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Shoot the Supermoon Like Pros -- Professionals and NASA Photographer Shares Useful Tips

Nov 11, 2016 06:10 AM EST
A Total Lunar Eclipse Spawns Blood Supermoon
Top photographers share tips and tricks on how to photograph the largest supermoon this century.
(Photo : Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Photograph the supermoon like a pro! 

The public can take a hint from professionals on how to capture the century's biggest supermoon, as NASA photographer Bill Ingalls shares some tip through a NASA press release.

NASA calls it the 'showstopper' supermoon and everyone want to preserve the memory. This will be the largest supermoon to occur in 70 years, the next one will happen in 2034. This is where the expertise of NASA's senior photographer Bill Ingalls, who had been in practice for more than 25 years, comes into play. Ingalls is a seasoned photographer who has had experienced filming all over the world.

Ingalls already released some tips on how both professionals and non-professionals alike can successfully capture the supermoon. And his tips make perfect sense. One key point to remember is the use of a foreground or anything on the frame aside from the moon.

"Don't make the mistake of photographing the moon by itself with no reference to anything," NASA senior photographer Bill Ingalls said in a press release. "I've certainly done it myself, but everyone will get that shot. Instead, think of how to make the image creative that means tying it into some land-based object. It can be a local landmark or anything to give your photo a sense of place," Ingalls added.

Because of this, most professional photographers, including Ingalls will travel to be able to get the best vantage point. He added that a good example is by using Washington DC monuments as a reference to the moon. But experts also encourage hobbyist to widen their choices by using giving another useful tip.

A professional scouts locations way ahead of time so there will be time to choose the best spot and there will be enough time for a plan B if the original venue did not make the cut. Ingalls also added that miscalculation is a sin in terms of time-lapse photography. It could mean a disaster if a photographer's set up is not directly pointed at the moon.

But the generous senior NASA photographer also offered tips for hobbyist and spectators with a limited budget. There are very basic and economical choices anyone can afford. Rooftops and high places such as hilltops are good options. And his final tip is that everyone should be creative. There are no technical rules on how to photograph the supermoon, so anyone can have fun while doing so. 

Additional Tips

Meanwhile, a UK astrophotographer also lent his expertise in shooting the supermoon. He says it is important for hobbyists and even professionals to do their homework and research in advance. Another important point is no matter what the circumstances are to keep the shot steady.

"Anything that causes the camera to vibrate can lead to a loss of sharp detail in the final image. A solid tripod and cable release helps to minimise such potential for movement," British astrophotograher Andrew Whyte said in an interview with Huffington Post.

He also reminded everyone to prepare and know the basics of night photography and be familiar with the camera setting that best works for the said event.


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