Capturing the Super Moon: Part 3

July 28, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Hey folks,

Welcome to Part 3 of my 4-part series on how to capture the Super Moon or full moon!

In my first part, I explained how to capture a spectacular moon with a moon-lit landscape.  In Part 2, I

talked about how to make the Super Moon or full moon your main subject by filling the frame and using

high magnification to capture detail on the moon's surface.

In Part 3, I will discuss how to capture the "best of both worlds" so to speak.  As I mentioned in Part 1, it is

difficult to capture a scene where the landscape is properly exposed and the moon is also because the landscape

in the foreground is darker then the bright full moon at infinity.  If you properly expose for the landscape, your moon

will be blown out (overexposed) and if you properly expose for the moon, your landscape will be under exposed.  One way

to get around this problem is to shoot several images at high magnification using a super telephoto lens or an astronomical

telescope.  You would want to fill the frame with the Super or full moon and be sure that it is properly exposed and shows sharp

details of the lunar surface.  You would then need to capture several images of the foreground landscape, again, obtaining

proper exposure.  Your image captures must be sharp and properly exposed.  Later, you can combine your best two photos

with an image processing software such as PhotoShop giving you that unique look of a very large and detailed full moon or

Super Moon rising above a dramatic landscape. 

Image result for Large Moon over a landscape

Now, you can also go for a "moonlit" landscape.  Another way of doing

this capture is to use your super telephoto lens or telescope in which you would capture a very large moon above the

horizon while also magnifying a piece of the distant landscape.  I am sure you have all seen such images in magazines

and on the internet.  Remember that it is critical that you put your super telephoto lens and/or astronomical telescope on a

sturdy tripod and mount, use a remote shutter release and lock up the mirror!  At high magnifications, you lose some light

through your optics and you magnify your subject but also you magnify any disturbances (camera shake) which will induce


Image result for Large Moon over a landscape

When you are capturing a very large moon over the horizon and then you super magnify it, the foreground landscape will

automatically become a silouhette creating a nice artistic effect.  As the moon rises, you will notice (due to the moon illusion)

that the moon becomes smaller and brighter to our eyes but this is just the atmospheric and optical effect of what we see.

As the moon rises, you will notice that, often, the landscape becomes moonlit and that, too, makes for a nice capture!

Next week's blog, we introduce Part 4 so stay tuned!


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