Oct 15, 2021
Good day all.

My first post in the forums. First and foremost I am a professional musician and reasonable savvy around tech in my field. However photography and videography is really important to my niche and to accompany the musical content I create. Just a quick overview of where Im coming from. As far as photography goes I'm learning... and with a lot to learn ;). I was lucky enough to be in Greece recently to see some full moon rises, out of the sea around or just after dusk. Capturing the moon rise out of the sea, is dependant heavily on the elevation you are at when shooting as it determines what can obstruct your view to obtaining a good chance of a shot. On the day I took these the humidity was low, winds where light and visibility at the prior sunrise earlier in the day was exceptionally good. Hence I was hopeful of good attempt on a moonrise. My luck was cursed on this day as a hidden oil-fired power station plume was positioned just so that it drifted out to see to omit the exact location the moon rose out of the sea.. grrrr..

At this point let me confirm my equipment. Its a Nikon Z7 ii with 24/70mm lens, and no other hardware or additional software. The camera can capture up to 45mb Raw images which despite the lack of zoom on my current lens allow an opportunity to zoom in in post and get a reasonable crop. I will be honest Im still very much safe in Auto mode which is I guess just that. I understand the basics of Aperture shutter speed settings etc, ISO and so on, but I guess what I am hoping for a little direction on is how to best set up the camera to shoot with a better outcome. I've attached a screen grab of the metadata for this shot to show you what settings I had at the time the shot was taken.

Any advice on how to improve the settings to get a higher quality image would be gratefully received. And to add to that, would a shot like this have to be taken using the manual settings. The camera was stabilised on a hefty manfrotto stand. In the second image, I went on to shoot a windsurfer who had chosen to surf under the full moon ! (risky ?) Whist you get the jist of whats in the photo the sky behind an over exposed moon is very noisy. My question here would be, is there an optimal setting that could capture a moving object - Kite surfer - with a very bright full moon at the focal point - whilst having the night sky less noisy and the moon not over exposed. Or am I asking the near impossible here?

Separate to my question above and more for info purposes Ive attached a night mode shot on my iphone 12 pro Max. the moon whilst not clear at all is a little distorted but has an interesting flared halo. However the night sky is almost noise free as is the landscape. Can this style of image be replicated using the Nikon Z7 ii in any way to a similar quality.

The Nikon image file sizes are 18 & 21mb in size, and the iphone 1.6mb

Thanks again to anyone who can shed a little insight for a newbie..




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Jan 13, 2006
Columbia, Maryland
Real Name
Walter Rowe
Welcome to the café Rob. Nice pictures. You will find this to be a warm community with lots of friendly people willing to offer assistance, learning, and an painfully honest constructive criticism which I cherish!
Dec 15, 2008
Bothell, WA
Real Name
Welcome! That's a lot of camera to start out with, but great choice. :D

As with anything, the best advice is practice practice practice. That being said, I would highly recommend the book Understanding Exposure, even if you have a good grasp on shutter speed/aperture/iso. I still find it highly useful as a reference. Learn your cameras controls and settings inside and out, shoot manual and just roll with the learning curve. That's the beauty of digital, we're not wasting film trying to figure it out.

Shooting in low light is not an easy task (I do a lot of concert photography or did pre-pandemic anyway). Moon shots are fun but I always shoot those in manual (low iso, median aperture, varying shutter speed, tho I try to keep it over 200, and always on a tripod if I can) - you'll find the results are more pleasing....

There are other's here who will chime in and give good (and better than I) advice but if you're going to shoot and want help, this is the place to get it!

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