Saturday Super Moon

Largest moon of the year to be seen this evening

By PF Staff in Articles and Tips on May 5, 2012
Saturday Super Moon

Tonight (May 5th), the moon will be closer to the Earth than any on other day in 2012, and consequently we will observe what is called a "super moon". The moon will rise at 7:59pm and reach perigee (the part of its path closest to the Earth) by 8:35pm, which is when it will reach its largest size.  The reason that the moon will appear so large today can be attributed to variations in its orbital path.

We recommend that you take the majority or your shots during moonrise, while the moon is fairly low on the horizon, so you can catch some interesting things - such as trees, clouds, or buildings - in the foreground.

We're looking forward to seeing you share your photos of the moon in the Post Your Photos forum, as well as on our Facebook page!  Read on for some tips on lunar photography technique.

By the way, did you know that our official May photo contest theme is Night Scene?  Enter your moon photo for a chance to win over $150 in prizes!

The Moon

In order to get the best moon photos, it's desirable to have a telephoto lens, such as a 300mm or longer.  The key is to use a sharp lens as well as a fast shutter speed; remember, the moon is constantly moving, and you will need to use a shutter speed of at least 1/100s to freeze the moon's motion (depending on focal length and position of the moon, you may way to go higher).  Avoid cranking up the ISO too much in order to preserve detail, and aim to shoot between F8 and F16.  If you open up or stop down your lens too much, you will notice a degradation in image quality.

If you'd like more tips on shooting the moon, please post in our super moon thread on the forum.  Good luck with your shoots!

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