Shooting For The Moon? How To Capture Low-Light Images [tip]

Written by Ant Pruitt

What happens when you try to shoot photos of the night sky with your smartphone? Less than perfect results. Here’s How To capture low-light images on Android and iOS-based devices.

aNewDomain — The blue moon at the end of July had everyone tweeting and posting. It was truly a beautiful sight. Some people even tried taking photos of the heavenly scene using their trusty smartphones. Sadly, though, most images turned out poorly. Why?

The problem is low lighting. You just need to know how to capture low-light images.

On Android, there is an easy way to get great shots in low-light scenarios. Camera FV-5 for Android, lets you shoot in lower-light settings and capture what your eyes — not your camera — can see. (For an Apple iOS trick for capturing low-light images, scroll below the fold.)

Check out how I made it work to capture a beautiful image during a late night evening walk. Without the app, the night sky wasn’t quite visible enough for my smartphone’s sensor. But after adjusting some settings in Camera FV-5, I was able to go from this image …

how to capture great low light images Camera FV-5

To this one:


Back to the blue moon

Getting back to the recent blue moon, the sky was beautiful that evening for most of us around the US. We were looking at clear night skies, and the gorgeous blue moon was just begging to be photographed and shared.

The following Twitter meme perfectly summed up the experience of trying to capture that new moon.

If you’re serious about taking photos of the night sky and moon, you have options. Yes, there are limitations with a smartphone’s camera, but this does not mean it’s impossible to get a great photo.

Check out a recent discussion in my Smartphone Photographers Community for insight on what the camera sees versus what you see.

If you want to go beyond using just an app like Camera FV-5, Mike Sweeney had a great suggestion: Pick up the Moment 60mm lens for iOS devices. “It’s a great piece of glass,” he says.

Here’s the video from this week’s show. Take a look. As always, feel free to tag me on Twitter or Instagram if you have questions about any smartphone photography tips or tricks. Join the community. Or just leave a comment for me below.

 I’m Ant Pruitt and this is aNewDomain.

Featured screenshot: Courtesy @SingleSteve

All images: Ant Pruitt