For years I've tried and failed to get decent photos of the Moon. My little 35mm film camera just revealed a small bright dot in the image. My old point-and-shoot digital cameras did a little better but produced fuzzy images in the daytime and overexposed blurs at night.
In March 2014 I became the owner of a Nikon Coolpix P520. It wasn't long before I decided to see how well it would photograph the Moon. On the night of April 1, 2014, just after sunset, I snapped this image of the thin cresent Moon, zoomed in at the maximum 42 times:
I looked closely and realized I was seeing craters along the terminator. This might just be the right camera to photograph the Moon, I thought.
And I was right. Even when at maximum zoom and hand-held, the image stabilization feature allowed sharp resolution of craters. And while my tripod - purchased in 1997 - was so old that the ISO spec for camera mounts has changed, I was able to jury-rig it with a bit of rubber net material glued to the quick release mount.
The Full Moon and Moons just before and after it were a problem, too. Images tended to be overexposed in places, washed-out in the glare of the sun. I found a solution to this, a feature that allows me to take sixty images in one second. The images are lower resolution and tend to be a bit dimmer, but by enhancing the contrast and brightness I can tease out details that might otherwise by missed.
So these are my photos. I've been posting them to Facebook using the hashtag #shootthemoon. I finally decided to gather them here and post them where anyone can see them.
I won't just include close-ups. I will also have some uncropped Full Moon images so the viewer can visually compare the extra-large "Super Moons" to the more pedestrian non-Super Moons. I will also include some more artistic shots of the Moon as part of the landscape.
A NOTE ON THE DATES: I will be modifying the dates and times of the posts featuring close-ups of the Moon to match (when possible) the dates and times the images were taken.