How to take a picture of the moon with iPhone?


If you stumbled across this article, it’s probably because you’ve seen incredible photos of the Moon appearing on social media in which the photographer claims to have used an iPhone. I’m going to cover some tips and tricks for the iPhone as part of this guide on how to take a photo of the moon with the iPhone. It’s possible to get good photographs of the moon with the right equipment and some tricks.

It is common practice for many people to take their phones out during a full moon to take a picture of the full moon to post it on their social media sites, but that’s not always an easy thing to do because the moon is a really complicated subject to photograph.

It is very far from where you are and will always appear as a very small glowing dot in the frame unless you have a telephoto lens (which draws the moon is closer than it is) and it is very far away.

Secondly, it is really hard to shoot at night because it is very dim. Professional cameras have the option of changing the ISO of their cameras, so when shooting in low light conditions, they ensure that the quality of the image is not compromised.

Take a picture of the moon with these iPhone Applications

  • The iPhone Camera-app
  • NightCap Camera
  • Adobe Lightroom CC Mobile

How do you take pictures of the moon using your iPhone?

The tripod with the smartphone holder will help you take pictures of the moon. As a result of using a slow shutter speed, it is possible that your iPhone does not move during the shooting process. Use a self-timer to eliminate further the possibility of camera shake and further reduce the likelihood of a blurred image. You can use your telephoto lens in case you have a double camera on your iPhone.

How to take a picture of the moon with iPhone Camera app?

If you are using an iPhone, open the camera app and select photo mode. The telephoto lens can be switched to when you tap on 1x when you have a dual camera. You can use the moon to determine the exposure and to focus as well. Increasing the opacity of the photo can be done by wiping it down with your finger. When finished, use the self-timer to take the picture.

How to take a picture of the moon with iPhone via NightCap Camera?

With an iPhone, it is difficult to take a picture of the moon. This problem occurs when we have a very small moon, and a very bright moon against a dark sky, both of which confuse our cameras, which leads to an out-of-focus moon, a grainy sky, and inadequate focusing. Using a NightCap Camera is the best way to improve your photographs, just follow our guide and you will be able to take much better photographs.

Magnification is very helpful!

  • It is important to keep in mind that the iPhone camera has a wide-angle lens, which can be useful in most cases but can make the moon appear even smaller than what it really is.

  • The best solution is to use the 2x magnifier feature on an iPhone with dual rear cameras and crop the image afterward.
  • It is only possible to see the moon with binoculars or using a small telescope if you have them with you.
  • A telescope or binocular eyepiece can easily be lined up with your iPhone camera, but you might have trouble getting it to line up. It is possible to attach your iPhone to a telescope or binocular adaptor to keep it steady while viewing.
  • There is a way to switch to the 2x camera if your iPhone has dual cameras on the back. You will benefit greatly from this.

The ISO should be turned down

A difficult aspect of photographing the moon is the fact that it is actually very bright, but is surrounded by a dark sky that makes it hard to see. This causes confusion because the iPhone camera tries to find a way to make the background bright enough to be visible – but it is unable to do so. Overexposed moons (usually a white blurry blob) with grainy backgrounds will appear in the final image. It is also out of focus in most cases.

To give you a clearer example, here is the real moon, not the sun or a flashlight:

Here’s how we can fix it.

You should begin by reducing the ISO. Basically, this is how sensitive the camera is, and if it is too high, then the image will look grainy and bright. We want this to be darker and grainier, so we are going to decrease the intensity.

To do this you need to drag your finger down from the left-hand side of the screen. By doing so, the ISO will be reduced. Once you have done this, you should set the ISO to the minimum range (25-64 according to the iPhone model).

Make sure the exposure is adjusted

By adjusting the brightness (exposure) on the right side of the screen, you can make the moon appear grey rather than white.


Lastly, we should focus on what needs to be done (FOC). In this case, 100 (infinity) is the appropriate value. You should be able to set it to 100 automatically, but if not, you can in your bottom half of the screen slide your finger to the right to do it manually.

You may have trouble focusing your telescope or binoculars if you are using a telescope or binoculars. That means 100 may not be accurate. Nevertheless, in this case, just rearrange it until it’s nicely focused (zoom into the image to be more clear while you do this).

Then you are done!

How to take a picture of the moon with iPhone via the Lightroom CC Mobile app?

In Lightroom CC Mobile, you can expose your images for as long as five seconds, with a long exposure mode. As soon as you take multiple pictures in a row, the app merges them into a single photo. In the iPhone 6S and later, there is the option to save RAW files in DNG format.

The settings

Towards the left of the shutter button is an option for selecting the Long Exposure mode. A list of the available formats is displayed at the top of the screen, and by tapping on these options, it can be changed to DNG or JPG. Those of you who have an iPhone equipped with a dual-camera will be able to switch between the wide-angle lens and the telephoto lens by tapping the symbol located to the right of the shutter button. The digital self-timer can be selected from the settings menu by tapping the three dots on the top right side of the screen.

Capturing the picture

Take a picture by tapping the moon, swiping left with your finger to make the photo darker, and then turning on the exposure compensation and taking the photo. There is a calculation that must occur before the photo can be displayed – this may take a while to complete.

Here are the results

Even though the moon was high in the sky, I couldn’t make out the detail of the moon despite using a telephoto lens. At that time it was still early in the morning and it had become twilight. In the end, what I was able to capture was some moon details with NightCap. The image of the moon produced using the iPhone Camera-App shows a nice bit of detail while the Lightroom CC result shows a lot of white in the moon photo.

Some Frequently Asked Questions by Users

1. With my iPhone, how can I take a picture of the moon?

I would suggest that the first thing you should do is to switch to the Telephoto lens on your iPhone in order to zoom in as close as possible to the moon so that it appears in the viewfinder as large as possible. If you have the Camera app open, tap 2x to switch to the Telephoto lens. Hold your finger on the screen for a few seconds to lock the focus on the moon.

2. Is it possible to take pictures of the moon with the iPhone 12?

A telephoto camera is also available on the Pro models, which can zoom up to 2.5 times more than the main camera. In his recent post on Twitter, Richard Vargas showed that the new and largest iPhone 12 Pro Max camera can take a great photograph of the moon, as it boasts a long telephoto and a larger aperture, which makes it a perfect choice for the task.

3. What is the best way to change the ISO on my iPhone?

When changing the ISO, you can tap the + (plus) icon which is located to the right of the slider for shutter speed. The Shutter Speed slider will now be on the left, and the ISO slider will be on the right. You can adjust the settings by dragging the ISO slider. Increasing the ISO value will allow the camera to capture more light, but it will also increase the graininess in the photograph.

4. Why is it impossible for me to take a picture of the moon with my iPhone?

Since the moon is actually very bright, it is extremely difficult to photograph because of the fact that it is surrounded by a very dark sky. As a result, the iPhone camera gets confused when trying to take a picture of a bright background; it cannot do it. There is also a camera sensitivity setting, and if this is too high it will produce a grainy and bright picture.

Finally, the conclusion

With this guide, I hope that you now understand how to take a picture of the moon with iPhone. I would appreciate it if you could share this guide with your friends and family members and if you have any difficulties with this guide, please feel free to contact me in the comment section below.

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