LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY BY MOONLIGHT

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Location

Areas that have the least light pollution possible have the darkest skies, and that is most preferable when deciding on a location to shoot. A useful website to help find “dark” locations is Dark Sky.

Scouting

If this is less than a well traveled area or path I like to visit the location and first walk the layout in daylight. Some of the places I have been are quite rugged and desolate, and I felt a lot more comfortable in knowing the trail beforehand. It is just a little unnerving to be out in the desert or hills alone and lost at night. If possible, take a partner along with you and carry a physical map; some remote locations still do not have cell service so your phone’s map may not work. Also add a compass app on your phone, or better yet, carry a real compass.
black and white moonlight photography

EQUIPMENT

In addition to a good quality camera and lenses here some additional items to consider using:

A sturdy tripod – this is an absolute necessity

Cable release or remote shutter release – a must to reduce camera shake. If you do not have a cable release or remote shutter release you can use the self-timer on the camera.

Extra batteries for your camera – as you may wish to use the Live View mode during your shoot and that really drains the battery.

Cheat Sheets – listing maximum exposure times for each lens used to prevent star trails and camera settings.

Lighting – in addition to a bright flashlight to use while walking you may find a headlamp is useful so you have both hands free to use.  Consider a headlamp that offers a red light setting in order to help preserve your “night vision.”

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