use a wide range of lenses – anywhere between 50mm and 300mm.
However, for frame-filling shots, you’re going to need a serious amount of focal length to pull it in close.
With a 400mm lens and a 2x teleconverter mounted on an APS-C SLR such as a Canon EOS 650D or Nikon D5200, you will still only manage to fill less then half the frame. Cropping is the only answer here.
Why not try combining a magnified moon, shot at the long end of a zoom, with a wider view of a scene? Cameras like the Canon EOS 6D or Nikon D300 include a Multiple Exposure mode that lets you combine two exposures in one frame.
First, shoot the moon against a black sky, using an exposure of around 1/200 sec at f/11 (ISO200). Check the histogram to ensure you’re not over-exposing it, then take the second shot, exposing normally.
However, for more control, combine two separate shots using layers and blends in Photoshop.
Get started today…
* Shoot in raw rather than JPEG to ensure maximum quality and editing flexibility.
* Shoot in Manual mode. Try an exposure of f/16 at 1/ISO sec to begin with.
* Check the camera’s histogram – make sure the graph is to the right without being clipped.
* Use the magnification feature of Live View to zoom in on the moon and check the focusing.
PAGE 1: Shoot a single colour
PAGE 2: Shoot light trails
PAGE 3: Shoot with a bargain f/1.8 lens
PAGE 4: Shoot the moon
PAGE 5: Shoot with the wrong white balance
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PAGE 7: Shoot the Venice Carnival
PAGE 8: Shoot the urban underground
PAGE 9: Shoot inspiring architecture