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Welcome to Michael's blog. Michael Andrew, (aka Michael The Maven) is a freelance producer, photography instructor, tech innovator, and when needed, disaster aid specialist. Disclaimer: Michael is a participant in Bhphoto & Amazon affiliate programs that provides an advertising commission if you purchase through links on this website.


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06.22.13         photography  

Michael's Super Moon Photography Tips


By now you know tonight and tomorrow night we are going to get a crazy close view of the moon and it is spectacular to shoot.

So how do you get a shot like this?
Read carefully, my best tips with the secret at the end:

1. Use a Tripod, while it doesn't look like it, the moon is traveling very, very fast, and the fact that it is so far away makes any shake amplified on the result.

2. You will need a zoom lens preferably 200-400mm or more on a 1.6x Crop body is possible. Use a 1.4x or Canon 2x III Extender if you have them.

3. Use a faster shutter speed. 1/250-1/1000 or faster.

4. I use an extender on a Canon 100-400 f4.5-5.6 L IS lens, so my aperture is minimal f8, unless I take the extender off. Most Telephoto lenses over 400mmm will not have very wide apertures, but this is ok if you want to get the detail of the moon craters. I will also admit to not using the extender depending on the situation.

5. I go with manual focus just because it allows me to be precise with what I am seeing in Live View

6. Get away from the city if possible, the lights and air pollution will ruin the shot. Im planning on going up to Haleakala if I can.

7. Use a 2 Second Timer or a remote. Even touching the camera will create too much shake.

Biggest Secret: 2 Exposures , one for the moon itself, which should be as described above, the other for the surrounding elements. Its not likely you will be able to get both the background and the moon itself in the same exposure range. HDR won't always work either simply because the exposure range is so far, as well as moving objects (clouds and moon itself).

For the first shot, I exposed for the background going for a strong composition, in this case, the clouds, disregarding the moon's exposure. If you are doing it right, the moon will be blown out white:

F11, 1/50s, ISO 3200
The Second shot is for the moon only:

f16, 1/1000 ISO 1250
.....then merge them together in PS!

Give it a try!

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