Moonlight Photography

One of the best times to do a night landscape photo is when the moon is at quarter full or more, a long exposure during a clear moonlit night will result in a photograph that appears to have been taken during the middle of the day, except that the light will be much softer and smoother. 

Rockpool Reflections

Because it will still be pretty dark,  autofocus might be a little bit tricky,  so I use one of two techniques. I begin by setting the focal length and switching the focus to manual, then I centre on a bright star and focus on it using the live-view on the camera. If you can’t  focus on a bright star then point at the moon and focus on it, autofocus won’t work on stars but it will work on the moon. Once you are happy with the focus, make sure to switch the focus to manual so that the camera won’t change it by accident when you’re taking your landscape. If all else fails use a bright torch aim it at an object at least 20 metres away and focus on it.

Moonlit Bridge

A full moon on a good night is bright enough to cast shadows and your camera at ISO 400 will give decent results. Try one of the automatic modes and see how the camera copes. You might be surprised. I like to use the manual setting and take a photo anywhere between 10 to 30 seconds with the aperture wide open. If it is really dark then I change the setting to bulb and with a shutter release I’ll take exposures anywhere between 30 secs to 6 minutes.


It’s all trial and error, you don’t really know if you have the shot until you see it on your computer screen so make sure to take a few with different settings.

Stanwell Beach

As for white-balance, I always leave my camera in Auto white-balance, as long as you photograph in RAW format, the white balance can be adjusted in post processing using the photographic software that came with your camera or with other popular software like Photoshop.

Good luck and get out there!


This entry was posted in How to? and tagged , , .

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *