SUPER MOON ON TAP FOR SUNDAY
On Sunday, June 23 the moon will be closer to earth than any time in 2013. Sometimes called a Super Moon or Perigee as referred to by astronomers to describe the point during a lunar cycle that the moon is at its closest point to earth. This will not happen again until August, 2014.
HOW I SHOT LAST YEAR’S SUPERMOON
During the last Super Moon on May 05, 2012 I grabbed a tripod, telephoto lens & a bottle of wine and drove to a hillside spot to wait for the moon to rise from the southern horizon.
ADVICE FOR SHOOTING THE MOON
For a sharp image you’ll need the camera with a telephoto lens on a tripod. You’ll also need either a remote shutter release or the camera’s self timer in order to fire the shot without touching the camera. Even the most careful depression of the camera’s shutter can result in a blurry photo under the slower shutter speeds (as low as 1/45th second), zoom and eventual cropping necessary to create a large image of the moon. You can’t use long exposures because the moon is moving. Check out the direction and the time the moon will arrive by looking at the sky a day or so before the Super Moon. Arrive at the location you will shoot from early enough to set up and aim your camera because the moon appears largest when it first rises from the horizon. Even though the sun isn’t setting until around 8 pm the moon may show up sometime around 6:30, maybe earlier. Have a small flashlight with you in order to see and adjust your camera’s settings. You may need to experiment with several settings until you get that perfect shot and that means taking your camera off “AUTO” and using the manual or semi-automatic (Aperture or Shutter Speed priority) and know how to adjust your camera’s ISO. And MOST IMPORTANTLY, if it’s cocktail hour come prepared.
Don’t expect the moon to be gigantic in your images. Unless you are shooting with a $10,000 pro-sports lens you’ll need to crop the images on your computer to get an image large enough to see details of the moon’s surface. But if you were careful taking your shots you should be able to crop for a sharp image.
Photos below are of me getting ready to shoot last year’s Super Moon from a hillside in San Clemente. If the sky is clear I’ll give it another try this Sunday and I’ll be there early because the moon is at its biggest when it first rises from the horizon.