How to Shoot Moon With Clouds | Everything You Need to Know

Lunar photography brings the greatest joy to any photographer. It is hard to gain expertise in shooting the moon with clouds, but it eventually mesmerizes the viewers. Thus, photographers consider the shoot worth the shot!

If you, as a photographer, have tried shooting the moon with clouds, and the picture came out hazy, don’t get too frustrated. When shooting the moon with clouds for the first time, every photographer struggles. We got your back if you are one among them.

Dive in to know how to shoot the moon with clouds!

How to Shoot Moon With Clouds

How to Shoot Moon With Clouds

Ask anyone about how to click a great picture of the moon with clouds, and they will answer – a good camera setting and a quality camera for taking pictures of the moon. However, speaking from experience, it does not always guarantee a good shot. Practice clicking the shot you want until you get it the way you want. You can even use software to edit the moon pictures, but they won’t be of much help.

You might have got some white blobs instead of the moon and clouds in your initial shots, right? You can fix this!

  • Go to a dark place: If you have not already done this, just go someplace dark – a place under your street lamp would work too.
  • Angle your camera towards the moon and cloud: Wait till some cloud covers pass the moon. Keep the exposure control set to manual.
  • Manage shutter speed: Begin with a shutter speed that’s near 1/250th of a second. Remember to increase the ISO. You would like the shutter speed real fast, not only because of the moon’s brightness, but because its motion is way faster than you can imagine.

We cannot declare that this process is failure-proof. Nonetheless, it still improves your chances of taking high-quality pictures. Despite the tricks working well, you shall need to employ post-processing software to achieve the desired results. Also, you should always get the DSLR moon settings right before you get started.

Let us see how to fix the pictures where the moon and clouds merge to represent a white blob.

Step 1: Selecting a Dark Location

Want to click some worthy shots of the moon with clouds? One wise first step will be to get away from the city lights.

No matter what device you use to take the pictures, whether your phone camera or DSLR camera, you will not get the desired quality picture with the glaring city lights. The light pollution will ruin the good-quality pictures or need you to do a lot of post-processing to remove the unwanted elements.

The result? Waste of both time and effort.

So, go to places stargazers usually prefer. If you would like to view the full moon, locations with dark settings are perfect. Surprisingly, your photos will come out a lot more precise and sharper.

Step 2: Adjusting Camera Settings to Capture the Moon and Clouds

You do not need to purchase a costly lens and camera to capture good lunar pictures. Sometimes, all you need is the perfect camera setting.

Let us check out the camera settings recommended for quality pictures:

  • Focal Length

When using general cameras, check that the optical zoom is more than 10X. If you are using a DSLR camera, you would like a focal length of around 200mm-300mm.

  • ISO

In the case of digital cameras, it can be optimized to 100 or lesser. Film shooters like an ISO of 100 to reduce grain and noise.

If the sky conditions are not that good, you might have to increase your ISO.

  • Aperture

Manually choosing the aperture will likely resolve many problems related to image quality. Research the sweet spot of your lens to determine the sharpest aperture.

Shoot at f/11 – f/16, based on your lens, to get crisp shots on clear weather nights. If the conditions start to get bad, open up your aperture to f/8 while keeping sure that the pictures are acceptably crisp.

  • Shutter speed

If your moon picture has many over-exposed and bright places, increase your shutter speed until those areas become invisible. Decrease the shutter speed if the moon becomes too dark.

Usually, fast shutter speeds work better as the moon exits the photo frame quicker. Based on the focal length and brightness, you make adjustments as well.

Step 3: Keep Clicking

To get a better balance, you should use a tripod. After you are done adjusting the camera settings, place it on the tripod – and VOILA! Now, you can start clicking as many pictures as you want of the moon and clouds.

Why Are My Moon Pictures Blurry

It happens due to motion turbulence. As the moon’s too bright, low shutter speeds cause your pictures to become blurry. Even with a tripod, the images become blurry.

It happens when your shutter speed is near 1/50th of a second or lower. Your picture looks like you captured a big vague light bulb lacking crispiness. So, to fix this issue, you can select a shutter speed of around 1/60th – 1/125th of a second.

Remember to use a long lens (more than 200mm) and ISO 100. Lenses having the right sharpness will slow things like clouds, so you can capture them in the frame. Do not raise your ISO too high to prevent background noise from ruining the image quality.

You can also do to sharpen up your images by selecting the image sharpness in your DSLR and aperture f/11 to f/16. 

Why Moon Pictures are Black and White

You just read our minds. Even we wonder why the moon pictures are all black and white. It’s, unfortunately, because the surface of the moon lacks any bright colored regions. Most of the color that exists belongs to a greyscale.

There’s nothing on the color to bring colors to it. Thus, it remains black and white in the pictures.

Why Does the Moon Look Smaller in Pictures

Now, this question has an interesting answer. What the picture captures is what is really there. On the other hand, your brain shows an image after much processing,  which is useful but not perfectly accurate.

Your brain likely stretches the size of any distant object, making it bigger than it really is. Thus, when you look at moon pictures, it looks smaller to your naked eye.

Final Words

That’s a wrap-up on how to shoot the moon with clouds. Experiment until you have met your expectations. Once you do, trust us, you will love clicking more perfect moon shots.

Leave a Comment