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Supermoon: NASA photographer gives shooting tips

One of the biggest supermoons ever is set to take place on Monday 14 November. In fact, NASA says it’ll be the closest supermoon¬†to Earth in almost 70 years.

Now, NASA photographer Bill Ingalls has revealed several tips to shoot the supermoon, starting with references.

“Don’t make the mistake of photographing the moon by itself with no reference to anything,” NASA quoted him as saying. “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.”

Scouting the location doesn’t hurt either, Ingalls says, using Google Maps and other apps to help get the best angle and vantage point.

Adding loved ones to the shot is another tip the photographer gives, allowing you to “personalise” the shot.

Smartphones aren’t a lost cause for taking supermoon shots, presenting an interesting challenge, the NASA photographer notes

“There are lots of great photos of people appearing to be holding the moon in their hand and that kind of thing. You can get really creative with it.”

Is it ill-advised to use a smartphone camera for a few shots?

“It’s all relative. For me, it would be maddening and frustrating — yet it may be a good challenge, actually. You’re not going to get a giant moon in your shot, but you can do something more panoramic, including some foreground that’s interesting. Think about being in an urban area where it’s a little bit brighter,” Ingalls advises.

The photographer also recommends that those with DSLR cameras use the daylight white balance option, as sunlight is being reflected off the moon.

The next time the supermoon will be this “super” is in 2034, so if you’re on the wall about taking shots, well…

Featured image: NASA Goddard Scientific Visualisation Studio

Author | Hadlee Simons

Hadlee Simons
Terrible puns make Hadlee Simons difficult to work with, but he brings over seven years of tech journalism experience to the table. When he's not at work or watching motorsport, he's in the foetal position on a jiu jitsu mat. More

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