How to take pictures of the moon with smartphone? 6 tips

How to take pictures of the moon with smartphone? 6 tips

Have you ever wondered how to take pictures of the moon with smartphone? Perhaps you are unsure of the equipment you require or the ideal camera settings for photographing the night sky. I can tell you from personal experience that photographing the stars may be difficult, but if you master the fundamentals, it can be really rewarding and you’ll be able to get some breathtaking images.

We are going to cover all the astrophotography basics in this post to enable you to take stunning pictures of the night sky. This contains camera settings, necessary equipment, composition advice, and much more!


How to take pictures of the moon with smartphone

Set the brightness for the moon rather than the sky

One of the first things you should learn about getting beautiful moon photos is how to expose it. Simply said, you’re shooting the moon, not the night sky, despite the fact that the two may often be confused, thus you should expose for the moon. Touching the moon on a phone is the same as fixing the focal point on the moon with a good camera. This will cause the photo to be exposed to the light of the moon, which is significant because the moon is much brighter than you believe.

Set the brightness for the moon rather than the sky
Set the brightness for the moon rather than the sky

Reduce the brightness since the Moon is brighter than you believe

Even though a lens is designed to mimic how the eye functions, a camera perceives things differently than you do. Although you have some control over your eye and the camera has some knowledge of how to regulate light, it might not always perform as well as your eye.

A good illustration of this is the moon. Although it is a brilliant object far away, once your eyes have adjusted, you should be able to see the crater on the surface clearly. This isn’t always possible with cameras, and if you point one at the Moon, it can choose to ignore the detail that is on top in order to deal with the brightness.

Lower the scene’s brightness to reduce the exposure so that a phone or camera can figure this out. On a phone, you can usually achieve this by just dragging the brightness slider to the left to make the scene less bright, but with a real camera, you’ll need to speed up the shutter time.

Alternately, you can widen the aperture, but since the moon is so far away, you might not have the necessary “depth” for the aperture to be useful, thus widening the shutter speed could be a better choice. Finally, you’ll want to experiment, although most moon shots don’t require much depth because they’re so far away. The moon is high in the sky, which is where we photograph it, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Know your limits

We won’t delve into the details of zoom, although you might need some if you want to get a good image of the Moon while it’s not incredibly large in the sky. Knowing the range of the camera you’re dealing with is useful for this reason.

You might be able to get near enough to photograph the moon in the sky if you have a phone or camera with zoom, like the iPhone 11 Pro Max, the Huawei P30 Pro, or even one of the Samsung Galaxy S20 models. However, depending on the model, you might want to prepare for some pixelation. Simply because of the enormous size, even if you have a phone without a zoom lens, you might be able to get a nice image of a supermoon.

In general, it’s crucial to be aware of the reach you have at your disposal and to consider that. It’s difficult to cope with if you try to go near to the full moon while using a wide-angle phone camera since there’s a strong possibility your phone will only capture a dot of white. However, a supermoon modifies the parameters of composition and provides you with greater control.

Try to position something else in the shot

Try to position something else in the shot: how to take pictures of the moon with smartphone
Try to position something else in the shot: how to take pictures of the moon with smartphone

Even while the moon is beautiful on its own, placing things in front of it or even scenery around it may make the moon stand out even more.

a structure with the moon behind it, or individuals who are illuminated by the moon. In these situations, you should experiment with the aperture on a good camera or adjust the phone’s target to the area where the light is most crucial. Your subject may be illuminated by the moon, in which case you will be using the brightness of that large, bright ball in the sky that appears at night and shifting your attention away from the craters.

To add extra information, such as bringing those fine lines back into the photo, you may want to experiment with the depth control or aperture setting on your camera or phone.

There are lots of opportunities if you can’t get the shot

Even if you miss the supermoon that will be visible from Australia this week, your moon-based astrophotography adventure need not come to an end. Every night, the moon rises and is generally visible, with the possible exception of the new moon when the sky is a little darker than usual.

There are lots of opportunities if you can't get the shot.
There are lots of opportunities if you can’t get the shot.

However, it also means that there are more opportunities to photograph the moon, even if it isn’t always as enormous as what a night of the supermoon might produce. Therefore, you should always aim to photograph the moon, regardless of whether it is higher up or taking up a bigger portion of the night sky.

Develop your focus strategy

Make care to touch the moon to focus the camera on it and to change the brightness if you’re simply using a smartphone. Make careful to concentrate on where you want the light to be if you’re attempting to include the moon in a scenario, Stark said.

For instance, if you’re high enough to capture the moon hanging over your capital city’s skyline, focusing on the moon might be enough to illuminate the buildings, while focusing on the darker building structures and exposing this might transform the super bright light into a sun that can be seen at night.


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