Sighting the moon has been a long-standing tradition across the Arab world. People await with great anticipation the announcement of the new moon, known as the ‘hilal’ in Arabic, which marks the end of the month when families across the world celebrate Eid Al Fitr.
On this occassion, Apple has announced its first local campaign in the UAE, “Shot on iPhone”. The campaign features the work of five local amateur photographers who took on the mission to shoot the moon across all its lunar stages using only their iPhone 7 and a simple telescope.
The shots will be features on billboards across Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Supporting the campaign, Andrew Symes, Canadian Astrophotographer guides the photographers throughout their journey, sharing his expertise. Synes says, “This campaign goes to show that today, everyone can be an astrophotographer. You don’t have to be a professional to be able to capture the wonders of space. With just a few tips and a bit of practice, anyone with an iPhone and a basic telescope can shoot a close-up photo of the moon, for example, that most certainly will impress friends and family.”
He continues: “The trick to a great astronomical photo is capturing the right amount of detail and ensuring that the shot is not too bright or too dim. Your iPhone already gives you the ability to capture gleaming objects against a dark background easily, so just make sure to dim the moon by adjusting the exposure so that features like craters are visible and properly exposed. I highly encourage everyone to get a simple telescope and give it a try.”
From the UAE, lawyer and photographer by hobby, Huda Bin Redha, highlights “This has been one of the best photography experiences I’ve had. Each time I would be surprised seeing how the moon changes night after night down to the sharpest details. It’s quite humbling to be able to capture beauty beyond this world.”
Additionally, Apple is also making astrophotography accessible to anyone across the UAE through iPhone moon photography workshops that will be offered at all Apple Dubai Mall, Apple Mall of Emirates, and Apple Yas Mall.
Talking about her experience, Emirati explorer and photographer enthusiast Jameela Ahli says, “Lunar astrophotography was something new to me. As a person who enjoys the outdoors and appreciates the beauty of nature, this project definitely expanded my horizons. Every phase of the moon offered something different and was a new challenge to find and focus on that one spot that would give me spectacular clarity.”
Participating photographers Huda Bin Redha, Jameela Ahli, Iskandar Ahmed, Samy Olabi and Mohamed Almahroos also share their secrets to taking the perfect moon shot using these tips. All you need to get set up is your iPhone, a simple telescope and a clear night sky.
Step 1: Set up a telescope and line up your iPhone 7
Step 2: Turn off the flash
Step 3: Tap and hold to lock focus
Step 4: Drag to lower exposure
Step 5: Shoot and share with friends