Photo tips for July’s ‘Buck’ supermoon on Wednesday

Photo tips for July's 'Buck' supermoon on Wednesday
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The full moon in July is special. Not only is it a supermoon, appearing larger than a “normal” full moon, but it is the largest and brightest full moon of 2022. The increase in size and brightness is due to its orbit being closer to Earth than any other full moon this year. .

This month’s supermoon is known as the dollar moon, as the moon occurs when male deer, called bucks, show off their newly grown antlers. It rises Wednesday night at 9:05 pm in Washington and sets at 6:31 am the next morning. Check for moonrise and moonset times elsewhere.

On Wednesday night, weather fronts along the east coast and in the intermountain west will generate scattered cloud cover that can make viewing difficult. Skies will be clearer in the central United States and west of the Rocky Mountains.

The term supermoon was first coined in 1979 by Richard Nolle when describing a new or full moon that is within 90 percent of its closest approach to Earth. In recent years, supermoons have become popular targets for photographers.

And to help those of us hoping to photograph this month’s moon, I asked area photographers for tips and advice on capturing the perfect moon shot, from how to plan your shot, to avoiding overexposing the moon, to framing stars. .

Below are photographers’ suggestions for photographing the moon, along with a collection of their photos. I have also included some of my own. The camera settings used to take the photos are included in the captions.

  • The first step in planning a photo of the moon is to consult the calendar of moonrise, set and phase. -Kevin Ambrose
  • Patience is needed and it helps to stay up late or get up early, depending on the position of the moon. -Chris Fukuda
  • Always use a tripod and a remote Switch, whether wired or wireless, to prevent camera shake. -Kevin Ambrose
  • Turn autofocus off and lock focus on foreground objects before moonrise. Otherwise, autofocus may jump during shooting. – Dave Lyons
  • Take lots of photos because you never know which one will end up hanging on your wall or someone else’s. -Josh Steele
  • Various apps can be used to plan where the moon will be on a given day. Some popular apps are PhotoPills, Photographer’s Ephemeris (TPE), Sun Surveyor, and Planit Pro. Google Earth and Street View are also helpful in understanding the foreground view from a specific location. – Dave Lyons
  • Don’t worry if it’s not a perfectly clear night, as low clouds can often create a much more dramatic background with the moon. -Josh Steele
  • The moon is extremely bright shortly after it rises above the horizon, and if the moon is overexposed, details are lost. -Kevin Ambrose
  • Underexpose. -Kevin Wolf
  • Since proper exposure is a challenge at dawn and dusk, consider bracketing your exposures. I often do parentheses (+/- 1 or 2 stops). – Dave Lyons
  • Add interest to your moon photo by combining it with a foreground subject, such as the US Capitol, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, etc. And when possible, position yourself away from the foreground subject to make the moon appear larger. – Dave Lyons
  • I like to capture shots of the moon from a distance with a long lens, ideally 400mm or more. This makes the moon look larger and more interesting compared to the foreground. -Josh Steele
  • For perfect alignment in photos, you need to measure the elevation angles of how the moon rises and sets and its phase. You can get the information using photo pills either Photo Ephemeris (TPE). -Chris Fukuda
  • The closer the moon is to the horizon, the more color variations you will see and photograph. -Josh Steele
  • Windy conditions can produce blurry photos because it shakes the tripod. And the blur is amplified when the camera zooms in from a long distance. Therefore, a fast shutter speed, 1/20 second or faster, is often necessary for sharp pictures of the windy moon. -Sasa Lin
  • It is important that the foreground subject is sharp. It is not so important to have the moon sharp because when the moon is near the horizon it often appears distorted due to the atmosphere. – Dave Lyons
  • I love photos that combine a view of the moon with lightning. It’s a rare combination, but possible when photographing a distant thunderstorm surrounded by clear skies. -Kevin Ambrose
  • While a long lens (300mm or longer) is best when shooting a long distance from a close-up object, a 70-200mm lens is all that is needed for many classic DC moon shots. – Dave Lyons

I also asked smartphone photographers for their tips for photographing the moon with camera phones:

  • Point a telescope at the moon, then place an iPhone camera near the eyepiece of the telescope lens without touching it. Take several photos of the eyepiece and choose the photo that has the best focus. -David Roberts
  • In low-light conditions, you can use iPhone Time-lapse night mode with a tripod to capture longer frame-time interval video. Open the camera app, then swipe to the far left until you see Time-lapse. Tap the shutter button to capture your video. -David Jenkins
  • Taking pictures of the moon with a smartphone can be more challenging than with a dslr camera. Long exposure apps, available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, can significantly improve the quality of night photos. Nicole France in Photography by Mark Lord

Let us know if you have any tips or suggestions for photographing the moon.

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