Moon Photography

Are there any simple tricks for photographing the moon and keeping the moon illusion within a photograph? Many of my photos that happen to have the moon end up showing the moon as a very bright object about 1/4 the apparent size.

A decent zoom lens is about the only way, other than enlarging and cropping. If you’re using 35 mm film, I’d recommend something around 200-300 mm to show a nice large Moon. It’s gonna cost you, though. If you can’t afford the glass, then most decent photo shops can do a custom enlargement and crop. If you’re going to go that route, use a fairly slow film, like ISO 100 or slower. That’ll help reduce the graininess that shows up in enlargements. The Moon is bright enough where you can get away with a slow film, unlike most other celestial objects.

I think that the OP is asking for a way to duplicate the illusory effect of a big ol’ moon looming near the horizon.

I’m only a middling photographer, but my intuition is that the only (or at least the easiest) way to go is to use a tripod and take two shots-- one with the settings optimized to get the moon, and one for the landscape. Then make a composite of the two.

Maybe this is a simple-minded cheat and a pro would be able to find a way to find a single exposure and focus setting to get it all in, but I can’t imagine how.

As far as making the moon appear large relative to other objects, I guess just move far away from those objects and zoom in. That way they get smaller while the moon stays the same size.

To make the moon appear large without using any trickery you need to use an extremely long telephoto lens. This forces you to be a greater distance from the foreground objects making the moon appear relatively larger.

Exposure for the moon is a problem beacause to see detail you need to remember that it’s lit by direct sunlight. It’s extremely difficult to meter so you can use the sunny f16 rule, aperture f16 and shutter speed equal to 1/ISO value. Naturally this will cause a dramatic underexposure of anything else if you’re shooting at night. About the only way to get such a shot is to shoot a near full moon just above the horizon while the sun is just above the opposite horizon.