Tonight’s supermoon will see the moon at its closest point to earth since 1948, and it won’t be this close again until November 25, 2034. So try and catch a glimpse if you can!
Although the moon was in fact at its closest point to earth earlier this morning, for most of us we will won’t be seeing the supermoon until it gets a little darker later on.
How to photograph the supermoon
As photographers are readying their DSLRs for tonight’s supermoon across the world, many of us will be capturing tonight’s spectacle on a smartphone.
And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that at all!
Our smartphones have come along way since 1948, with improved camera sensors and apps that make them work, we don’t need a DSLR to capture this evening’s supermoon.
With a few simple tricks below, you’ll have no problems photographing the supermoon (providing the cloud breaks)
Tips for photographing the supermoon:
A good vantage point is essential
Plan ahead and get yourself in a good position to watch the supermoon. This doesn’t necessarily mean go out into the middle of a field, size relativity is key with a supermoon. You ideally want to capture the supermoon near to a landmark or something that highlights the size of the moon.
Turn off your filters
You definitely do not want to capture the supermoon using any sort of filter. Keep the picture as sharp as possible without one – you can always apply one later, if you must. Sigh.
Shoot in RAW
Most smartphones now have the ability to shoot RAW images (DNG format), which is basically a digital negative. This allows you to go back and edit photos in their RAW state, and will give those budding photographers out there a better chance to edit their photographs later on.
You need a steady hand (or tripod)
Using a tripod will give you the best supermoon picture, but if you don’t have one, a steady hand will do. You can always prop up your smartphone using a fence or next to a rock or something.
Clean your camera lens
The chances are you’ll be photographing the supermoon in the dark. If so, give your camera lens a wipe clean before you start shooting. The smallest of particles will ruin your photos.
Use a third party app
It’s tempting to use the default camera app on your smartphone, but it isn’t always the best. Try using a third party app such as Slow Shutter, which will allow you to change the shutter speed and exposure on your smartphone. Start with ISO 200 and take a few test shots, and adjust your settings accordingly.
Don’t zoom unless you have an iPhone 7 Plus
The majority of smartphones do not have an optical zoom, they are all digital zoom unless you are lucky enough to own an iPhone 7 Plus.
What this means, is that when you go to zoom in on a standard smartphone, you are literally just zooming into the image itself, which means the quality rapidly deteriorates the more you zoom.
Deactivate the flash
Flash photography won’t work in this environment, so ensure you turn it off beforehand.