Where to shoot the super moon
Top ten tips for getting a great lunar photoLUKE APPLEBY
If you are looking to head out tonight to catch an eyeful of the "perigee" moon, you're in for a treat.
The rising moon should be clearly visible in the east from about 5:23pm.
NASA says the moon will appear 14 per cent bigger than usual and 30 per cent brighter, due to its oval orbit around the Earth.
Super perigee moons are fairly common, with the moon becoming full within a few hours of its closest approach to Earth about once a year on average.
Keen photographers will want to take advantage of this event, so here are a few tips to help capture the moment.
* The moonrise tonight is between 5:00pm and 5.30pm - don't be late! Check out the exact time for your town at metservice.com. If you want to shoot the moon coming up over the eastern hills to give it some scale, be at your spot early so you can set up.
* Use a decent camera - if you have access a DSLR, it will be well worth using or borrowing one - a point-and-shoot camera may leave you disappointed in terms of image quality.
* Take a long zoom if you have one - the moon is bigger than usual, but still small so you may want to zoom in. A wide-angle lens could also come in handy, though.
* Use a tripod. It's dark - so your exposure time may be too long to hold the camera with your hands without shaking it. Set up your tripod where other people won't walk in your way or tip it over.
* If you are able to choose your settings manually, you may want to start with something like F/11, ISO 100 and shutter speed 1/125 - 1/250. If the moon looks like a pancake in the shot, speed the shutter speed up (1/500 or 1/750) and if it looks too dark slow it down (1/100 - 1/60).
* The full moon is much brighter than you think when you zoom in on it - to avoid that flat, softball look, experiment with a range of exposures. You may need to underexpose your photo to get the detail of the craters.
* Use the self-timer - just pressing the shutter button can shake the camera slightly and blur your lovely shot. Try setting the 2-second self-timer - or the 10-second, if you like, to avoid this. DSLR users might want to use a shutter release cable if they have one.
* Make sure the focus is right - the autofocus target should be over the moon and focussed before you shoot.
* Wrap up nice and warm - clear nights are generally cold, and having numb hands will be no help when you are trying to capture your masterpiece.
* Take some friends or the kids! As Jack Hylton sang in 1928 (from the 1925 musical Good News) - "the moon belongs to everyone - the best things in life are free".
- © Fairfax NZ News
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