How to Use Moonlight as Your Main Light Source


Using the moon as your main light source for late-night photography can be beautiful, surreal… and challenging. But photographer Karl Taylor has a neat trick up his sleeve that can save you hours worth of test shooting in this situation—the trick is called “math.”

Okay, I’ve removed my tongue from my cheek, but the statement holds. Using some simple math, Taylor shows you how to avoid taking repeated 15 or 30-minute long test-shots to nail the proper exposure. And no, he’s not carrying a light meter.

What he does is take a test shot wide open at a much higher ISO first, figuring out the proper exposure using shots that’ll only take him a few seconds. Then, he uses his knowledge of the exposure triangle to keep exposure the same by increasing shutter speed while he closes down his aperture and decreases his ISO.

See how it’s done in the video below:

Sure, not everybody is going to go shooting long-exposures in the middle of the night using only the massive reflector orbiting our planet for light, but if you do, this trick can come in handy and save you some serious time. Let us know what you think or share some tips of your own in the comments down below.