Shooting the Moon with HTC

How do you take a good picture of the moon, which is over 380,000 km from Earth? At night?  Using your smartphone? After all, even with a professional DSLR, capturing good pictures of the moon can be challenging.

For 15-year-old Andrew Dean from Kent, United Kingdom, it was a fun way to test the abilities of his favorite technology toys. Drawing on his photography, astronomy, and science education, Andrew used his HTC One X and a TAL-120M telescope with 15 mm eyepiece to snap this magnified view of Earth’s only natural satellite.

HTC One X Telescope Moon Shot

Andrew’s final moon shot, taken at 10:08 PM.

After taking a few test shots, Andrew adjusted the ISO settings and exposure on his One X. Finally, he placed the camera lens to the eyepiece and captured his final photo, an awesome close-up of the Sea of Tranquility.

For anyone interested in capturing his or her own moonshot, you can follow Andrew’s tips below. You can see more of Andrew’s photography by visiting his blog.

Great shot Andrew! What’s the most creative shot you’ve taken with your smartphone?

Andrew’s tips for smartphone moon photography:

Make sure you have:

  • Your HTC One series phone
  • A reflector or refractor telescope
  • A 15mm eyepiece
  • A cloudless sky
  • Possibly a warm drink (if its a cold night)
  • Patience

First, you need to make some adjustments to your smartphones ISO and Exposure settings.  To do this, launch the camera and then select the settings icon. Under settings, select ISO, which is set to “Auto” by default, and tap 100. Changing to ISO 100 will make sure you don’t get too much light into the photo background.


Next, select “Image adjustments” and change the Exposure to “-2,” which let’s the camera know you are shooting a night scene and want the overall brightness to be dark grey.


Now your camera is ready and it’s time to place the lens against the eyepiece. This is where the patience comes in; as it can be hard line it up correctly. Then start taking photos! It may take time to get the right shot, so have your warm drink handy. Most of all, have fun.


Example of aligning camera phone lens with telescope.

  • Joshua Jackson

    Thanks for this Larry. I’ve actually been looking ti get a telescope to take pictures like this. I would’ve never have known about changing my camera settings like this. Very interesting article for anyone looking to take pictures of the moon or stars.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=696112190 Ahmad Abdel-Aziz

    Thank you, Larry 🙂

    And thank you, Andrew,for the awesome tips 🙂

    Great to what effect we get playing with ISO and Exposure, I keep them default (Auto)
    I may try this one day, but I lack a telescope, an eyepiece and somehow patience lol 🙂
    Thank you again.

  • http://www.facebook.com/oneseries Peter Vernelen

    Now that’s what I called using your HTC’s cam to the limit, awesome idea,

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000729550566 Aleksandar Petrović

    Really nice man, I wish I thought of that! Exploring endless possibilities of HTC device’s camera.
    Kudos for this, but also for all of your work on deviantArt! 🙂

  • http://www.facebook.com/Vejineer Mads Vej

    This is brilliant! Definitely worth trying if i get the chance one day 🙂

  • http://blog.htc.com/ Larry Meadows

    Andrew says any 15mm plossol eyepiece should work and he commented that Meade and Celestron make some nice ones.

  • Salman

    Why are they trying to promote a phone which isn’t on sale on most part of the world?

    • http://blog.htc.com/ Larry Meadows

      Hi Salman,

      We are promoting the work of Andrew Dean. Personally, I think this is pretty cool what he did and how the photo turned out.

      • http://twitter.com/mohamedsalmang Salz

        True, it is quite amazing shot, but seriously, which of the high-end HTC smartphones do you think has got the best camera so far? HTC One, One X, One X+, Droid DNAButterfly?

    • Ac Amel

      And why can’t they promote something that is really useful? I can apply this setting not only to my HTC One but to my Samsung Note 2 as well.

      • http://blog.htc.com/ Larry Meadows

        Hi Ac,

        We disagree that the what Andrew did here isn’t useful. We believe he did an amazing job with the photos and it is a very unique way to use the camera. He used his One X for this shot and his telescope. As you see in the other comments, others agree this is a pretty cool shot and a unique way to look at using the camera on the phone.

        We’ve also received many other emails and photos from customers who have also started trying to take photos like this.

        • Ac Amel

          Hi Larry, perhaps i didn’t make myself clear enough.. Yes! i agree very much with you that Andrew did a great job! I was just disagreeing with Salman as i don’t see anything wrong with promoting One X and personally, i love HTC very much 🙂

  • Billy Durr

    Simply awestruck at the sheer brilliance of Mr. Andrew. Awesome shot; sheer genius. Thanks so much for sharing your creativity.

  • chip hazard