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CNET Australia shares tips on photographing the Supermoon

By dpreview staff on Jun 21, 2013 at 23:55 GMT

This Sunday, June 23rd, the moon will be closer to earth than at any point during the year. It just so happens that on Sunday the moon will be full, too, creating what is commonly known as a 'Supermoon' which if there are no clouds in the way, will appear larger and brighter than normal. A great opportunity for some backyward astrophotography, in other words. CNET Australia has published a short article containing tips for capturing this Sunday's Supermoon in all its glory.

A perigee full moon - colloquially known as a 'supermoon'. Photo: Robin Ohia (via CNET.com)

Among the tips shared by CNET.com are obvious things like using a tripod and cable release to prevent camerashake (although we would not recommend long exposures, since this will probably result in blur as the moon moves across the sky), and also compositional advice.

Remember that even though the moon will look larger and brighter to the naked eye, you can't tell the increased size in a photograph unless you include a point of reference somewhere on or near the horizon. In the photo above, photographer Robin Ohia has included human-scale objects on the horizon to give the supermoon scale. 

If you're out shooting on Sunday night and you feel like showing off the results, remember that you can share images and advice with other community members in our forums. Good luck!

Comments

Total comments: 49
SHRISTOCKTIPS
By SHRISTOCKTIPS (9 months ago)

share market free tips

0 upvotes
gal_sh
By gal_sh (10 months ago)

chk out my supermoon video:
https://vimeo.com/69002833

0 upvotes
NalaKing
By NalaKing (10 months ago)

SuperMoon? I don't see Super Moon, i only see super haze. Singaporeans, Indonesians and Malaysians will understand lol

1 upvote
RichRMA
By RichRMA (10 months ago)

Shooting the moon low on the horizon and then high up will quickly disprove the myth that the moon is "larger" when it is on the horizon. It is an optical illusion which does not fool the camera.

Comment edited 20 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
jkoch2
By jkoch2 (10 months ago)

A pitty the Antipodeans see the poor moon upside down. Distorts the fellow's "face" awfully. And he waxes from left to right, instead of right to left.

0 upvotes
Karl Summers
By Karl Summers (10 months ago)

I was working a winery here in Napa and had an excellent view, unfortunately I didn't have my camera or tripod with me. It was truly spectacular. It framed up very nicely with the rolling hills of vineyards. Last time I ever forget my equipment.

0 upvotes
jkoch2
By jkoch2 (10 months ago)

Most would settle for nice wine. And even tripods get "tipsy" or hard to control, after a few glasses. A moon in a dim sky over a landscape is an almost impossible HDR challenge too.

0 upvotes
NancyP
By NancyP (10 months ago)

Rainstorm....must wait another 28 days.

0 upvotes
GeorgeD200
By GeorgeD200 (10 months ago)

Much ado about nothing. According to Neil Degrasse Tyson, there is no visible difference in how large the moon looks when it is a "supermoon."

Your pictures won't look any different from a "supermoon" than from any other full moon.

1 upvote
JackM
By JackM (10 months ago)

Article written by and for an amateur.

Ironically, if you follow her advice, you will never produce an image like the one in the article, which isn't even the author's, and which has been heavily Photoshopped.

0 upvotes
RichRMA
By RichRMA (10 months ago)

Yes, the media, exacerbating the science ignorance in the West kept using the figure 15% larger when in fact it's about 7% larger in diameter than the average full moon.

0 upvotes
thygocanberra
By thygocanberra (10 months ago)

:-( heavy cloud last night, pouring rain tonight.

0 upvotes
Artistico
By Artistico (10 months ago)

Yes, the moon is closer, but only fractionally and not really visibly so in photos unless you put it next to a photo of the moon at its farthest away from the earth in the same context. If you want the best photos of the moon, every full moon is as good an occasion as this - only less hyped up.

Do we really have to go through this every year when the full moon is at its biggest for that year? Watching the news on tv, I'd rather not have forced upon me awful photos of blurry, overexposed moons sent in from viewers - some straight from their smartphone, which - as we know - is the best tool for capturing the moonrise...

Oh well...

2 upvotes
M Irwin
By M Irwin (10 months ago)

It's not a awful thing if gets people out to appreciate it.

1 upvote
rurikw
By rurikw (10 months ago)

Manual FOCUS?! I didn't realise it was THAT close!... Er... To where? Will it crash into the earth?

0 upvotes
JayBratcher
By JayBratcher (10 months ago)

I love "backyward astrophotgraphy"!

1 upvote
Erik Ohlson
By Erik Ohlson (10 months ago)

You don't need a tripod to shoot the full moon - it is "High Noon" on the moon - & It's a DESERT: shoot it like you are in Death Valley at high noon.

And, if you werrn't looking for it, you would never know it's "bigger" now - it's just a little bit "bigger."

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (10 months ago)

I use shutter speeds as slow as 1/60s for 400mm on APS-C. I recommend video or geared head shooting the moon high in the sky becasue it moves quite fast.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (10 months ago)

It's not quite that bright. Try shooting wit the Sunny 16 rule and you'll find it underexposed by several stops.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (10 months ago)

the shutter speed is limited by the fast movement of the moon seen through a telephoto lens. you will need expensive equatorial mount for slower shutters. those who have one won't need suggestions here.

0 upvotes
guamy
By guamy (10 months ago)

A shot to the supermoon with a flying vat would be priceless tonight.

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (10 months ago)

the weather or visibility is the most important factor. but no matter how good is the condition I don't think there is anywhere on earth one can shoot the moon so clearly on the horizon.

so image synthesis may be more important.

P.S., shooting the moon setting on a mountain (better over 10 deg from the horizon) may be a good idea. one that I'd like to recommend is Mt.Damavand: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Damavand

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
1 upvote
rb59020
By rb59020 (10 months ago)

Probably not the first choice of most Americans. ;-)

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (10 months ago)

Americans won't go because they can shoot in the garage.

1 upvote
tkbslc
By tkbslc (10 months ago)

What?

Americans won't go because we may not come back. Iran is not the most friendly country to Americans. Which is a shame because it is indeed beautiful country.

Comment edited 19 seconds after posting
1 upvote
GeorgeD200
By GeorgeD200 (10 months ago)

image synthesis. that's a nice name for it. I call it faking it.

3 upvotes
W5JCK
By W5JCK (10 months ago)

BTW, in the USA the full, Super moon is tonight, June 22, not Sunday night as it is in Australia.

The key to photographing the moon is to use a low ISO, a sharp aperture setting (depends on where the sweet spot is on your lens), and a fast shutter. Shoot in full manual mode including using manual focus.

2 upvotes
W5JCK
By W5JCK (10 months ago)

Clarification: The super moon in USA occurs the night of June 22 and early morning of June 23. It occurs at 2:32am CDT June 23. To see it go out early Sunday morning or late Saturday night.

0 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (10 months ago)

NOBODY... again NOBODY will notice the difference.

this is just for blogs and websites to fill the pages.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2013/06/20/supermoon_big_bright_moon_but_no_more_than_usual.html

http://blog.chron.com/sciguy/2013/06/why-the-super-moon-isnt-that-super-but-why-you-should-care-anyway/

anyway.. the moon is always worth watching....

7 upvotes
hiifly
By hiifly (10 months ago)

This photo illustrated has been confirmed fake or a composite one. 8-sec exposure would be no possible for both the moon and the stars. And a computer simulation of the moonrise on May 6, 2012 shows that none of the stars pattern can match this photo. See the last comment on flickr:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/robinohia/7005519604/

3 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (10 months ago)

Glad you got to the bottom of that, we were all worried.

3 upvotes
Glenn72
By Glenn72 (10 months ago)

If the weather in Sydney tomorrow night is anything like it is now, we'll miss it completely.

1 upvote
mu55
By mu55 (10 months ago)

Yep - no chance here in Sydney - not even down in the Shire where most "backyward astrophotgraphy" would likely have taken place

0 upvotes
attomole
By attomole (10 months ago)

Remember fishing up at Shark Bay WA, just as it was getting dark, a bloke about 200yrd down the beach shouted, "look at the Moon". and it was huge in the sky, and quite bright, like we had swapped out jupiter. it was the last cast of the day I had cut my last bait in half, a big pilchard already used the head, so I triple hooked it and cast out the tail, when I reeled it is again 10 min later I got the head of it back which spooked me. If I remember correctly, after that we went to the pub.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 9 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (10 months ago)

that's how every good story ends.

6 upvotes
lightandday
By lightandday (10 months ago)

Thank you for the post !

1 upvote
xlynx9
By xlynx9 (10 months ago)

where does the real moon go when the Supermoon comes?

7 upvotes
Antony John
By Antony John (10 months ago)

Even moons require a holiday. Just imagine how tiring it is going round and round.

4 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (10 months ago)

It's the same moon, he just takes off his glasses to hide his true identity.

4 upvotes
white shadow
By white shadow (10 months ago)

A good opportunity to test the Lunar camera at this time.

7 upvotes
rowlandw
By rowlandw (10 months ago)

Full moons have the least contrast and interest because the overhead sun washes out most detail. Much more interesting are half-moons where shadows reveal the lunar topography.

2 upvotes
BadScience
By BadScience (10 months ago)

for sure, but nowadays photographers just used tremendous amounts of contrast and hard-light in photoshop to pretend that the moon has this great contrasty image - like the horrendous peter lik bella luna photomontage.

2 upvotes
tjbates
By tjbates (10 months ago)

I find the idea of using manual focus and high ISO to achieve optimal focus a little silly. A full moon is actually usually very bright in the sky and auto focus at low ISO is easily possible.
One point not covered especially with so many cameras sporting 18 Megapixels or more is that if you haven't a sufficiently powerful telephoto lens, consider cropping in post.
The best point made in this article is to include something in the composition that shows relative size.

1 upvote
Baba Ganoush
By Baba Ganoush (10 months ago)

"The best point made in this article is to include something in the composition that shows relative size." True, but you may also need to make sure the sun has not yet set before the moon rises. This is a critical point that's never mentioned in such discussions. If you adjust your shot to get the bright moon properly exposed, the foreground will be underexposed; if instead you adjust your shot to get the foreground properly exposed, the moon will be grossly overexposed ( the contrast is so great it exceeds the dynamic range of your camera). On the other hand, If the sun is still up as the moon rises into view, the fading sunlight on objects in the foreground may be bright enough that they, the sky, and the rising moon can all be properly exposed at the same time. Tonight is one of those nights when the sun sets after the moon rises and so it is ideal for shooting pictures of the "supermoon." Tomorrow night will be too late, since the moon will rise long after the sun has set.

1 upvote
tjbates
By tjbates (10 months ago)

" If you adjust your shot to get the bright moon properly exposed, the foreground will be underexposed; if instead you adjust your shot to get the foreground properly exposed, the moon will be grossly overexposed ( the contrast is so great it exceeds the dynamic range of your camera). On the other hand, If the sun is still up as the moon rises into view, the fading sunlight on objects in the foreground may be bright enough that they, the sky, and the rising moon can all be properly exposed at the same time."

Good point Baba.

The best shot you'll take will be unique. To achieve that you'll need to take your rising and setting data, a predetermined location, local knowledge, camera craft, soulful creativity and bracket your shots. Shoot a lot and enjoy the moment.

You never know, that shot may end up being a silhouette.

0 upvotes
zakkix
By zakkix (10 months ago)

Practise on Saturday night when the moon will be just before peak luminescence :-)

Spot metering.

Centre focus point.

Do not rely on the LCD - take several photos of various ISO/f-stop/shutter settings as redundancy.

Apps that may assist:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.stardroid&hl=en

https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/star-chart/id345542655?mt=8

0 upvotes
Reginald S Clownboat
By Reginald S Clownboat (10 months ago)

For best moon photography results, use only LEICA G-Star Raw format for capture and post-production (in conjunction with premium-quality, precision engineered LEICA accessories). Shooting at the widest aperture possible (f6.3) is recommended when using the new LEICA X VARIO.

Alternatively, the luxuriously appointed and eponymous Lunar from Hasselblad is recommended for music industry stars wishing to be photographed while photographing. Gold teeth, laser-engraved with the Hasselblad 'H' and inlaid with diamonds and other precious gems are also recommended to expand your creative horizons.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (10 months ago)

Too bad the author doesn't appear to know anything about moon photography.

Timer for long exposure? Widest aperture?

Really bad advice.

2 upvotes
xMichaelx
By xMichaelx (10 months ago)

Just think of the great tips you could have posted instead of being an ass.

1 upvote
Total comments: 49