There are many ways to photograph the moon! The tools that one uses for acquiring the photographs and how to edit will definitely vary depending on the gear that one has. There is no 1 size fits all for photographing the moon as it is a great target!
The clarity and details on the surface of the moon will change based upon the phase that is utilized. Check out our article for more information about the different phases.
How To Get Setup
This will talk about options. Most common options include using either a telescope or a DSLR on a tracking mount with a long lens. If one wants to take several individual photos of the moon or a movie of how fast the moon moves in the sky, then tracking is not necessary. However, if one is looking to obtain detail and be able to stack photos, then tracking is required.
The type of camera, lens, and tripod setup all determine the image quality and types of data collected. One could attach an Android or iPhone to a telescope to take photos, but this requires applicable purchase of the devices connecting them to the telescope.
High levels of haze and moisture in the atmosphere can be particularly damaging, as they can blur the details of the moon and make it appear blurry.
Also, if you live in a large city, air pollution can be a big problem, especially on hot summer days. Heat waves are a definite problem when shooting at long focal lengths, which can definitely distort the image.
When planning to go out, make sure that you find a good place with visibility to the moon and make sure that the weather is suitable.
Image Capturing Technology
There are many different ways to capture the moon, from cell phone to DSLR to CCD camera. How they are setup and utilized is going to differ based upon the method of photography used. However, there are still some great benefits for all options.
It is crucial that to have the greatest amount of detail, the photos should be captured using the RAW format. The RAW format does take more space on disk as compared to JPEG or other media formats, but there is a huge difference that only RAW Can provide with editing. RAW photographs have more data to be able to edit.
If using a camera alone, it is recommended that a certain lens is used which is over 300mm telephoto lens.
If using a telescope, you will need to make sure that the camera and telescope have the proper connectors for the telescope and the camera. Once both connectors have been purchased and functioning, the telescope will be able to be connected to the camera.
There are several different tools that people utilize to edit their astrophotoghy images. We will talk a little about our favorites here, but please feel free to let us know what your favorites are.
When taking a tracked video of the moon and trying to make a highly detailed photo, the recommended tools include Registax. There are a plethora of ways to use the tool.
For editing the individual photos, it is best to utilize whatever program the user, you, are familiar with. This means to utilize Photoshop if you use photoshop. What is recommended is to remove haze and then determine the detail enhancement based upon the settings and equipment used.