Looney 11

This tip comes a little late for the recent Supermoon, but save it for the next full moon.  It was cloudy where I live so my night photography workshop was canceled, plus it started to rain later in the evening.  I’ll admit, I was a little bummed.  Then this morning I woke up and saw bright light spilling onto my bathroom floor. The moon was out!  I started the coffee, grabbed my gear, and went into back yard.  Just as I opened the blinds I saw a shooting star jet across the sky next to the full moon and a flock of doves took to flight (Okay the doves may not have happened, but the shooting star really did!).  It was meant to be.

I used the Looney 11 rule to take a quick, boring shot of the moon.  I didn’t have to mess with testing different exposures.  Set your camera to manual and then these settings:

f/11, 1/125th of second, and ISO 100. 

That’s it, you’re ready to start taking moon pictures.  I think most people know that the moon is bright, but what you don’t realize until you start taking pictures of the moon is that it is also really fast.  The moon orbits the Earth at a speed of 2,288 miles per hour.  A long exposure will leave you with a blurry white spot on your photo.  Use a fast shutter speed like 1/125th to freeze the moon in its place.

Here’s my (boring composition) Supermoon photo

Other tips for moon photography:

  • Use a tripod.
  • Use your timer so your are not touching the camera when it takes the picture. This reduces vibrations.
  • Use a zoom
  • Create an interesting composition.  Unlike my photo above.  It can be difficult to create a photo with the moon and landscape given how bright the moon is relative to the ground.  Try shooting at dusk, shoot bright city lights, or you can use something like Photoshoot to create a composite photo.

Remember to Get Off Auto.



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