Get your camera ready! The first of three consecutive "Super Moons" will rise above the Earth's skyline this Saturday July 12, 2014. The moon is called a “super moon” when it makes its closest approach to Earth, defined as perigee, in its elliptical orbit.
This Saturdays super moon is expected to be an exceptionally good showing, as the moon rises it will appear much larger and brighter than the average full moon.
Here are a few tips when attempting to photograph a full moon. Set your camera on a nice sturdy tripod. Use a cable release if possible. If not , you can use your cameras self timer. Set your camera to manual mode... That's right I said manual. Trust me; it will be ok... :-) Next turn your autofocus off. You heard me right, turn it off. Most cameras have a terrible time with low-light shooting. Low-light shooting can cause a cameras autofocus system to constantly hunt in the dark. Autofocus is simply not needed for shooting a full moon. Simply prefocus your lens to infinity and your done. One additional note: If you camera is on a tripod, and your lens has image stabilization (IS), you'll also need to turn off stabilization.. (IS for Canon, VR for Nikon's) If you leave image stabilization on, it can actually blur your image when on a tripod. As to setting up a proper exposure, believe it or not, shooting the full moon is very much like shooting on a bright sunny day. The light reflected on the full moon is almost the same as the sun during the day here on earth.. We all have heard of the sunny 16 rule from time to time, that would be my starting pointing. Set your camera to it's lowest native ISO speed, that would be generally ISO 100 for Canon, or ISO 200 for Nikon SLR's. Set your Shutter speed to 1/125 with a aperture of f/16. That would be a good starting point.
Take a few test shots and adjust your exposure up or down as needed. For example, if the moon is too dark, you need more light, change your aperture from f/16 to f/11. Take another shot, review your results, always ensure the moon has some detail. the most common mistake made by photographers is to over exposed moon, even lightly over exposing the moon will result in a lifeless glowing white ball, with no detail or surface shadows. So get out and have some fun.