Super Moon this Sunday

Bigger and brigher moon: perfect for lunar photos!

By PF Staff in Articles and Tips on Aug 10, 2014
Super Moon this Sunday

It will be a full moon tonight, and this will coincide with the moon being at perigee, or its closest point to Earth.  We'll therefore be seeing a "super moon" in the night sky, which is 14% bigger and considerably brighter than when at its farthest point.

The Perseid meteor shower will also be peaking during the next three days, though it might be tough to see (let alone photograph) due to the brightness of the moon.

This is of course a great opportunity for us to capture photos of the moon, or landscapes containing the moon.  Take those telephoto lenses for a spin, or find a nice foreground for a beautiful silhouette photo at moonrise!

You will want to ensure that you're using the right shutter speed when photographing the moon: going too slow might induce a blur (since the moon orbits the Earth at over 2200 miles per hour), while a too faster shutter speed could unnecessarily darken your exposure.  The appropriate shutter speed depends on the focal length, but as a rule of thumb, plan on using at least 1/125s.  Sensitivity should be kept where noise is at a reasonable level: at most 800 or 1600 on current Pentax DSLRs, and preferably close to base ISO if shooting the moon alone.  Aperture can safely be left close to wide-open, since depth of field doesn't play a role; however, you have to make sure you nail the focus.  That's perhaps the most important parameter of them all.  We also recommend shooting in RAW. For more tips on shooting the moon, check out our article about the recent lunar eclipse.

Your actual technique may vary depending on the shooting conditions, and a little trial-and-error may be needed.  If you have any tips to share with the community, post them in the comments section below.  Happy shooting!

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