Shooting the Supermoon

Shoot for the moon!
Shoot for the moon!

Tonight is yet another “supermoon” event, in which the moon is closer to the Earth than usual. Of course, Astrophysicist Neil Tyson has already pointed out that the difference in the moon’s apparent size is in reality, quite small. Nevertheless, the moon is still a fun subject to photograph, if you do it right.

There are two kinds of “moon shots.” Landscapes, and close-ups. Both of these shots have challenges, because the full moon is so bright that it requires a daylight (sunny-16 exposure) to preserve details.  For landscape shots, it’s important to be able to photograph the moon when it rises near sunset or blue-hour. The sheer brightness of the moon will cause it to become blown-out if you are exposing for a dark foreground. For telephoto shots, it’s important to use a fast shutter speed to prevent the moon from blurring out due to its apparent motion in the sky. You’ll want to use a shutter speed of at least 1/250s to keep the moon sharp.

Learn more

For my full set of pro tips for shooting the moon, stars and Milky Way, download The Night Sky Photography Guide.

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