Till now, we have talked about lots of different types of photography techniques which all of you must be familiar with and most of you must have tried as well. Today, let me walk you through one unique kind of technique of photography which many of you must not have tried for sure – Moonlight Photography.

Moonlight photography means taking pictures of the surface of earth as seen when illuminated by the moonlight. This is completely different from Lunar Photography where surface of the moon is captured illuminated by the light of the sun. In the case of Moonlight Photography, the Moon is your only consistent light source at night and has the ability to produce some very interesting effects for night time photography. This type of photography has its own set of challenges but when done in the right way, produces some amazing results.

The Only Light Source

Since the Moon is the only source of light and above all the natural source of light, there are many limitations for the setting to capture that perfect shot. When the moon is high in the sky, similar to when the sun is high in the sky, the light is very harsher which affects the overall color thus, affecting the composition. But when the moon is comparatively at a lower position in the sky, the light is softer which makes the different elements of nature compliment each other.


At night, you are limited to the natural source of light and have very less elements to alter manually for the appropriate composition. So, try experimenting with different angles and heights and once you are satisfied with what you see, have a go at it! With practice, eventually you’ll get an idea how the moonlight works in different conditions and settings.

Another important factor, the clouds. The clouds may be treated as an extra element and can bring very significant difference to the lighting conditions. Also, keep in mind whether the moon is in front of your camera or at the back. And ofcourse, different phases of the moon affect the amount of moonlight, full moon being the strongest which overpowers the brightness of all the stars except the brightest ones. So, do have a look at the calendar before you plan and head out at night to shoot the night sky.

Happy Clicking! 🙂

~Sulekha Sonal

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