Have you heard of the supermoon?

Learn how to shoot the rising moon at the perfect location.

On September 26th, 2015, while I was in Abitibi, Province of Quebec, I heard on the Radio that the following night was the night of the supermoon.¬† A phenomena that occur once in a Blue Moon ūüėČ .

Our moon has an elliptical orbit which bring it a bit closer to the earth.  On average the closest distance to earth is 362 600 km.  On that night it was just a bit closer at 360 235 km.  The moon then appear bigger.  So a picture of the moon was on my agenda.

When the moon rise over the horizon, it appears bigger than when it is higher in the sky.  The light coming from the moon enter our atmosphere at an angle.  This is what creates this perception of a bigger moon.

About finding a proper location to shoot the rising moon

2015-09-29-05_46_13-The-Photographers-Ephemeris-Web-AppI used my preferred tool to find the best location to shoot a picture of the rising moon using The Photographer Ephemeris.
The day before, I was shooting pictures of a covered bridge.  Could this represented an opportunity to have both in the same picture?   With the Photographer Ephemeris I found out that the covered bridge was almost perfectly aligned with the rising moon.  So maybe I could take a picture of the rising moon through the covered bridge.  Just to make sure that things would work out the way I wanted, I went on site in the early afternoon to see the surrounding.  Everything look all right.

Early on that evening I was there at the proper location to shoot, what I hoped for, would be a perfect picture.

Equipment used to shoot the rising moon:

Camera Fujifilm X-T1
Lens Fujinon XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS
Tripod Induro CT-214 with Induro BHD-2
Shutter Speed Three exposure at 1/10, 1/5 and 1/20 sec
Aperture f/7,1
Focal Length 200mm
Latitude 48.7049 N
Longitude 77.5554 W

2015-09-29-05_45_38-The-Photographers-Ephemeris-Web-AppWhen the full moon is rising the sun is setting in the opposite direction.  This means that you get great light in the scene.  It is then easier to balance exposure appropriately.  Three picture at one stop apart enabled me to capture the whole scene.

Now, the moon appears very big compared to the bridge in this picture.  I had a few questions about that.  By using a 200mm (300mm equivalent on my APS-C Fujifilm X-T1) focal length and moving away as much as possible from the opening of the covered bridge, the relative size of the bridge reduces while the moon size stay the same.  The image itself has been resized from its original 4896 x 3264 pixels to 4064 x 2380 pixels.  This also makes the moon bigger in the scene.

Another challenge is properly exposing the moon to preserve the details.  Using my mirrorless camera and simulated exposure I was able to find the proper exposure adjustment bias at -2 2/3 EV.  The other two exposure helped me afterward to keep some more light in the scene.

Related Articles on How to Shoot the Rising Moon:



Why shooting the moon when it is rising or setting?

I prefer shooting pictures of the moon in context.  In order to have a big moon, I have to use a longer focal length and then it is harder to include a good portion of the scenery.  The moon in the middle of the sky is not that much interesting.  To do so, the Photographer Ephemeris and Sun Surveyor on Android are my two mandatory tools on my phone when I go out to shoot.

Now it is your turn: Do you shoot pictures of the moon? What are your preferred scenarios and settings to shoot the moon?  Share these with me.  I would love to know.