First Quarter Moon

First Quarter Moon

As the moon "grows" larger in the sky, it reflects more light into the atmosphere, blocking out the distant and dimmer stars. Photographing the Milky Way, stars, or planets becomes more difficult, so I simply captured the cause of the problem - the moon.

This image was captured hand-held (no tripod) with a 600mm lens, with a 2x tele-converter attached. The tele-converter doubles the aperture, so this was capture at the lowest possible for this set up, F13. It's a good thing the moon is actually very bright, with an aperture that low, it's often necessary to bump up the ISO or drastically lower the shutter speed, which can introduce noise or camera shake.

In addition to the set up above, the camera was put into DX mode. This crops the image area when using DX lenses on a full frame camera. This "trick" increases the magnification of a lens by 1.5 times. So, the equivalent magnification here is 1800mm.

I prefer to capture images of the moon when it's less than full. The craters cast long shadows making them easier to see in the photograph.

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