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iPhone Moon

February 26, 2013

Hey, look! A picture of the full moon!

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What’s special about this? Well, *I* took it, so there’s that. But I also took it with an iPhone.

So those of you who have tried taking a picture of a bright moon know that you usually get a giant blob like this.

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The iPhone can actually adjust the exposure quite well, but for some reason it can never lock onto the moon.

So here’s the trick: point at a lightbulb and tap/hold to lock the exposure. (UPDATE: some apps like CameraSharp and VSCOcam let you set the exposure and focus separately.)

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Then go point at the moon:

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Zooming in, you’ll get a crisp but smudgy picture.

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Reminiscent of Percival Lowell, though no canals:

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To make it more crispy, I applied the witchcraft of the Photojojo telephoto lens, et voila:

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Of course, my photo pales in comparison to the first photos of the moon. This daguerrotype was taken in 1851 by John Adams Whipple in Boston.

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Some sources say Daguerre himself made an image in 1839, but it was destroyed in a fire than consumed his lab that same year. John W. Draper made this daguerrotype in 1840 from NYC.

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IMPORTANT HISTORO-UPDATE:

While Draper did indeed make a daguerrerotype of the moon in 1840, it seems that it too was lost in a fire. If so, I’m not entirely sure when or by whom the above photo was taken.

Let us all thank Samuel D. Humphrey for standing outside at 10:30PM on September 1, 1849 and screwing around with exposures from half a second to two minutes to make this gem:

oldestmoonphoto

Of course, I look at this and think GIF1849a:

1849 Samuel D. Humphrey moon

So here’s to you, Samuel — let us all drink an IPA in your honor.

 

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Greg permalink
    February 27, 2013 1:44 am

    The daguerreotype was taken in 2851? You’d think they’d take a better quality picture almost a millennium in the future! Great tip though, thanks!

    • February 27, 2013 1:46 am

      Goddamn tachyons, which will have been leading to technological decay.

  2. February 28, 2013 10:44 am

    Can’t wait for the day we can take photos of Mars from our iPhones.

  3. March 6, 2013 5:28 pm

    That’s an awesome iPhone trick! I always forget how much I can actually control the exposure.

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