There is a long-held tradition with the sighting of the new moon to signal the beginning and the end of Ramadan, and the anticipation that leads up to the announcement spreads excitement across the region as celebrations are all in due order. With a few days left to the end of Ramadan, Apple wants to join in celebrating the arrival of the new moon with a regional twist to its “Shot on iPhone” campaign – you guessed it: moon photography on your iPhone.
For the past month, five local amateur photographers in the UAE were armed with an iPhone and a simple telescope to capture the different lunar phases of the moon. As a tribute to Eid, their moon shots are now displayed across billboards in Dubai and Abu Dhabi to start with the celebrations.
“Lunar astrophotography was something new to me…Every phase of the moon offered something different and was a new challenge to find and focus on that one spot that would give me spectacular clarity.” — Emirati explorer and photographer enthusiast Jameela Ahli
So, how do you take the perfect moon photo using your iPhone? Here are some tips:
Learn the phases of the moon
It’s easier to capture a moon shot during the first quarter of the lunar cycle which is when the moon is half full. Many craters and other interesting features are visible during this phase.
When and where to shoot
You will need a clear night sky, with little to no city light pollution around as it will impact your photos. The desert beyond the city outskirts are usually the go-to spots for great moon photogrpahy.
You’ll need a small telescope
With a small telescope in hand, line up your iPhone with the telescope’s eyepiece. Keep one hand free to tweak the settings and fix the angle of your shot.
Turn off the flash
The moon is bright enough as it is, so the flash is not needed.
Lock the focus
To lock the focus on your iPhone, tap and hold on the moon. First, make sure you have a good focus through the telescope, and then lock that focus through your iPhone.
Lower the exposure
The moon is the brightest object in the sky, and the photo will tend to be slightly over-exposed. To correct the exposure, swap down so that the moon appears darker and the details more pronounced.
Practice makes perfect!
As with everything, a little trial and error is required to get the perfect shot. So don’t be discouraged and keep trying!
If you need more hands-on experience, Apple will be conducting moon photography workshops at its UAE stores, with the techniques to shoot, edit, and create photos of the moon using the iPhone.