So my family recently went on vacation and one night the moon was shining beautifully on the water and I just had to capture it but no matter what I tried either the moon just looked like a big ball of light or it was too dark to see the reflection on the water. Help!
Yes! I see how that could make such an amazing photo! The moon is so bright, and the surroundings (and even the reflection itself) are so dark in comparison, that the camera is simply not able to capture that ginormous range of light. It’s not nearly as sophisticated as our eyes are. It’s the same problem as photographing a sunset: the sky is very bright, the foreground is very dark, and the camera can’t pick up information in both areas at the same time.
So, to solve it requires taking multiple exposures (like you did here) on a tripod, and merging them in some software. Or…. photograph the moon while it’s still kinda light outside and the full moon is on the horizon!