Stars and Moon Shots


I love stars and the moon. Taking a pictures of it might be the most beautiful thing one might perform, so here's a tutorial on how to do it with any camera.

I once asked myself what else can I do about the long exposure and Bulb setting on my camera, a 35mm one. What are the opportunities of having a Bulb setting on the shutter speed, other than shooting traffic on long exposure?

I was very fascinated about those shots taken of the moon, moon eclipse and star trails, I figured there must be a filter used or a telescope to get those beautiful shots. Actually this trick can be done with any type of camera with a Bulb mode.

Things needed:

  • Tripod, or a flat surface which can hold still your camera
  • Of course, your camera
  • Cable release, not necessary, only a suggestion
  • Film
  • Patience
  • A friend (best for not getting bored)

Before choosing to do a moon shot or star trails, you must check a lunar chart. The best lunar light is when it’s a full moon, also a few days, before and after. Also, the sky must be clear of any clouds. This information can be found in any weather forecast.

As a camera, I suggest anything. Something like, Lomo LC-Wide, wide angle for LC-A+, ultra wide angle for Diana, or anything that has wide angle written on it, it’s perfect. Remember to load it with film.

The film must be any ISO 100 film.

As I was saying, pick the perfect date and weather to shoot, find a spot you think is perfect, settle your camera, whether you use a tripod or not, make sure you have a perfect view of what you want to achieve and also make sure your camera is on Bulb mode. Press the shutter and wait….. Well this may take a while, so I suggest using a cable release for perfect shots. The perfect exposed times for a couple of conditions are:

Full Moon with no Clouds – ƒ8 – 90 Seconds
Full Moon, Partly Cloudy – ƒ8 – 180 Seconds
Full Moon, Cloudy – ƒ8 – 270 Seconds
Partial Moon – ƒ8 – 120 Seconds

These settings are for a ISO 100 film. A longer exposure time of the moon may result in a very bright stain with no details of a sphere.

For star trails, on clear sky conditions, you may keep the shutter button pressed for at least 120 seconds. A longer exposure captures the star movement, due to the Earth’s rotation.

The Golden Words for this are: Experiment and Practice.

Also, an important tip: Your local drug store or one hour lab will think your pictures are underexposed or not exposed at all, a blank picture, so my best advice is to let him know about this fact or scan your film yourself.

The Lomo LC-Wide boasts the newly-developed 17mm Minigon Ultra-Wide Angle lens. This 35mm camera wonder is the perfect companion for your photo expeditions. It produces eye-catching splashes of colour with astonishing saturation and contrasts with the added versatility of 3 different formats. Open up to a new photographic experience with the LC-Wide, available in our Shop.

written by pvalyk on 2011-11-01 in #gear #tipster #photo #art #top-tipster-techniques #moon #stars #night #sky #tutorial


  1. saidseni
    saidseni ·

    Why the wide lens for moon?

  2. mrsukahatiaku
    mrsukahatiaku ·

    better view

  3. pvalyk
    pvalyk ·

    Well, not necessary, but using a wide angle lens provides great shots no matter what are you shooting. In shooting the moon, using a wide lens is also providing great pictures especially if you have some buildings in your composition. Again, is not necessary to use one. This is my point of view.

  4. blinghaha
    blinghaha ·

    "I am the moon, the full moon" - Vince Noir Love the tipster. This is my best star shot so far, hence why it is also my profile pic!

  5. blinghaha
  6. tenille
    tenille ·

    cant wait to try this!! would it work as effective on a skyline? i have the most amazing view of the city lights, but it just does not come out as effective on my camera. im using the diana mini and the fisheye 2. would the same concept apply?

  7. pvalyk
    pvalyk ·

    @tenille of course it will work, I mean Diana Mini set on cloudy has an f-stop of f8, so just use the times above. I use a rangefinder once, so any camera you have, it will work. Good luck!

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