Although capturing great quality photographs of the moon has been popular amongst the astrophotography community for decades now, the wider photograph community seem to be wanting to improve their ability to capture photographs of the moon too. We have notice a steadily increasing number of people reaching out about how to get the best image quality possible when photographing the moon and we only expect this to continue in the future if the month on month increase for the last six months or so are anything to go by.
Although there are a large number of questions that we see people reaching out about, one of the most frequently asked questions that we constantly see people asking is based around how to improve their image quality for moon photography with a 75-300mm lens. Due to seeing so many people asking questions based around lenses with the 75-300mm focal length, we have decided to make this the main focus of today’s article to try and help as many of our readers as possible who are using a 75-300mm lens and wanting to get better photographs of the moon.
Thankfully, the 75-300mm focal length is an ideal range for the various types of moon photography and this versatility from the lens opens up a number of different tricks that you are able to use to your advantage to get the best image quality possible. We see some people reaching out with questions for lenses that are less than ideal for moon photography so the advise that we are able to offer is pretty limited but the 75-300mm lenses on the market really do open up the door for a number of techniques.
As usual, there is no need for you to go out and implement all of these tips and tricks when trying to capture photographs of the moon. By all means, implement as many of them as possible as they all come together to improve the over all image quality that you can capture but your location as well as your specific lens type and camera body all come into play and have an effect on the steps you can and cant take when looking to implement your moon photography.
That said though, our recent partnership with Skillshare means that our readers can enroll in their highest rated nighttime photography course without having to spend a cent. In addition to getting full access to that course, you will also get Skillshare premium for two months too meaning that you are able to enroll on as many other courses on the platform as you with too. In our opinion, the course is well worth doing as it only takes around an hour to complete but can really help you improve the photographs that you are able to capture of the moon.
Use The Landscape To Your Advantage
When using the 75-300mm focal range, you can reduce the zoom level when photographing the moon to take advantage of the landscape around you as shown in the image above. Although this may sound like a basic point, we see so many people sticking to the 300mm zoom and not even trying anything else and this is a mistake, it restricts what you are able to do with your camera and lens and can cause you to miss out on some great looking photographs.
Taking advantage of the landscape around you when photographing the moon also helps to add some foreground or even middle ground depending on what you have available to help add depth and scale to your photograph. Depending on the lighting, you can also capture some excellent silhouettes of the things around you with the moon acting as their backdrop too.
Although we have used mountains and trees for the example above, you can use high rised buildings, statues, and other landmarks in your local area if you live in an urban area and don’t have access to mountains or trees. As so many of the people who we see reaching out about capturing photographs of the moon with their 75-300mm lens do seem to be new to photography, we would also like to offer the same advice we tell everyone new to photography. Get out and experiment, even with things that you don’t think will work, try it and see what happens. This can be a great way to capture some excellent, unique photographs of the moon that you can then share on social media or use as a part of your portfolio and be proud of.
Take Advantage Of The Twilight Exposure
The budgets that our readers have available to them tends to change drastically from person to person too and as you probably know, not all 75-300mm camera lenses are created equally. Although this next tip may not be too beneficial for any of our readers who have an intermediate or professional level 75-300mm lens but it can make a drastic improvement to what anyone using an entry level lens will be able to capture.
The twilight exposure is an effect either just after the sun sets or just before it rises when the sky starts to get the slightest hint of colour in it. Depending on where you live, the time of year, and the atmospherics, these colour hues in the sky can be blue, purple, and green. These can help to drastically improve the image quality that you are able to capture when taking photographs of the moon with an entry level 75-300mm lens as they help compensate for the poor aperture for the low light photography.
Although the yellow, orange, and red hues can still help, they tend to be too bright and can often spoil the photograph so have a quick google search to find out when it is more likely that you will have the blue, purple, and green in the sky around your location. Depending on how prevalent this effect is in the dark sky, these colour hues can also make for a unique photograph of the moon too and the best part is, it will usually show up throughout the whole 75-300mm focal length so you can try different types of photograph of the moon during your session.
Play With Different Focal Lengths
As you probably know, the 75-300mm focal range lenses offer a wide range of different focal lengths to you for a number of different photography niches. As we touched on earlier in the article, we see so many people, especially those who are new to photography or at least new to photographing the moon will end up sticking to either the 300mm zoom length or at least stay at the higher zoom ranges without ever trying anything else.
As we mentioned in our first tip of the article, you are able to capture some excellent photographs of the moon with the local landscape views in your frame if you use the lower zoom lengths. We would highly recommend that you get out and experiment and play around with the whole zoom range that you lens offer to ensure that you are able to get used to this versatile lens range and play with different ways you are able to use the range to your advantage.
Even if you practise with other photography niches rather than photographing the moon, put the time in to get used to what you have available to you with your focal length. So many people will start out with a kit lens that will often top out at 55mm and then moving to a 300mm maximum focal length can take some getting used to. Play around with photography niches such as bird photography if it is day light to help you get used to the 300mm focal length to help you get the feel for how you are able to best use your focal range for capturing the moon.
Ignore The Under Exposure Warnings From Your Camera
Again, this one will be less common if you are using an intermediate or professional level 75-300mm camera lens but if you are using an entry level lens, the lack of light hitting your camera sensor can often set off the under exposure warning on many of the popular camera bodies on the market. Unfortunately, this is unavoidable with the entry level 75-300mm camera lenses with the limited aperture control. Although these annoying warnings can get on your nerves, they are just telling you that very little light is reaching your camera sensor and they can usually be ignored.
Depending on the actual camera body that you are using, you may be able to turn these under exposure warnings off completely. Depending on how frequently they are showing up, it may be a good idea for you to temporarily turn these warnings off when taking photographs of the moon as it is likely that they will just keep coming up if you are using an entry level lens.
Optimize Your Camera Settings
This one is going to be down to you as our readers use a wide range of different camera bodies with their 75-300mm lenses. Tweaking your shutter speed and ISO settings on your camera when taking photographs of the moon can make a supposing difference and we would highly recommend that you have a play around with what you have available. If you are using a more popular camera body, there is a high chance that you will be able to just Google the best settings for moon photography for your camera body and get a good benchmark to start with.
Play Around With Your Aperture
The final tip that we want to offer for moon photography with a 75-300mm lens is to play around with the available aperture on your lens. Again, this will depend on the price point of the lens but tweaking your aperture even just a small amount can end up making a drastic difference in the actual image quality that you are able to capture the moon in. Just like out tip above for camera settings, if you do have a more popular 75-300mm camera lens, you will probably be able to google the best focal length and aperture to use with the lens when photographing the moon for optimal image quality.