November & December 2016 bring us a great full moon photographic opportunity–during these months, the moon is closer to the Earth, and are known as “super moons.” While last night was the better time to watch the moon, tonight will be a great time to drag out your tripod and snap some images of the moon, and Englewood Camera has some tips for photographing it! If you want to wait until December, the best night to watch the moon rise will be on December 14th, giving you plenty of time to prepare!
Tip #1: Use the longest zoom lens you have available. In the above example, the focal length was 600mm on an Nikon D7100. Unless you are telling a story with the environment, such as a cityscape, a longer lens is better for capturing the detail of the moon.
Tip #2: Many photographers assume that shooting the moon is just like other types of astrophotography; this is an incorrect assumption. The full moon is actually closer to a daylight balance, so you want a faster shutter speed and lower ISO to capture its essence. In the above example, the ISO was set to 500, with an f/8 aperture at 1/400s.
Tip #3: Even though you will be shooting a faster shutter speed, we still recommend a tripod. Longer focal length lenses, even with image stabilizer, can have enough shake to soften the image. For maximum sharpness, manually stabilize your lens and switch off the IS if applicable.
Tip #4: If you’d like to include more foreground imagery with your shot of the super moon, consider using a gradual ND filter to block out the radiance of the moon, allowing a longer shutter speed. Just use caution–the moon is moving, so you don’t want too long of an exposure. Consider light painting as well to capture details that a longer exposure may require.
More details on the Super Moon can be found here.