Moon Photography: Capture Magical Lunar Images with Your Smartphone | Linda & David | Skillshare

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Moon Photography: Capture Magical Lunar Images with Your Smartphone

teacher avatar Linda & David, A couple of creative folks

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (27m)
    • 1. Welcome

      1:38
    • 2. A Little Introdution on Moon Photography

      2:10
    • 3. The gear

      2:07
    • 4. Manual Photography: App Walkthrough

      6:03
    • 5. Locating the Moon & Composition Tips

      7:46
    • 6. Creative Process: Capture the Moon

      6:50
    • 7. Outro Thank you

      0:45
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About This Class

The moon has been a source of creative energy and inspiration since the dawn of time. With this class, you are invited to cultivate your own connection to this beautiful celestial body - and capture dreamy images while you're at it.

Join David as he introduces you to his lunar photography practice, which led him to observe and capture the beauty of the moon in all its glory.

This visually rich class follows the start-to-finish creative process, from getting familiar with the movement and behavior of the moon to cultivating a relationship and training your eye to capture and compose beautiful lunar images.

It is open to anyone, whether you're a beginner or an advanced photographer, whether you own a professional camera or just your iPhone. The idea is just to let this practice bring inspiration and depth to your life. Therefore many useful tips are given in the class to get started right away!

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Key lessons include:

• Getting familiar with the trajectory and movement of the moon
• Useful but optional moon photography gear
• Best times to shoot the moon
• Anticipating and planning your lunar photography
• Basics of moon photography composition & extra tips to capture beautiful lunar images.
• Cultivating an ongoing creative relationship with the moon


This class is perfect for all kinds of creatives who are inspired by nature and the universe.

If you feel inclined to adopt a special new practice that will heighten both your photographic skills AND connection to the cosmos - you'll really enjoy this course and how it will unfold in your life. Come join!

Meet Your Teacher

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Linda & David

A couple of creative folks

Top Teacher

 

Hey, we're Linda and David!

Together we work & explore creativity in a broad way, from design & branding to illustration, photography, videography, and much more. We aim to share our endeavors with our community and inspire many other like-minded folks to pursue a creative lifestyle.

Check out some of our work on our website: www.artofeuphoria.com

Our Behance account: www.behance.net/artofeuphoria

See full profile

Related Skills

Photography Creative

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Transcripts

1. Welcome: This simple course will teach you basic photography tips with composition examples and all you need to know about capturing the moon with your smartphone. It's made in a way to encourage you to look, observe, and capture moments of the Earth's magnificent companion, the moon. My name is David Mourato. I run a creative studio with my wife. We're specialized in branding but we love to be behind a camera when it comes to photography and videography. Since the dawn of time, this celestial body has influenced who we are as human beings, but also inspired us with beauty and mysticism. There's little things, like how to anticipate your shot and how to get the most out of your smartphone, when it comes to smartphone photography. Even if these portable machines are the cause of disconnection with the beauty in nature, I feel like we should use them to our advantage in reconnecting with fascinating subjects, such as the moon. So I hope to see you in this course. 2. A Little Introdution on Moon Photography: Hey guys, thanks for enrolling in this class. I'm really happy to teach you in this new course, this new simple photography course, this time focusing only on the moon and everything done with only your smartphone. Moon photography, maybe compared to the more classic astrophotography, can be way more simple, because first of all, we are focusing on only one subject. I'm not going to try to capture any other planet, any other galaxy. We will also not only shoot in the dark night, but we will also and mostly try to capture the moon in the day. Maybe at the end of the afternoon, beginning of the evening, right after the sunset, it's a beautiful time to capture the moon. I really want to encourage you to observe the moon. This practice is a beautiful way to connect a bit more with the moon. I think that nowadays we don't really even look at it. We don't observe it enough. We take it maybe for granted. Thousands of years ago, other civilizations who actually depended on the moon and it's light, on a full moon evening, you can still see very clearly outside in the dark. Today, we lost a bit this connection with the moon and the way it influences us as human beings. The moon can be captured on a foggy day, on a cloudy, or even on a day where there is sand in the sky, such as sand from the Sahara, which we have often here in Greece on the islands. You will see that there is no perfect way to capture the moon and the moon is always different in the sky. Somehow, it depends on the time, where you want to shoot, and if the moon is waxing or waning. I'm always amazed by how much it actually shifts from the point where it rises in the evening. It's beautiful to observe it throughout the year. It will shift a lot from left to right, every evening, close or further away from the horizon. 3. The gear: The Gear is probably very exciting chapter. This time there's not going to be much, I actually don't like to recommend to buy too much gear for all of these practices because simple is better. I think that everybody has a phone and this is the most important, that you have at least something to capture the moon. Of course, you can do it with a camera. I think that the phone is a very good tool because we have it in our pockets and it takes superb photos. I don't think it will replace the DSLR camera, but it's still very good tool. We can, for example, have extra lenses like these ones also from the Moment Brand. They are very steady. They just give you this, for example, this one, the 58 millimeter, to give this extra length, maybe. We'll see things a bit closer on the phone and for the moon. It's something very useful. If you want to use one of these gadgets, feel free to invest in a little extra lens, maybe a telescopic, so that you will see the moon bigger, maybe with more details, sharper. It's not the main focus because I think that we can compose a very nice shot with the moon, just small on the frame, on the picture. Maybe a tripod is also something very useful with the little clip for the phone. Of course, we want to go left and right on the app with the settings, and we're moving the phone quite a lot, also zooming with the phone and it's going to be shaking. If you want, you can have one of these octopod tripods, where you can clip and hang anywhere you want. Of course, you can use a bit more steady one, like metallic, so that you are a bit more comfortable, and your whole practice will look a bit more like real astrophotography. 4. Manual Photography: App Walkthrough: The app that we're going to use is the one by Moment, which is a free app on iOS and Android. You can also, of course, use any other app which can control the exposure and the shutter speed, things like that, it's very useful because with the native camera, everything is automatic and you really get the result that you really want. We have that little extra control with these apps, so I would recommend you to take one of these. Let me walk you through the app now. I have installed here my phone with the little tripod, and I will use this little pebble here as a subject. If you see now, on the top part of the app, we have TIFF, RAW, and JPEG, the three different type of files we want to use. I'm going to go for TIFF because the RAW format doesn't allow me to zoom as much as I want to. Let's imagine that the pebble here is the moon. I'm just going to zoom into, going to use this second lens here because on the iPhone, this lens allows me to go further away. Let me have like this, and now the options on the lower part here, you can slide with your finger to the right and see that the first option on the right side is the white balance, and sometimes I like to use it a little to warm up a bit the shot. Let me just recompose here a little, center it like this. Once you're satisfied with the settings that you want, you can simply just press back this option and then there's a blue line underneath. If I go on AUTO F, this is the focus, and here we see that these little green dots that appear on the subject when it's really sharp. I don't always see them, sometimes it depends if we change here settings. There you go. For example, I'm on JPEG, it's almost the same. Let's say we want to change the focus. We see that there's these green lines that show us from this part here going further away over there. It's like the focus point is coming here towards us, and sometimes this is the last little detail that we want to have on the shot, it's to really have it focused. I'm going to zoom now quite lot on it. Now you see we don't see these green little dots again, I had to change back. They are there, but they are really subtle, I think. This is it. This is really sharp now. I go to the next option, this is the exposure, and of course, when we are on minus, we see that it's really lacking of contrast. The higher we go, we see the contrast are coming and we just need to find the perfect middle with all of that. The ISO, the range is not huge, but of course, the higher you go, the more grain we're going to have on our picture, and the lower we go, it's always like this thing of having low ISO when there's lot of light outside and higher ISO when it's in the night. But right now, I think there's lot of light here because it's in the day, so we're going to leave it somewhere around here. I think that this option is always about finding this balance, it's we need to find this perfect point where everything looks correct. Then the last option is the shutter speed, and same as maybe the exposure, here we see that it affects really the contrast. When the shutter speed is low like here, everything is going to be very blurry if I move around. Let me put the exposure here low, just counterbalance maybe here this. Now we're going to see that everything is blurry, so it's going to be hard. You're going to see this more on a night shot because right now there's a lot of light here outside. But here again, it's about finding this right balance, and sometimes when shooting the moon, we really see that it just shifts at last second. If there's the light of the moon, the reflection of light on the moon will really shift towards this, what we can really see. We're going to see this later on a real shot with the moon. But these are basically just the options. There are not that many, it just the shutter speed, the ISO, the exposure, the focus, and the white balance. All the rest, of course, if you go here on the settings, maybe you could see that 3D shutter depends on your phone, the location as well. Maybe the grid is something interesting to have, I always keep it at thirds so it's easier to compose a shot. You see that there's a line right here, and one right here, here, and here, so we see the perfect middle here. But we can also compose the moon sometimes keeping it on the upper third and keeping something different on the lower third. All of these options we're going to see them a little more in detail later with the real subject of the moon. 5. Locating the Moon & Composition Tips: Okay, so back to school now with this little blackboard, I'm going to use it to demonstrate a few things along this course. Probably, let me just in the meantime, show you this app that is called SkyView. I use this app to see where the moon is and what we can see in the sky to not be just guessing where it is. This app is very useful for that. We can see that for example, it has this augmented reality thing. So it's really useful. You just need to drag your phone around and see where things are. We can see that underneath my feet right now, we have these two big planets. We see the constellations just by hovering here, there's little elements with this blue lines. We have this red light that indicates the horizon line. So everything that is above, we should be able to see it unless there are buildings and it's obstructed by something else. So we see that Mercury should be visible. We can use the search option here on top right corner and just type "Moon" and by clicking on it we'll see a little arrow that is trying to indicate us where we should just go, and there you go, we found the moon. It's actually right above my head. We see that now it's selected. So this blue line indicates that it rose at 4:30 around here. It will set if I go to the other side here, when the line becomes dotted, we can see that it will just set at around quarter to six. So this is really useful because we can really anticipate the shot today. I can maybe set an alarm clock or something half an hour before or actually a whole hour before, so we can see where it is and how the sun is shining on it actually, what type of moon it is, what is the shape. Just always maybe try to anticipate the shot with knowing when and where the moon is at because sometimes we get a bit confused with the trajectory of the moon. No excuse to miss the moon or to get it when it's already too late. We can get organized and really capture it at the best moment. When trying to capture the moon, you will see that there is some case scenarios that work better than others. For example, if we are here and we try to capture the moon that is too much above our head, we're going to end up with a shot that is mostly with the moon and nothing else around. Of course, it doesn't really help us to compose whatsoever the shot. The moon will appear super small in the sky and it's just basically this little blob, we will have to zoom a lot on it. We will basically just have this zoomed in, very probably pixelized because of the phone quality's image, and it's not really what we want. I don't think that it's the most interesting. So it's true that if the moon is lower, it's going to be a little easier. There is this little theory that the moon appears bigger in the horizon. I don't know about that. I've Googled it. I can't find really plausible or scientific explanation to that, but I think that it just appears bigger somehow. So maybe it looks easier to capture, maybe it inspires us maybe a little more, or maybe he just seems more possible to actually capture it. So we're going to always try to use the moon when it's lower in the horizon, this is always better. It doesn't mean that it's impossible to capture it as soon as it's higher in the sky, but if we get it when it's lower, that it just rose from the horizon, we're going to try, and this is what I often do, try to get a few things in between the moon and I. You can take buildings if you want. If buildings are in the back, like a city. This can make a nice shot seen from here because you will see a little bit of the city with the moon in the back. If you compose your shot nicely, you can end up with something with the rule of thirds, of course, just divided in three. You can probably get the moon in the first third, counting from the top, with a little silhouette from the city. This can always be nice. With this same idea. We're going to try to get some botanicals or some plants or something from nature. Such as, this is us, again with our little smartphone. There you go. Smartphone in the hand. We're going to look at the moon, not too high up. Again, we're gonna try, if there's a rock, if there's a mountain, we can actually get behind a big rock or a tree or whatsoever, something that will allow us to take from a really close shot, this point of perspective so that we see a little bit of the closer rock here. This is not too far from us. There can be second bigger object in nature, further away, of course, here and the moon still at last. Which we'll actually compose in this case, a shot again of having the moon somewhere. Doesn't always need to be in the center, but we can have the moon with the first rock. The closer it is here to us, the more we can do this kind of blurry. So it's nice to have this one a bit more blurred out. The secondary here in the back, and then the moon. This could make a very interesting shot. So I think that I'm going to show you the examples of where I've been around. I've been taking the moon for quite some time and I've just recorded my phone on how I did that. So I'm going to try to probably, narrate a few explanations on top so you can see what was my process. Then you can see directly life because it will be just recorded with me snapping the moon. 6. Creative Process: Capture the Moon: The other day, we tried to drive habitat around the mountains where we live. We wanted to actually find the moon with a nice mountain background. But with infinite, we actually ended up at the beach, which was not so bad either. Because the beach is always very inspiring and with so many little rocks that we have here, there's always a spot that we can use to shoot the moon. First, you just look a bit what you see through the lens. You also see what are the contrasts that day and we see that here I was maybe just trying to snap the moon in itself. Then it's about finding the right settings of light and just start shooting. The results here was not so bad already. But I wanted to be still a little closer. I looked for a spot that could maybe have like a rock like this big boulder. Here the first thing of course, is to start composing your shot. Here it moves a bit around because it's all about looking and finding with this rule of thirds, a nice composition. When you think that you got something, you start moving it with the settings around to see what the light, what gives the best results. Also, see if you can really get the moon will sharp focus. Then you can basically start shooting. The result was already pretty cool because that day we had a nice contrast on the moon. Then it's all about just moving a bit around and it's funny to see it actually moving like this. This day was pretty successful. Like the moon was half-full. He's still looking for maybe a different spot here. Maybe have two different rocks in the front. Like we can see here. The bigger one is going to be sharper than the first one because the first is so close to us that the phone does this little blurry effect, which can be really cool, as you can see here. The moon is not so big, but I think the composition is pretty interesting. Moving around. This was maybe actually another day. But I got inspired by this rock formation there, which by zooming in a little closer, you could have this image. Split it half. The moon real, perfectly centered, as good as it is. You see that I actually never used the tripod, but the result was really cool. Here, just another type of more minimalistic composition. Also very nice. Going more and more into the night we see that here in this day, I tried to use some plants in the foreground, having some plants in front of me so that the moon was a bit more in the back. Then you have to move around and compose your frame here. It's maybe still not perfect, but I think it's pretty. This is like a moon just shut naked without anything around and you can see the quality is all reddish. But it's maybe not the most interesting thing to do with this, just a smart phone. Going more into the night. We were completely isolated. Here just trying to get the moon itself by zooming as much as I could on it and moving the options around with the light, you see that it's very subtle. It really can sometimes change at the last second into a better result and this is really what I was saying, that it's harder to get if you don't use an extra app. If you use the automatic mode on your native camera, it doesn't always give the best result. For example, here, this one night, it was not so successful as you can see, the moon was just this little blob and I could really not get it to actually shine as the moon with a little more contrast, less brightness. Here, probably my favorite day to shoot the pictures of the moon. It's the night or two nights before full moon. If you go out and wait for it, if you plan your day, you're going to see that the moon is really beautiful and you get this really nice lights. Here another random day where actually the moon was still pretty high and it was more end of the afternoon. But you can see that there's really nice contrasts. On this one day here may be less contrast, but still interesting with these cactuses in front may like an interesting composition. Here at last, the moon when it's waxing or when it's really small, it can be really poetic just to keep it very small in a composition. With this, I hope I've inspired you already to go out and wait for the moon and then be creative with it. 7. Outro Thank you: This is it. This course is coming to an end. I hope you liked it and I hope you learned a few new things about photography or about this subject of moon photography. Try to have fun with it, try to see if you can incorporate this practice in your daily life and maybe in a year you'll end up with a nice collection of pictures of the moon. Who knows? Maybe you'll see how much you connected with it along this journey. Feel free to share your work here with us, I would love to maybe give you some feedback on it. If you have any questions, of course, feel free to comment. Have fun, and see you in the next course. Bye.