I recently got my first DSLR; and I can't get the settings right for twilight moonsets/moonrises

by user382459   Last Updated November 22, 2017 08:18 AM

I recently got my first DSLR, and am trying to learn the best approach settings-wise for a specific type of photo, namely twilight moonsets and moonrises. The camera is a Nikon D5600 which came with an 18-55mm lens and a 70-300mm lens; the latter is 58mm in diameter.

I can use the shorter lens, put the camera on auto, point it at the setting moon and get a decent picture, but not that much better--if at all-- than if I took same picture with my Galaxy S8. I'm not sure I should be surprised by this, since the smartphone camera is probably better optimized for point and shoot mode. That's all it does, after all.

But I know I should be able to do better with the Nikon. If I want to ease gradually into full manual mode, which priority mode would it be best to start with?

If I go to full manual, the problem I usually encounter is that the picture is much too dark; far darker than the appearance of the scene IRL. But I don't know where it would be best to start in trying to improve my results. Would it be better to start by working with the aperture mode, or shutter speed?

Here are a couple taken with the Samsung. Notice how in the second shot a jet contrail crosses the moon.

Samsung 1

Samsung 2

And from the Nikon, first one taken in auto mode and the second in full manual mode. Notice how much darker the image is here. IIRC it was shot using an aperture of about f/7, shutter 1/125, ISO in the 1000 range. No tripod was used. I'm usually much more fastidious about correcting camera tilt before I show anything of mine to the world, I'm letting it go this time since my question is more about how to handle the hardware rather than how to compose a pleasing image.

Nikon auto

Nikon manual mode



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