Navigating through life away from the library.
Navigating through life away from the library.

Shoot the Moon {A Tutorial}


You guys, this is my first photography tutorial! cheer I’m not by any stretch of the imagination a professional, but I have been asked to share how I achieve some of my shots, so I thought why not? If I can share what I know to help someone else have fun then yay!

I’ll be honest, I’ve learned a lot from following people on Instagram, watching YouTube, and reading the camera manual. I cannot stress enough that you really need to know how your camera works in order to make the best images. After you learn what does what, take your camera off Auto and learn to find the light.

Photography really is all about the light.

And just doing it.

Shoot the Moon {living outside the stacks} Photography Tutorial #LivingOutsideTheStacks #TeamLOTSPhotography #TeamLOTSTutorial

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Camera – Nikon D7500

Lens – Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G

Tripod – AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod with Bag

Remote {or self timer} – Pixel RW-221 DC2 Wireless Remote Shutter Release

A little something about cameras. There are more than a zillion posts about brand preference when it comes to cameras, so I’m not going to wade into that. I will say that I chose the Nikon because it felt natural in my hands. I have incredibly shaky hands (I’m not sure why) but sometimes it’s hard for me to hold or open things, so I need something that I can really grip. When I picked up the Nikon, it felt sturdy and my fingers felt like they were really holding on to the body. This is also why I invest heavily in strong but pretty neck straps.


Shoot the Moon {living outside the stacks} Photography Tutorial #LivingOutsideTheStacks #TeamLOTSPhotography #TeamLOTSTutorial #SOOC

Nikon D7500 | 200mm | f/5.6 | 1/2000 | ISO 1000

31 January 2018, 9:01 PM

The image above is SOOC {straight out of camera}. I tend to frame in camera when I’m doing moon shots. I’m not sure why, but I prefer the moon off center. It really is just a personal preference. I’ve seen some centered moon shots that are just incredible. People ask how I manage to get such a dark sky. Well, it really depends on the evening and the settings that you use. The night that I shot this, the sky was fairly dark accept for the moon, so I didn’t have to worry about stars or anything. That being said, I’d love to see if I can capture a little twinkle.


Most of the time, when I’m outside late enough to notice the moon, it’s because I’m walking Squeekerz. And that usually means that I don’t have my camera on me, so I have to run back inside, grab everything, and go. I always keep my camera attached to the tripod quick release plate, so that I can just attach it to the tripod and go. Nothing worse than having a precious few moments to get the shot and having to fumble with attaching the tripod to the camera. As I’m running back outside, I’m usually adjusting the settings on my camera to get them somewhat set so that all I have to do is tweak once everything is set up.

For my settings, I have a starting point ~ once you get to know your camera and you’ve made a few moon shots, you’ll kinda develop a baseline setting for your camera ~  and then I adjust from there after I look at the results of my first few shots {aka chimping}.

A few notes:

  • Use a tripod when you can, no matter how steady you think you are, snapping in the dead of night will reveal the slightest hand shake
  • Remotes {or self timers} also eliminate hand shake
  • Be prepared to make adjustments to your settings depending on the weather, ambient light, or what have you
  • Move quickly – when you’re just staring up at the moon, it feels stationary; when you’re shooting it, it’s like shooting a toddler


Shoot the Moon {living outside the stacks} Photography Tutorial #LivingOutsideTheStacks #TeamLOTSPhotography #TeamLOTSTutorial

I simply cropped the image and added my watermark.

I’d love to get some images of the moon within a scene, like behind trees or buildings. You know, something that tells a story, but for now I’m content with these simple shots.


Let me know if these instructions work for you, or if you tweaked them and got different/better results. I’m all about learning and sharing and growing my skills.

Happy shooting,

Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}

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