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Moonlight can provide a different way of producing wonderful and mesmerizing photographs in both color and black and white. The mood conveyed in moonlight photography can be quite different than in other lighting circumstances.
death valley moonlight photo

Photographing by moonlight has its own set of challenges, but with a few setting and technique adjustments to your normal shooting routine it can produce outstanding results.



The best time to shoot is the night of the full moon, but a couple of days either side of that date will also work.

An app that I found very useful in the planning moonlit shoots is PhotoPills. This app offers 3D augmented reality views including times and from what direction the moon will rise and set. You can also easily program it for a particular day and time for help in planning dates, times, and locations to set up for the shoot. It also shows paths of the sun and Milky Way in the same manner.

During a full moon, fewer stars are visible than during a new moon. But if you find a location with very little light pollution, you’ll be able to capture more stars (and maybe even a planet or two).

If you’re hoping to get great shots of a starry sky or the Milky Way rather than a moonlit landscape, then schedule your shoot around the new moon rather than the full moon. As always, aim for a location with very little light pollution, and use the PhotoPills app to help you find the best positioning to capture the Milky Way

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