It is definitely is not easy to “shoot the moon”, as my friend Thad would love to say and try during a game of Rook (and he often successfully did).
The moon is moving, very, very fast despite our glancing and thinking it is still. The fact that it is also so far away amplifies any vibrations in the ground or in our hands/tripods and it typically ends up blurry. The moon is also very, very bright, so getting a good detailed exposure is also not the easiest thing.
This is how I approach “Shooting the Moon”:
1. Try to include something besides just the moon. Buildings, Trees, Clouds all work. Ive seen too many “just the moon” shots. They don’t stand out.
2. Get the longest telephoto lens you can, and a telephoto converter if possible.
3. Use a faster shutter speed, 1/1000 is a good place to start for getting detail on the moon’s surface.
4. Multiple exposures- This image includes 2, one for the moon, and one for the clouds. The technique is straight from a lesson on my Lighting Crash Course called “As the Eye Sees”.
5. Use a tripod!
6. Use Mirror lockup with a 2 second timer to reduce vibration. (Otherwise the detail on the moon will blur). Note: mirror lock up doesn’t work in Live ViewMoon Exposure: 1/1000, f14, ISO 1250
Cloud Exposure: 1/40, f11, ISO 3200