This week’s challenge from the #52Assignments book by Adam Juniper fits with this week’s Supermoon excitement here in New Zealand. The Assignments post ‘Moon on a Stick’ could not be more perfect. Not cats were harmed in the taking of these photos, they were asleep indoors.
The aim of this week’s challenge in the book is to hold your smartphone to the eyepiece of a telescope. If you can do this – go for it, your photos will be much better than you think!
Your photos you get will also be much better than mine because I broke my tripod and my DSLR shots had to be ‘hand held’. This is my first venture into astrophotography and it could have been a lot worse.
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Supermoons are not uncommon ad they happen every month, but the combination of a Supermoon with a Lunar Eclipse is a much rarer event. For the first time in forty years, the ‘double’ happened over New Zealand and the sky was crystal clear for everyone to enjoy the view. These photos are not my best, but I learned a lot and will try again with an ordinary moon next time.
You can see some superb Supermoon images on Stuff the New Zealand news site.
The lunar eclipse lasted for about five hours, beginning shortly before 9pm and reaching totality between about 11.11pm and 11.25pmStuff.co.nz
Moon Camera Settings
I was not sure about camera settings so I checked my favourite YouTube channel Photo Genius** and it came up with the goods. My smartphone took a terrible blurry blob but more modern phones will take a great picture if you can access a telescope.
- Have a good zoom lens. Mine is 55-250 mm and it was not quite strong enough. A 300 mm lens will give better photographs. The zoom needs to be fully extended and you need to turn off image stabilisation* on your camera and/or your lens if you have them.
- Focus on the moon only for proper exposure.
- A tripod keeps your photos steady. You can use a two-second self-timer to remove any risk camera shake.
- ISO should be set at 100 and set your camera to use the central focus point.
- Aperture f/11 to start with then move up or down depending on how the moon looks through your lens.
- Shutter speed 1/125. If it’s too bright increase the shutter speed to 1/160. Take a test shot and adjust again if necessary.
Even though my photographs are not perfect, I was thrilled to actually get pictures of the moon and, most importantly, I learned the importance of correct settings and the correct lens. I also aim to have a working tripod next time!
Did you take any photos of the Supermoon, or were you just blown away by the event?
Moon on a Stick Resources
- Image stabilisation* is a family of techniques that reduce blurring associated with the motion of a camera or other imaging device during exposure. – Wikipedia
- Supermoon Report by New Zealand’s premier online newspaper Stuff (great pictures!)
- Taking photos of the Moon ** Photo Genius YouTube tutorial. DSLR users.
- Smartphone moon photos with Pickr.