How many times have you thought of an object to be something else? This happened to Fox 5 DC journalist Van Applegate and caused one of his images to go viral. Thanks to a mistake he made while taking the photo, the very same photo went viral and put a smile on faces of many.
It’s amazing how many people never look up. The skies can be many things to a photographer – a backdrop, a light source, a diffuser. Sometimes just a nice source of teal for your orange foreground. When you decide to use the skies for your subject, especially the night skies, the very first thing you are going to notice is the moon.
There are some very beautiful objects in the night sky, and the thrill of using the camera to see what your eyes can’t see is enormously rewarding. The trouble is that the stars, planets and nebulae that fill the night sky are very dim and very, very far away.
If, like me, you want to get great looking photos of the night sky, but can’t afford the gear required to capture some of the deep sky objects, you’re left with night landscapes, and the moon. So here’s some tips for shooting the moon.
Shooting the moon has been a little obsession of mine for a very long time, in fact ever since I started photography. I guess it is my love of impossible images, science fiction and science fact that drove me to want to take photographs of the moon.
I tried a few things using the gear that I have collected over the years. Sadly, neither zoom lenses nor telephoto lenses ever really resulted in a clear picture of the moon.
I got the Picamera! A Raspberry PI camera module. Now don’t laugh, this 5 megapixel wonder has a trick up its sleeve! You can remove the lens and expose light directly to the sensor – and if you happen to have access to a 3D printer, you can make a Canon EOS lens mount for the Picamera!
New Zealand based astrophotographer Mark Gee (previously, and here) has quite a creative take on the Super Moon we had last week. I mean, we all shot the Super Moon (didn’t we) but Mark documented the shooting of the Super Moon with a few of his photographer friends, taking the whole thing to a new level of Meta.
In order not to miss the actual super moon itself, Mark made the movie one day prior to the Super Moon day, but that had very little impact on how the moon looks like in the movie.
The movie shows a gorgeous shot of the moon rising with several photographers gathering up to photograph the events. It starts with the photographers arriving at the scene, unloading their gear, doing their thing and finally tearing up. This entire 2 minutes scene is happening in front of the most gorgeous moon you’ve ever laid eyes on.
Two years ago Dan started this project. Shooting 11 photos over 28 minutes (sans 1 second) Dan created a spectacular array of visuals. This just goes to show what you can do if you plan ahead and use a long enough lens (Dan shot at 100mm focal length. Long lens = big moon).
It’s amazing what you can do with 28 minutes and just 11 photos.
Tonight we will witness a rare astronomical phenomena called “supermoon” total lunar eclipse. This happens when a lunar eclipse happens in conjunction with the event of a super moon – The time when the moon is closest to earth and thus looks the biggest. (Next time this will happen is on 2033). To really take it over the top, this will be a blood moon, meaning a red moon. So Bright, Big and Eclipsed. Definitely something worth taking a photo.
Here is a list of resources that will help you make the best of the occasion:
If you’re stuck looking for inspiration here is an idea that we have all seen before taken to new places. Husband and wife, Laurent & Sabine Laveder collaborated their Photography, graphic design and astronomy and graphic designer duo took the familiar forced perspective concept to new heights by playing games with the moon.
While a few of the photos are composites most are simply using long focal length to achieve the effect. Some goes up to 480 mm using a Refracting telescope.