In the wake of the recent Super Blood Wolf Moon (how cool is that name?) I thought I’d share my experience with some tips to follow (or not ). I ventured out to attempt to shoot the moon in what was labeled as a night to remember. I by no means have the experience or expert knowledge on photographing the moon, but thought I’d share how I got my images.
Canon 70-200mm f2.8L
Canon Extender EF 2x iii
Novo CBH-46 Ball Head
Plenty of warm layers as it was -5c.
Any camera with a good zoom with manual functions will do the trick.
How to photograph:
This is not expert advice but advice from my experience.
For me to shoot the moon I used a Canon Extender EF 2x iii on my Canon EF 70-200 L lens, giving me a 400mm zoom at f5.6. Now this combo is rather heavy to hold at times so I opted to mount it on my tripod. As strange as it sounds even though it’s dark, you can easily shoot handheld if you do not have a tripod, as the shutter speeds are high.
The further you zoom in, the more you realise you’re not shooting the same moon you look at almost everyday, but an astronomical sports car! At 400mm the moon would not last long in my view finder as it swept across the night sky.
I would suggest putting your camera into manual both body and lens, as the camera can not quite compute the situation. If you can’t manually focus your lens you will struggle to focus as the camera hunts (continually tries to find focus). If you have live view on your camera it will help greatly in getting the image sharp and in focus. Turn on live view and zoom in as much as possible on the screen and very gently adjust your focus. As mine was on a tripod I found it easier to make the tiny adjustments whilst the camera vibrated from my delicate troll like touch. Adjust your aperture to it’s lowest f-stop. The lowest I could achieve was f5.6. Set the ISO between 400-800. The lower the better to reduce noise and improve clarity. Now set your shutter speed to around 500/1. Shoot away the moons your oyster!
If you find the moon is coming up slightly too dark increase your ISO. As the moon is constantly moving across the sky it is best to have a quicker shutter than a longer exposure. The longer the shutter goes off the more chance of blur. It’s easier in post processing to fix noise from high ISO than when an image is blurred.
During the eclipse as the moon got darker I had to increase my ISO and shutter speed. There is no definitive shutter speed to use. At it’s darkest and most red I upped my ISO to 800 and had a shutter speed of 1.6”seconds. When I attempted a longer shutter it blurred too much and increasing my ISO introduced too much noise for my liking.
I climbed out of bed at 3am with the notion to get one image. I ended up shooting for 2+hrs. As pretty the moon was, I loved turning it into a timeline and playing with all the moments of the eclipse. This guide is from my experience and is not to be taken as gospel. Have a go yourself and see what you can achieve.
I hope you found this little read a bit helpful for your next lunar adventure. If you would like to see what other images I produced click here.