Photo #4: Moonrise

One of the most exciting prospects of getting a telephoto lens was the chance to get good pictures of the moon. I’ve never been able to get close enough with a standard lens.

I love the moon. It’s beautiful, at times colorful, and can yield some pretty stunning photos. However, it’s also a tricky subject to master.

I’ve tried to capture the moon before, with varying success. The sky’s were perfectly clear tonight, so I headed to a little park with an open view to the east. I put the telephoto on the camera, and broke out the tripod. I’ve found the weight of the telephoto lens makes it difficult at times to hold the camera steady, so I’m better off using a tripod or monopod with the larger lens

The moon rose about 25 minutes after sunset. It was striking red rising through the trees. I’ve discovered in the twilight setting, the auto modes on my camera don’t work so well. I tried two or three shots in automatic mode, before switching over the shutter priority.

Unfortunately, the timing of the moonrise worked against me. While the color was beautiful, the contrast between the moon and the skyline was just too great. If the horizon was visible, the moon was way to over exposed. Correcting the exposure to the moon made the horizon vanish. I tried both manual and autofocus and took several shots using the camera’s internal zoom in addition to the lens. Overall, I got some decent photos, but nothing really great. Lesson learned, photograph the full moon when it rises before the sunset. This is another one to try again.

Here’s the best image I got.

Photo #4: Moonrise

Photo #4: Moonrise

Tech Details:
Equipment: Sony NEX-5R, 55-210mm telephoto lens, tripod.
Image: 1/125 sec exposure, f/6.3, IS-3200.

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