Once in a blue moon for August 2012 – Last chance in three years to capture this

The phrase ‘once in a blue moon’ is used when the full moon phase occurs twice in the same month. Tonight, (Friday) 31 August will be such an occurrence when the second full moon for August occurs. The first one was on 1 August. The next time this will happen is only in 2015.

The moon

The moon, crisp and clear

So, tonight everyone wiil be out shooting the moon. Below are a few tips on how to achieve nice crisp and clear photographs of the moon.

  1. Zoom lens.Use your longest zoom lens, preferably 200mm or even up to a 500 mm lens if you have one. For a point-and-shoot camera, zoom in as much as possible using optical zoom only. Digital zoom does not work for this. 
  2. Use a tri-pod. If you have a tri-pod available use it, else place your camera on a very stable surface to avoid any camera shake.  
  3. Shutter release cable, camera remote or self-timer. This is another way to avoid camera shake and get crisp photographs. Use whichever one you have available. 
  4. Camera settings. As the moon is a direct light source you won’t need a very slow shutter speed or high ISO setting. For point-and-shoot cameras without A / AV or T/TV settings, experiment with the camera on night portrait or landscape settings. For cameras that can set ISO, aperture, etc, use ISO 100 *you can always go up if it does not work). Set camera to A/AV (aperture priority mode) start with aperture on f/8 and then go up to f/11 or f/16 if you need to.For those who would like to use manual mode, ISO 100, f/8 to f/16 and shutterspeed of around 1/125. Remember that the moon is a bright light source, so you won’t need a slow shutter speed.
  5. Make sure that you focus directly on the moon
  6. Shoot! And then post your photographs here so that everyone can see what they look like.

 If you have any other suggestions of photographing the moon, please post them here for everyone to read.

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