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How to Photograph a Moonrise and Moonset

Want to learn how to predict and photograph a moonrise or moonset? Here’s a helpful 5-minute video on just that by photographer Matthew Saville of Nature TTL.

Every month there is a full moon, and this is the perfect time to capture the moon on camera. The moon will rise and set perfectly with sunrise and sunset, meaning that you have (potentially) beautiful colors in the sky to make an impactful lunar image.

To help with moonrise and moonset photography, there are a number of apps that will allow you to utilize augmented reality to “see” the position of the moon via your smartphone.

Saville recommends 3 apps in particular: PhotoPills, Sun Surveyor, and The Photographer’s Ephemeris. Each of these apps will show you the precise positioning of the moon, allowing you to line-up a composition in advance so that you aren’t relying on “getting it right on the night.”

Sometimes you may need to take a number of exposures of the scene, blending them together later during post-production, to ensure a properly exposed moon and landscape. These are all important considerations, but if you do mess up the first time around then you can try again next month!

Check out the full video above to see tips from Saville about how to compose a successful lunar landscape photo, and subscribe to the Nature TTL channel for weekly nature photography tutorials.


Full disclosure: I own and operate the Nature TTL channel.

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