How To Take the Best Moon Photos




The moon is one of the night's glorious spectacles. Besides the stars, it's one of the most captured elements of the night. Here in the last year, we've been lucky to have had a Super Moon (Super Full Moon) in July, August and September.  If you're unfamiliar with Super Moons, they occur when a Full or New Moon, coincides with the Moon's closest approach to the Earth. They typically happen once or twice a year.  

I have been trying to perfect my approach of taking pictures of the moon and I think I finally have it down. I'm going to break down my camera settings, equipment and editing I did to achieve my best photo of the moon.  

 August Super Moon

The above photo is the photoI took of this year's Super Moon in August. It was the biggest and brightest Super Moon of the year. I took this photo, the same way I took this month's photo as far as my camera settings go, and I will have to say it didn't require much work, just attention to detail.  


Equipment I Used: 

Nikon 5200 

55-200mm Lens 


You can use a point and shoot camera, DSLR, or from what I've seen, an IPhone with external lenses. You'll just need a camera and lens that will allow you to capture the moon from far away and has intense magnification for details. You also have the option of not using a tripod, as I took the August Moon picture without one. A tripod ensures that you will not have any camera shake or vibration from shooting the picture, but I decided to use one this month and it was way more convenient. Also, be sure to check the dates and times for the moon phases. Just like the sun, the moon has moonrise and moonset times. You can check the dates and times here.  

Tips For Adjusting Your Camera Settings: 

Shoot in Manual and RAW format to avoid compression and true to life color and size 

Adjust your exposure for the moon by using center weighted or spot metering 

Adjust your aperture to allow more light in (Recommended up to f11)      

Adjust your ISO for the specific time 

Adjust your shutter speed for a faster exposure time 

*  You can use bracketing on your camera if it's available to capture photos in succession with different exposure levels to figure out which exposure is right for you 

*  Underexposing your photo (-2) is recommended since the moon will be really bright during the Super Moon phase 

SOURCE David Peterson, Digital Photo Secrets 


Tips for the Location Settings: 

Moon photos are best at horizon levels 

Surrounding areas with a city or landscape background are ideal 

Make sure there is little to no cloud cover 

I live in an apartment complex, so I little to work with as far as my surroundings go. I'm surrounded my apartment buildings that are pretty tall. So, what I did was set my tripod up on my porch and tilted my camera above the buildings. If you have a chance to shoot the moon in a better outdoor location, I would definitely recommend it.  

My Camera Settings: 

200 mm focal length 

ISO Hi7 (10159) 

1/1250 Shutter Speed 

f/14 Aperture 

Center Weighted Exposure 

No Flash 


It took about 10 pictures to achieve the final look of the moon, If you adjust your settings as you go along and find the best setting for your camera, you can capture the moon in all of it's glory. I would usually sharpen the photo, change the color, and change the orientation of the photo, but I chose not to edit the photo to show that you can achieve your best looking photo of the moon with the right camera settings.  


Tell Me... 

Did you capture the moon this year? Leave your link down below 





Mood Dates To Look Out For:  


October 8, Full Hunter’s Moon, 6:51 a.m. — the remaining “blood moon”  

November 6, Full Beaver Moon, 5:23 p.m. 

December 6, Full Cold Moon, 7:27 a.m. 

September 28, Full Blood Moon 


(New Moons) in 2015 January 20, February 18, March 20,  

August 29, September 28, October 27.  

“Blood Moons” (Super Full Moons)  September 28 

Full Moons in 2015 January 5, February 3, March 5, April 4, May 4, June  

2, July 2, July 31 (Blue Moon), August 14, September 13, October 13, November 11, and  

December 11."  

SOURCE Zachary Stieber, Epoch Times