LunarLight Photography Technical Information
On Light and Camera Settings
Moonlight Landscape Photography Techniques
The Brightness of Moonlight
Lunar Illumination Calendar
Detailed Moonlight Brightness Predictions
Atmospheric Attenuation Effects
Reciprocity Failure Correction
Simple Reciprocity Failure Testing Methods - Coming Soon!

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LunarLight Photography Technical Information

Moonlight Brightness Predictions


The links provided in the table below will take you to pages containing detailed moonlight brightness predictions for the indicated dates and locations. Predictions are given in one-hour intervals over a period of ten days spanning the full moon, and occasionally for other times as well. Unless otherwise indicated, times are provided in terms of the local time at the indicated time zone, adjusted for summertime Daylight Savings Time where appropriate. The brightness predictions are for conditions of clear air, with unlimited visibility at the stated elevation above sea level. Any changes in brightness due to hazy air or a different elevation will have to be accounted for separately.

The moonlight brightness predictions are given in Light Value (LV) units. The brightness is that of an 18% gray card placed facing the moon, which is what an averaging meter in a camera would give you under similar conditions. To use this, you will have to know how to determine camera settings for exposures based on LV readings, or Exposure Value (EV) with film speed ISO 100. This is discussed in great detail elsewhere on this site. Exposures made using these brightness predictions will give you daylight-like results that are equivalent to what you would get from using the Sunny 16 Rule (shutter speed set at 1/[film speed] at a lens aperture of f/16) under bright sunlight conditions, assuming you also apply appropriate reciprocity failure correction for the long moonlight exposure times indicated. However, I find that a true daylight-like rendering of a moonlight scene does not give "the feeling of ambient night", and usually give an underexposure to add the feeling of moonlight to the image. The amount of underexposure given is typically from one-third to two stops, depending on the effect desired for a given scene.

Each table has columns for the date and time, and the moon's phase and position in the sky. The moon's phase is given in terms of the astronomical phase angle, where values near zero indicate full moon, and 90 degrees indicates first or last quarter moon. Additional columns give the average scene (Zone V) brightness in LV units, and what the average scene brightness would be if the moon were directly above you, with your location being 3000 feet above sea level. The later column is useful if you are located at a location other than that for which the predictions were made, but the data found there must be adjusted for the reduction in incident light by its passage through the atmosphere. This can be done by estimating the moon elevation above the horizon at your location and at the desired time, and then applying the correction data provided on the Atmospheric Attenuation page provided elsewhere on this site. Finally, the last column in each table provides times of local sun set and sun rise, as well as the start and end times of twilight, so that you can know ahead of time when the sky will be fully dark.

For more details on the type of information found in the tables, go here. For detailed information on the NightLandscape program the makes these predictions, check back here for a future page on that topic (in preparation).

If you should make use of these predictions, I would appreciate the return favor of letting me know how well they worked for you. I am always interested in feedback on these methods. Also, I can often find the time to run NightLandscape predictions for a given location and time if requested: see the bottom of this page for how to make a request.

Planning Tool
2008-09 Lunar Calendar Provides lunar phase and illumination levels at midnight every night (Los Angeles, California, USA) over this time period. This is a good planning tool, however the illumination levels are not corrected for several secondary factors, so you should use the more accurate data provided in the links below for determining exposure at any given time. (File size is 28k)
     

Current Moonlight Brightness Predictions

Dates Locations File Size Remarks
June 06 - 16, 2006
Los Angeles,
California
Portland,
Oregon
     
20K  
July 05 - 15, 2006
Los Angeles,
California
  Seattle,
Washington
(7/1-7/10)
  Skagway,
Alaska
  Denver,
Colorado
   
20K  
August 03 - 13, 2006
Los Angeles,
California
  Cumberland Falls,
Kentucky
   
20K  
September 02 - 12, 2006
Los Angeles,
California
  Cumberland Falls,
Kentucky
   
20K Partial Eclipse
Sept 07
October 01 - 11, 2006
Los Angeles,
California
  Cumberland Falls,
Kentucky
North Cascades NP,
Washington
 
20K  
October 31 - Nov 10, 2006
Los Angeles,
California
       
20K  
November 29 - Dec 09, 2006
Los Angeles,
California
Cajon Jct,
California
     
20K  
Dec 29, 2006 - Jan 08, 2007
Los Angeles,
California
       
20K  
January 27 - Feb 06, 2007
Los Angeles,
California
       
20K  
February 26 - March 08, 2007
Los Angeles,
California
  Blackpool,
UK
Cumberland Falls,
Kentucky
 
20K Total Eclipse
March 03
March 28 - April 07, 2007
Los Angeles,
California
  Blackpool,
UK
Cumberland Falls,
Kentucky
 
20K  
April 27 - May 06, 2007
Los Angeles,
California
  Cumberland Falls,
Kentucky
   
20K  
May 26 - June 05, 2007
Los Angeles,
California
  Cumberland Falls,
Kentucky
     
20K Blue Moon
June 24 - July 04, 2007
Los Angeles,
California
       
20K  
July 24 - Aug 03, 2007
Los Angeles,
California
       
20K  
August 22 - 31, 2007
Los Angeles,
California
       
20K Total Eclipse
Aug 28
September 21 - 31, 2007
Los Angeles,
California
       
20K  
October 20 - 30, 2007
Los Angeles,
California
       
20K  
November 19 - 29, 2007
Los Angeles,
California
       
20K  
December 18 - 28, 2007
Los Angeles,
California
       
20K  
January 17 - 27, 2008
Los Angeles,
California
       
20K  
February 16 - 26, 2008
Los Angeles,
California
       
20K  
March 16 - 26, 2008
Los Angeles,
California
       
20K  
April 15 - 25, 2008
Los Angeles,
California
       
20K  
May 14 - 24, 2008
Los Angeles,
California
       
20K  
June 12 - 22, 2008
Los Angeles,
California
       
20K  
July 12 - 22, 2008
Los Angeles,
California
       
20K  
August 10 - 20, 2008
Los Angeles,
California
       
20K  
September 09 - 19, 2008
Los Angeles,
California
  Paducah,
Kentucky
   
20K  
October 08 - 18, 2008
Los Angeles,
California
       
20K  
November 07 - 17, 2008
Los Angeles,
California
       
20K  
December 06 - 16, 2008
Los Angeles,
California
       
20K  
 
         
   

Older Predictions
If you should need predictions for any time past, please email me and I will forward them to you.

Requests for Predictions
I can run predictions for any date, time and location by request. To make a request, send me an email with the following information: Date and Time, Location in latitude and longitude (accurate to half a degree is usually good enough), and altitude above sea level. I will try to get back to you as soon as I can. I have written a script that rapidly calculates and formats the prediction table values, but it still takes me a half-hour or so to put it all together into a web page and upload it to the site.
Contact LunarLight Photography


LunarLight Photography Links:

LunarLight Photography Technical Information
On Light and Camera Settings
Moonlight Landscape Photography Techniques
The Brightness of Moonlight
Lunar Illumination Calendar
Detailed Moonlight Brightness Predictions
Atmospheric Attenuation Effects
Reciprocity Failure Correction
Simple Reciprocity Failure Testing Methods - Coming Soon!

LunarLight Photography Gallery
Moonlight Photography
LunarLight Photography Home


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Updated: January 20, 2007