14th November 2016 – your night to chase the Supermoon

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supermoon 2013 2.jpgThe moon normally orbits the earth at about 364,000 km. On 23rd June 2013, that distance decreased to 356,991 km. In 2014, supermoon in August, was even closer, at 356,575 km.

The picture above is the one I took in 2013.

The November 2016 full supermoon is taking place on Monday 14 November, and will be the closest full moon of the century. Why not try and click one of your best photos tonight?.

The full supermoon is a rare astronomical occurrence, taking place every one to two years when the full moon coincides with its closest point to Earth during its monthly orbit.

This can result in the supermoon being up to 30% brighter than a regular moon, providing a fascinating subject for astro-photographers around the world.

The November 2016 supermoon is particularly exciting, because it will be the biggest supermoon in 70 years . According to NASA, the full moon won’t come this close to Earth again until 25 November 2034.

There are as many ways to shoot a supermoon as there are vantage points on Earth. It is therefore interesting to know and try how to position yourself (and your camera) for a chance at the best shot.

Find the Best Camera Gear

National Geographic staff photographer, Mark Thiessen, suggests interested photographers to find the biggest lens they can and then add a teleconverter lens. Theissen photographed the moon for the magazine about ten years ago using a 600mm lens and a 2x converter. He traveled to Moab, Utah—where the desert landscape would ensure a clear sky—and used GPS software called The Photographer’s Ephemeris to know exactly where the moon would rise, as well as the arc it would take across the sky.

“Don’t make the mistake of photographing the moon by itself, with no reference to anything,” says Bill Ingalls, a senior photographer for NASA. “Instead, think of how to make the image creative—that means tying it into some land-based object. It can be a local landmark or anything to give your photo a sense of place.”

Shooting in low light usually requires a long exposure. But that’s wrong for a supermoon, says Theissen. When you’re looking at a full moon, it’s technically daylight on the moon, so shoot with the same exposure you would in daylight on Earth. Leaving your shutter open too long will result in an overexposed moon that’s too bright, with no lunar detail.


Be Creative

Try to include a landmark feature in your image but make sure there’s nothing in the background that can obstruct your view of the moon – tall buildings, for instance, or in more rural settings, a copse of trees or distant hilltops.

Take control of your camera

For consistent results you need to instruct the camera what settings to apply. Try and shoot in Manual mode but Shutter priority can also be used- these can be found respectively in the M and S positions on the Camera Mode dial.

In either case, it’s important that you tell the camera what shutter speed to apply, then adjust brightness using ISO (Manual mode) or the Exposure Compensation dial (Shutter priority).

Traditional advice is to select a shutter speed that’s numerically the same (or higher) than your lens length – so > 1/200 sec for a focal length of 200mm or > 1/400 for 400mm etc. This helps avoid any further movement exaggerated by the longer lens.

Use your Smart Phone

Now, if you don’t have a high end camera and lenses, do not worry and back out. More casual  and passionate photographers can still get a great shot without the bells and whistles of fancy cameras. It is suggested to start by noticing the moon a few days before the supermoon. The path won’t be exactly the same, but it’ll be similar, and you can plan where and when to shoot.

Use your optical lens only, not your digital zoom, advises National Geographic photographer Michael Christopher Brown. That means don’t zoom in on your phone’s sensor before you take the photo, which will decrease quality. Take the image first, then zoom in to crop or enlarge detail.

Put your phone on a tripod somewhere firm. “Ideally the phone is stabilized,” says Brown, which might not seem too urgent, but when shooting something so far away, tiny vibrations of your camera can dramatically reduce image quality. If no tripod is available, even placing your phone on a solid surface like a ledge or windowsill and setting the timer will ensure a stable exposure.

Dear Passionate Photographes, 14th November 2016 is your night to chase the Supermoon. Click without inhibition and share your photos with us. Post your clicks at Passionate Photographers group on Facebook with hashtags #PassionatePhotographers #Supermoon2016 #Clicksandwrites

Text source: Clicksandwrites.com, National Geographic, Mirror

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